When trying to answer this question, it is best to understand a website as any location on the internet that you set up yourself and which you control or own. Within this basic definition, there is a great deal of variety.
You could be the head of a successful ecommerce outlet, or you could be the administrator of a WordPress blog that you run for a hobby. To take just these two examples, it is easy to see how you might consider a professional web designer more or less of a priority.
The question of whether to hire a professional web designer, then, depends on what your goals are. To take the example of ecommerce, professional web design services are an investment, and there are many investments that an ecommerce company should consider in the early days. Do you invest in professional web design or expanded order fulfilment? Do you invest in content marketing campaigns or expand your inventory? For small companies, you might well have to pick and choose.
That said, professional web design is something that all professional websites should invest in sooner rather than later. No ecommerce site above a certain size is going to be able to compete without a professionally designed website. Furthermore, while you may be able to handle some of it yourself, following templates and a few amateur tips can only take you so far.
Perhaps the best way to make this call then is to consider very seriously if you actually need it. And the only way you can do that is to understand what professional web design services actually offer – and what a professional web designer can do that you can’t.
What Makes a Good Web Designer
Not all professional web design services are created equal. If you are going to invest, it makes a great deal of sense to create a list of quality that you can apply. Peak Design, a company offering website design and SEO services advise that, with website design being so important for success with certain website types, that company reputation is already a good indicator. But you cannot rely on this entirely. Here is what to check:
They Have Industry Experience
Which means, specifically, experience in your industry. It is not at all uncommon for certain web design companies to specialize in websites for particular types of clients, for example ecommerce, law firm, or public institution web design.
They Have an Approach They Can Explain to You
You don’t hire a web designer and then have done with the matter – you need to work with them. Nevertheless, you also cannot command them in every little detail (if you can, then you don’t need a web designer). Accordingly, a good web designer should be able to explain their web design strategy to you.
They Have an Expansive Portfolio
This is an obvious point and there is not much to say here besides pointing out that if you cannot see previous work by a web designer (and enough of it) then you should be very wary of hiring that web designer.
They Have Competitive Pricing
It can be difficult to compare the prices of different web design companies because their clients demand different things of them, and one web designer could well have a completely different approach from the next. The best advice is to set a budget before you start looking, then you will get an idea of what you can afford.
As we can see then, whether you need a web designer or not depends on a wide range of factors. Some foreknowledge on your part, therefore, is certainly recommended.