While we live in a world connected by the Internet, businesses still need a web presence to interact with customers and clients. Businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to multinational corporations, need to have attractive, user friendly websites.
When it’s time to create a new site or upgrade an existing site, businesses turn to professional web designers for their expertise in designing for the web. Professional web developers and designers work with their clients to come up with a website that works for their specific business and needs. However, sometimes there’s a disconnect between the client and the web developer due to a client’s misconceptions as to how web design and development work.
In this article, we’ll explore several of these misconceptions and explain the process of web design and web development, giving you an overview of how the process should work.
Misconception #1: Building a Site is Easy
This is one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to web design. When you’re asking a web designer to design and develop a custom site for your business, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months. If the site is complex or you’re looking for something very specific, then know it will take the web designer some time to come up with the right concepts, designs, etc. It takes time to find the right layout, graphics, features, and more to create a beautiful web site.
Much of the misconception that web design is easy and fast comes from platforms where it’s possible to quickly “snap together” a simple website. Anyone can use one of these platforms to build a simple website. However, it’s important to understand that these sites are limited when it comes to basic functionality, the number of visitors these sites can handle, and custom designs.
On the other hand, when you pay a professional web designer, you should expect that it takes time and consideration to build a quality product. You get what you pay for; expect a complex, custom designed site, expect to pay more and that the process will take at least several weeks.
Misconception #2: Once a Site’s Built, That’s It
Another popular misconception is that once a web site’s built, then it doesn’t need further work. It’s designed, live and that’s the end—let it do its thing. No, at this point, the job has just begun!
Web sites can suffer glitches, get hacked, and more. Not only that, but web design is constantly changing and evolving; regular maintenance is needed to keep your site up-to-date and functional. You’ll also want to keep content fresh in order to gain new customers and clients.
Many businesses use their web designer as part of a team to keep the company site up and running. It takes hard work and investment to keep the site going and get the most out of web site. You’ll accomplish this by having a web designer who can keep your site healthy, functional, and up-to-date with the new technologies and design trends.
Misconception #3: You, the Client, Are Always Right
We’re sorry to bring up this sore topic, but it’s important to understand right from the beginning. The client is not always right when it comes to web design. Your ideas and concepts are valuable and needed for the web site’s design. You’ll also have valuable information about your industry and what motivates customers and clients. However, there are times when the web designer knows what will work best, based on what’s worked in the past.
Many clients end up micromanaging the web designer, which causes tension, delays and more. As the client, you need to understand that a web designer’s job is to steer site design in such a way that it appeals to site visitors, no matter the industry. Now, of course, it goes without saying that you have the best knowledge of your business, what drives customers/clients, etc. You know your brand.
Even so, when it comes to actually designing the site, listen to the web designer’s ideas. They have the best knowledge and experience when it comes to current trends, technologies, and site visitor expectations. They’re the expert when it comes to what works online. So, work with your designer to find the best design for your company’s website.
Misconception #4: The Designer Has Full Responsibility for Designing the Site
Just the opposite of misconception #3, misconception #4 is also common—web site development is wholly the responsibility of the designer. There’s no need to give them input—they’re the expert, right? Wrong! Again, when it comes to web site design and development, it takes the client working together with the web designer to create a beautiful, functional site.
Web design is a collaborative process that involves planning, development, and then site maintenance and support. You and the designer must work together to create the site.
The web designer will depend on you, as the expert of your company and industry, to provide the information needed to create the site from the ground up. They’ll need information on what drives clients/customers, images, text, logos, and more. Expect that you’ll need to help develop design concepts and offer feedback at each step of the way when it comes to site development.
Once the site is ready and live, you’ll need to work with the web developer to keep the site functioning as it should, keep it healthy with regular maintenance, etc. You’ll need a good working relationship with the web site developer/designer to keep your site working to draw in new business.
Misconception #5: Web Design Shouldn’t Be Expensive
With the proliferation of free or low-cost web site building platforms available, the thought is that web design isn’t (or shouldn’t be) expensive. The truth is that web design is not cheap.
Just as with any other type of talent, a successful web site designer brings a background of much training and experience. An experienced and talented designer or developer will make your pages shine, which in turn brings more traffic and potential new business. By hiring a professional designer, you’re making an investment in your business.
A well-designed, beautiful web site is an investment and it’s worth paying the money to have a site done well and done right. Invest in a talented web designer/developer and you won’t be sorry.
We hope this article has helped to dispel some of the more common misconceptions when it comes to web design and development. Consider your web site an investment and hire the best designer/developer you can afford. Be sure to work with your designer to develop the best site possible for your business.