As a new business owner, or perhaps you are an existing Phoenix business ready for a new website, you've decided to hire a professional web designer for the project. Good move, since your website is likely the first impression your customers will have when deciding if they want to do business with you. Let's start your research by answering the following questions.
What Does a Professional Website Designer Do?
A professional website designer is responsible for the look and feel of your website. In professional terms, the design of the site and user experience, or user interface. Note: At a large Web design agency, two different people may perform design and user interface functions.
A web design expert will be concerned with color, layout, effective use of whitespace, typography and fonts, graphics, and images. Design elements controlled by CSS files (Cascading Style Sheets) will customize the site to match corporate branding or perhaps even establish the design standards for a new company as they design the site.
If a website template was purchased, a designer will modify the colors and perhaps customize the layout.
A Phoenix Web Design Company
that doesn't provide SEO Services
may start the web design process by asking for your logo and the colors used in your branding. While those are important elements in the creative process, at BANG! we know in order to achieve first page Google rankings, starting with keyword research and other search engine optimization tasks first, is the right approach. A web designer should only worry about creating a great web design after SEO keyword research has been completed. Our SEO First strategy has helped many of our clients achieve success with their online marketing.
What Does a Professional Web Developer Do?
It's the web developer's responsibility to work with the marketing team on the web project, so their technical skills mesh with the web designer's artistic talents and at the right time. Creating an attractive, functional site that ranks well in Google's search results and has a high conversion rate is a complex task. That's a lot of balancing of skill sets and goals, and they sometimes work against each other. i.e., the professional web designer wants an animated video background, while the SEO expert says no-no, that will make the site load too slow, and we'll fail the Lighthouse tests for performance.
A designer, developer, and SEO specialist may be required to provide professional website design services to the client and cover all online marketing bases.
Should I Hire a Web Designer?
Answering that question requires asking yourself four questions...
- Do I have a marketing budget large enough to pay for a professional?
- Does the web designer, web developer, and SEO expert have more skills than me when it comes to search engines?
- Is it a better use of my time to hire this done vs. trying to learn and do it myself?
- Will I be embarrassed if I build this myself, and it looks like an amateur did it?
If you can answer yes to 2 or more of those questions, you should hire a professional web designer for your website project.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Professional Web Designer?
Probably less than you think, for a simple project without a lot of custom development or SEO, we can build a responsive web site with a CMS (Content Management System), allowing you to make updates to the site for $2,000 to $3,000. Adding On-page SEO increases that cost by $1,000 plus content writing costs.
How Much Does a Professional Web Designer Cost?
Our current hourly rate is $120 per hour with a 1/2 hour minimum. Support blocks of time are available that will discount that rate by 10 to 20% and reduce the minimum billing to 1/4 hour.
What Software Do Professional Web Designers Use?
Many designers use the Adobe Suite of products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. Web developers are more likely to use an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) Software such as Eclipse, Microsoft Visual Studio, or Sublime Text. These are software tools you'll find most professionals using. However, since there is no licensing or testing as to what makes a "Professional Web Designer," you'll also find people with an account at GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace, etc., using an online web development platform to build sites as well.
How Do Professional Web Designers Make Websites?
Many methods and platforms will "make a website." The WordPress platform is the most common and doesn't require a lot of tools listed above. It's easy to use for an experienced web designer but can be complex and confusing for clients to make updates themselves. Other platforms, including the one we use, are easier for clients to use. WordPress has been plagued by many security vulnerabilities and has a reputation for being hacked regularly.
Experienced designers that have been in the business for many years will likely have other platforms and tools they use. The vital part is, does the finished website meet or exceed the goals of the client. Those goals may include...
- Presenting a favorable impression of the business
- Being easy to use and informative for site visitors
- Ease of management of the site for the site owner and the website management company
- Rank highly in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages)
- High conversion rates, meaning site visitors either make a purchase or contact the business to enquire about their product or service