This might be a quite controversial question, but at a time of drag-and-drop and DIY website builders, a fairly reasonable one.
When I started off as a web designer 15 years ago, the Internet was completely different. Most small companies didn’t have websites and when business started to happen online as well as offline, they started to hire a web designer to build a website.
In those days websites were mostly custom designed and developed from scratch. Web designers did get a brief, come up with a draft design, get feedback, and then developed a functional website matching the costumer’s corporate identity and requirements. In most cases they also managed it for the client, making changes and edits over time.
What has changed?
Nowadays, businesses can sign up to a self-hosting website builder, like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace and set-up a website in literally a couple of minutes.
So a lot of people started thinking that it was unnecessary to hire a web designer because the new technology allowed them to do much of it themselves.
In a way it is a positive thing in that it helps a lot of small businesses with their tight marketing budget, but also a negative thing in that many web designers are out of work while businesses are creating poor, unprofessional, ineffective websites which all look similar and do not stand out to their existing and potential clients.
What kind of work are web designers doing today?
With these changes in the industry, web designers had to adapt to the technology and consumer requirements in a way that, instead of just designing websites from scratch, they now do a whole host of tasks and services that expand well beyond that the title might suggest.
Services might include:
Website consultation, i.e review and analysis of existing websites, help and advice on SEO, website planning and needs assessment, website wireframes etc.
Website project management, website planning and liaising between the client and their appointed agency.
Website Design, based on the clients requirements this can be setting up a website template to match corporate identity or a fully custom designed and developed website
Website support, maintenance, fixing website problems and errors, training on working with website builder etc.
So, do you need a web designer?
Well I am obviously biased, but it really depends on your situation and requirements:
What is your level of expertise with technology?
How much time will it take away from building your business and how much money would that cost you?
What is your online strategy?
What could you be missing out on?
The expertise that a professional web designer can bring to a project is often underestimated, so it’s good to try and figure out whether or not you’re making big, costly and timely errors by going solo instead of managing your business.
Benefits of working with a web designer
Saving valuable time to concentrate on your business
Web designers are needed and still are a critical part. If you want your website done correctly and effectively, you need a website expert.
Yes, you can learn and spend your time on tutorials, but this time might be better spend to manageand grow your business.
Let an expert website designer take care of your business website and handle your online strategy, site design, SEO and hosting so you can focus on growing your business and looking after your customers.
Please get in touch if you need any guidance, help and support with your business website.