Hiring a web designer or developer is almost certainly a huge mistake. It sounds counter-intuitive. After all, in most cases when you want a product or service, you see someone that provides that product or service.
You hire an attorney for legal help, a real estate agent for house buying or selling, a financial advisor for financial advice, etc.
Why would I recommend against hiring a web designer for a website—especially considering I offer expert website services myself?
Web designers specialize in design. Web developers specialize in writing code.
Building fast-loading, high converting lead generation websites is NOT an area where web designers and developers excel.
There are many skills involved with this that they have absolutely no knowledge of or experience with.
- Copywriting (written salesmanship)
- Market and service specific content development
- Lead magnet/funnel development
- Conversion optimization
- Performance optimization
- User experience
- Systems integration
- And many more…
For instance, my web team consists of a web designer, web developer, graphic artist, and several content writers. I personally focus on the higher level skills involved with converting visitors to leads and customers…and I oversee all client web projects.
And that’s just the website side of the overall marketing picture. I’m not even factoring in traffic building, which is even more important.
Your website isn’t just a website
As a business owner in the market for a website, you have a whole slew of idiosyncratic wants and needs.
Essentially, your site is a bunch of pieces of software all cobbled together that must integrate with one another.
You may think along these lines in the beginning…
I just need it to look like this…and I need this thing…and that thing. It’s all pretty simple, right!?
Each and every one of those little wants and needs is, in fact, difficult to find an ideal solution for.
Things like your website platform, website theme which serves as the base design, plugins that add functionality, third party add-ons, and more.
All of these components are grounded in this basic reality…
When you finally have a “complete website”, you have to run, manage and maintain it.
The more design, functionality, code/scripts, and moving parts your site has, the more time consuming and expensive it will be to maintain.
Yes, ideally you should continually improve and optimize it for maximum lead generation effectiveness. Just like your business as a whole, your website is a living, breathing, ever-evolving thing.
But here’s what will happen eventually; you’ll want to integrate something new and things will break.
Since your site is a bunch of moving parts, changes can be like removing pieces from a tower of blocks.
A completely custom design multiplies ALL of your problems.
- Basic problems are harder to troubleshoot inside your idiosyncratic environment
- Customizations and integrations are directly affected by your custom design
If your custom design is poorly built, some customizations and integrations are nearly impossible to deal with. And many optimizations can be out of reach.
Your “custom design” essentially paints you into a corner. You make your bed and now you have to sleep in it.
After paying for a custom design, it’s difficult to accept this reality because you spent a lot of money to get here.
It’s a good thing you’re reading this because you need to hear the truth before making such an expensive mistake.
The right approach
You shouldn’t pay for web design. You should pay for the branding and marketing expertise that goes into your website and overall lead generation efforts.
Start with a simple, rock-solid website foundation with the least amount of visual design, navigational links, images, functionality, and other “stuff” as possible.
My two favorite quotes about simplicity really bring this home:
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
After starting with a bare bones, solid website foundation, then you can incorporate your brand assets to create your website identity and vibe.
Things like your:
- Content images
Your website design doesn’t define your brand. Your brand assets, identity/personality, and connection with your audience defines your brand.
Why this approach wins
When you start with a refined foundation, like what I offer through my expert website services, you’re leveraging known patterns to make changes easier and “future proof” your website.
- Integrations are easier
- Updates are problem free
- Everything is cheaper
And another thing…
The unavoidable consequence of extensive website customization is poor performance and speed.
By leveraging a refined website platform you can maintain performance and make things many orders of magnitude easier on yourself in the long run.
- Don’t even think about paying for custom design
- Pay for custom branding and digital marketing expertise
- Integrate your branding to a simple, rock-solid website foundation
- Keep the moving parts to a minimum
Your website visitors don’t care whatsoever about your custom design.
They come to your site for a specific “promise” they were given by a search result, paid ad, business directory, social media, etc.
Your job is to give them what they need, now. One web page, one goal.
If you have a highly customized design that muddies the water in any way with:
- Slow page loads
- Too much crap to scroll through before reaching the meat
- An annoying, cluttered layout with too many navigation links and pages
Then you have failed your end of the informational transaction! All for a custom web design that serves no other purpose than to feed your ego…