You’ve just decided that you want a web site, and you’re considering on doing it yourself. Or maybe you’re thinking of asking your nephew to do it, because you know he’s pretty good on the computer. Let’s look at a few things that can easily take a ‘good web site idea’ and turn it into a ‘bad web site result’ – a thought that might make you consider hiring a web design expert instead of creating a website on your own.

Before you make any decision, let’s look at why web sites fail. And by fail, we mean, they do not accomplish what the owner wants.

Do-it-yourself web sites are often very easy to pick out because of poor graphics, poor structure and an unfavourable overall impression (i.e. professional and credible vs. amateurish).

Poor Image
Do you know how to prepare images for the web, or which picture formats are suitable for the web? Poor graphics or poor use of the graphics can turn people off your site, and make your site look unprofessional.

Poor Structure
When you visit a well designed web site, you likely won’t appreciate that it is also well structured. You will, however, notice when you visit a site that does not navigate properly, or lacks good web design techniques. This could include:
• Lack of visual cues that tell a visitor where there are on the site so they don’t get lost.
• Lack of consistent formatting across all pages.
• Lack of consideration for the visitor’s technology being different (scripting turned off, pop up blockers, no Flash plugin installed, etc.).
• Lack of consideration for users who use different browsers (Internet Explorer 6 or 7, Firefox) and different screen resolutions.
• Hard-to-find links.
• High image to text ratio.
• Poor search engine visibility and/or search engine optimization.

Your Audience
Who is your target audience? Do they have dial-up or high-speed connections? Which browser do they use? Which resolution do they have their computers set at? A lot of questions which you may not think of, but a web design expert will.

The real trick in keeping visitors to your site is good content. In a previous e-newsletter to you, we discussed the importance of good content. Unless your site provides regular, new and useful content, visitors will likely skip over your site in the future.

Why hire a web design expert?
According to Mia Wedgebury, regular columnist for the Globe and Mail, Report on Business, and co-founder of High Road Communication, “Now is not the time to try your hand at web design. Leave your online image to the professionals, or at least, to friend or colleague with the right skill set”.1

You know your business and web designers know theirs’. Consider leaving the construction of the site to them. Not only will they get it done faster than you, the time you may have spent on it would be better used to develop the content for your site.

Not comfortable with writing or perhaps business is keeping you too busy? Well-connected web designers often have writers to help get your content prepared and on the site, so you can dedicate your time where it is best spent: with your customers.

Got questions? Send us an email and we’ll be happy to help you out.