You’ve heard the arguments before. “Building a website without a professional website designer is like building a house without an architect,” or “You wouldn’t design your own clothes, would you? So don’t design your own website!” While we agree that hiring a professional web designer is beneficial, we do think these examples are a bit dramatic, and fail to inform about the pros of hiring a professional. So instead, we’d like to talk about 5 concrete areas where you can trust your designer to bring knowledge and expertise that you might not have.
You might know when colors look bad together, and you might know when you see colors you like. But designers have studied color and understand how to combine saturation, contrast, and tone to build the right mood for your website. You should trust your web designer to provide beautiful color combinations that draw attention to the most important areas of your website.
If your designer returns colors that aren’t quite right, consider being clearer about what you want your website to convey. Sometimes, specifying emotions that you hope your visitors will feel can be more helpful than asking to brighten or change a certain color. That way, you give your designer the freedom to use the knowledge that you’re paying for.
You may not realize it, but in web design there are certain standards or conventions that are usual. For example, the contact page is usually the last item in the navigation menu, and left-aligned text has been shown to be most readable online (not justified). In addition, designers have a deep understanding of composition and how to arrange items in a space to be both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly.
If you are displeased with your website’s layout, try communicating which aspects of the website are most important to you. Your designer can then put a greater emphasis on these areas, and hopefully achieve the balance you’re looking for.
Fonts and the arrangement of words is an essential part of any designer’s education. Beyond that, web designers in particular have knowledge on which fonts are web-friendly and easy to read online. For example, while serif fonts are preferred in print materials, sans-serif are more accepted as standard online. Fonts also convey different tones to the reader which the average person might not be fully conscious of.
Again, communicate with your designer about what tone you hope to achieve with the font. While serifs are generally accepted as more traditional and professional, there are sans-serifs that can achieve the same effect.
Onsite Search Engine Optimization
At Law Promo, our designers are not only interested in the visual excellence of your website, but also that it will perform well on search engines. This is why they may suggest including keywords in places that you didn’t plan on having them; for example, adding keywords to your headings, or using HTML text in a place that you would prefer image text.
Ultimately, your website will not perform well if it isn’t optimized correctly. Keep in mind that any deviation from the most optimized format may impair your search engine ranking down the road.
We’ve built hundreds of websites and have seen how overloading a website’s capacity for data can damage its performance. Nothing irritates visitors more than a slow website or images that won’t load. Your designer will advise on image selection and placement, which when overdone can hinder website performance and overwhelm visitors.
If you are requesting a certain feature and your designer is advising against it due to website performance, consider how essential that feature is. If it is very important, your designer should be able to slim other aspects of the website to accomodate your needs.
Just remember that one of the biggest benefits to hiring a professional web designer is adding years of experience and knowledge to your own, so that the website can reach its maximum potential. Clear communication with your designer will ensure that you receive a website design you’re happy with.