The 5 Secrets to Getting a Website That Actually Works for You

Getting a website that meets your needs can be harder than it looks.  There are dozens of factors that go into creating a site that looks professional and works for you.

Here are some things to think about, so you make the best decision when shopping for a web design:

  1. You Get What You Pay For

Sure, your uncle’s cousin’s nephew is a “computer whiz,” and he told you he could build your website for fifty bucks.  After waiting around for weeks or months, he finally delivers your website.  It looks OK at first glance, but when you go to get updates, he’s never around.  And you find out that your site doesn’t look good on mobile devices.  And you aren’t even listed on Google.

What seemed like a good deal isn’t, and now you’ll have to hire someone else to clean up the mess.

Do yourself a favor, and hire a professional designer.  Yes, you may pay more, but it will save you time and money in the long run.

  1. Professional Websites Take Time and Expertise

Those online builders look like an easy solution—until you try to use one.  Block off days or weeks of your time, because you are going to need it to figure out all the things you need to know to create a site that looks decent.

For most people, web design is harder than it looks.  Your logo, images, menu, and text all have to work together to create a professional look.

And getting the site to work on mobile devices and different browsers takes skill and experience.  Get someone who knows how to do it, so you don’t end up stressed out.  Spend your time doing what’s important—taking care of your business.

  1. Modern Websites Require Tons of Code to Work Well

If you right-click on a website and “View Page Source,” you’ll see some of the markup language that makes a website work.  Nowadays, several pages of code are all linked together to make a site function correctly.  When you go to a site, remember that you are only seeing its shiny cover.  Underneath that simple veneer lies a ton of technology like HTML, PHP, CSS, JavaScript, and a bunch more scripting.

Development is indeed made easier by powerful Content Management Systems such as WordPress, but you will usually need some knowledge of the underlying source code to get all the functionality you want.  Choose a designer who knows their stuff, so you can build on your website over time and expand when you need to.

  1. Doing Your Homework Will Make Your Website Work Better

Before you hire a web designer, take some time to do research.  Look at competitor’s sites and note what you like or don’t like.  Think about what message you want to convey to your visitors.  Do an outline of the pages you want on your site.  Consider colors photos and content, and at least have some idea of what kind of feel you’d like your site to have.  Being able to bring this information to your web designer will greatly improve how successful your website will be and how it will work for you and your business.

  1. Your Website Will Look Different on Various Devices

Your website needs to be responsive, which means it can scale to look good on all kinds of screens, whether it’s a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, or a cell phone.  It will also look different in various web browsers such as Edge, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.  This is a huge consideration, especially on mobile devices, because Google now penalizes websites in its listings if they are not mobile-compliant.  It takes some testing to make sure your site looks like it should in as many places as possible, so choose a designer with the experience and expertise to make it work properly.

Thinking about these issues before you hire a designer will save you time and money down the road, and you will get the most bang for your buck from the beginning to ensure your success later on.

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