It's true: Anyone can throw together a website.
You don't even need any cash if you're willing to settle for a bargain-basement blog. However, a free or DIY website comes with two distinct disadvantages.
First, it will lack a professional appearance. Just like you wouldn't want your customers to visit you in your office in your parents' attic, you wouldn't want to make your first impression on a prospect with a poorly-designed website.
More importantly, however, website design is way more than design. It's not just fonts and colors and graphics. If you don't take that fact into consideration, you're doing your business a disservice.
Numerous programming languages exist, from CSS and HTML to PHP and ASP. If all those acronyms give you whiplash, it's easy to understand why web design is more than just cramming together a few words and pictures. A basic knowledge of programming languages is necessary to build a website that not only looks great, but also offers enhanced functionality.
Imagine, for instance, that you want your visitors to contact you via a web form or that you want to track your visitors' movements as they move from one page to another. While you can find free and paid plugins and apps to handle some of the heavy lifting, you'll still want to customize those tools to fit your website. And that requires -- you guessed it -- programming.
When visitors land on your website, you want them to follow a specific path through the available web pages until they ultimately make a decision and spend their cash. Without a web development team in your corner, however, it's difficult -- if not impossible -- to engineer such precision. Web designers understand user behavior, so they can create websites that subtly influence visitors as they navigate through the site.
Think of website designers as traffic coordinators. Instead of using orange cones and red flares to direct traffic on a busy street, they use design elements and careful copy to change how users interact with elements on a web page. The end result, of course, is higher conversions rates and greater revenues.
A personalized website experience can have a lasting impact on your target audience, according to Meghan Keaney Anderson of HubSpot. A professional web development firm can create personalized elements on your website that create lasting user relationships. If your visitors feel connected to and included in your business, they will be more likely to return a second time -- and to make a purchase.
It all boils down to customization. Yes, web design experts choose fonts and select colors, but they also perform a wide range of back-end services that make your website function more effectively for your business. To better illustrate how website design impacts user behavior and experience, we offer our Growth-Driven Design Playbook for free download. Check it out. You'll be glad that you did.
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