So you want a new website and wherever you look, there are scores of adverts from Website Designers inviting you to take up their website services.
The decision may seem boggling but in reality, the answer is incredibly simple……….
Website Designers are not Website Builders.
In fact, the majority of Website Designers are simply Graphic Designers or ‘Marketing Experts’ who have got pretty good at uploading and editing templates from sites such as WordPress or know someone else who can. Some of them may have gleaned a few of the tech basics or employ someone who has a bit of template website knowledge. However, actually building a website requires a whole other level of expertise.
The knowledge and experience required to create and code quality websites takes many years to master and is a continuous path of learning as technology evolves. Something we’ve been doing for 20 years and is not a skill you can learn overnight.
So always make sure you pick a good website builder, as they will not only be able to provide you with a beautifully designed website, they will also be able to build it to your requirements and not just to fit a predefined box.
Unfortunately, this huge difference in capabilities is often discovered too late by business owners.
The deal seems to be great, the design looks fantastic but hold on…………. “why can’t I have this on my site, why does this not work and why are my visitors bouncing at alarming rates”? The list can be seemingly endless and is not only immensely frustrating, it can also impact business too.
I recently saw this in action myself as a ‘friend of a friend’ took delivery of a lovely looking website, ‘built’ by a very charming local website designer.
The sales patter was great, the site looked fab and the owner of the new website had been assured that any future modifications and additions were just a phone call or email away.
Although the owner was pleased with the site, being ‘in the business’ I couldn’t help having a little poke around and it wasn’t long before I noticed issues that could have had a detrimental impact on the website’s performance. I duly let the owner know and feeling hospitable, sent details of what they needed to do to fix them.
Wind forward a few months and as with many businesses, needs change and it becomes necessary to add additional services and information to the company website.
This is when things all start to go horribly wrong.
In their eagerness to secure a sale, many website designers fail to advise their customers of their limitations. They seldom (if ever) explain that the website they’ve just purchased is not adaptable and even if it was, they wouldn’t know how to do it – without spending a lot of money hiring in an expert to do it for them.
It’s a bit like buying a house and then being told once you’ve moved in that you can’t put in a new kitchen or add an ensuite. You’re pretty much stuck with it unless you want to incur massive costs by moving again.
I’d like to say this was a rare occurrence but it’s something we see almost daily. Even simple things like adding a blog or testimonial page is often out of the question due to it requiring a little bit of technical knowledge as they are slightly different to standard static pages. You can imagine how out of their depth many website designers become when you start adding carts, listings etc.!
Being WOW’d by a stunning landing page design is often the deal sealer for businesses and little consideration is taken of what’s going to happen next. This is no surprise as most business owners are not website aficionados and quite rightly, they expect that the person selling them a website knows what they are doing and will advise them accordingly.
Quite often, the first indication that ‘things aren’t quite what they seem’ is the failure to respond to calls and emails. I presume this is while panic ensues as they try to find someone who can do the job requested. Then comes the HUGE quote!
So the choice is simple, limit your business to your website’s capabilities or make sure your website can be adapted to your current and future requirements.
Just as importantly, pick a website builder who has specialised in your specific industry. They will have expert knowledge on how to create a website that works hard for your business and will be more than capable of integrating any industry specific software you require into your site.
The vast majority of our websites are bespoke and made to our clients’ individual specifications, although we do ourselves have a small selection of templates which we have created ourselves for clients in a hurry or on a tight budget.
However, as with all of our websites, we have the expertise and knowledge to adapt them to our clients’ needs. You may in time want to add interactive tools and services so even when you choose one of our templates, you can be confident that it can grow with your business. There are templates and then there are The Property Jungle templates!
Although we do have our own designers, we do occasionally work with some of our clients’ own external ones and often find this very rewarding as we can combine expertise to bring together a comprehensive branding exercise across all platforms and mediums. In fact, sometimes smart website designers (who also offer websites) acknowledge their limitations and recommend our services to their estate agent clients as they understand how technical property websites are and want the best for their clients.
So when you next need a new website, whatever the industry you are in, get the right person for the job.
In the meantime, NEVER MISTAKE A WEBSITE DESIGNER FOR A WEBSITE BUILDER.
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