As a small design agency in Missoula, Montana, we’re well aware that everybody has a specialty. For some, it’s the strength of their written word, their ability to make the mundane feel magical. Others are natural-born salesmen, eloquent enough to sell ice to the Eskimos. Us? We build beautiful websites designed from the ground up to get your business booming.
“But,” you ask, “Why do I need a design agency?” It’s certainly a good question. With website builders becoming increasingly popular, it’s only reasonable to question why you’d consider paying somebody to do a job the internet insists you can do for yourself. Read on for an insight into the art of web design and the benefits of a professional design agency.
You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression
A cliché, sure, but true. Did you know that 94 percent of web users base their initial judgment of a website on design alone? In a world where the average user takes a grand total of 0.05 seconds to form an opinion on your website, your content won’t carry you if your design is amateurish or off-putting, no matter how strong it is.
If you spend some time absently browsing the web, you’ll notice the same design principles appearing again and again. They may not be immediately apparent, but they’re there—the use of block color to invoke a sense of modernity, blogs laid out in an ‘F’ shape to accommodate our natural reading pattern. Why?
The answer’s simple—these principles work. This is where design agencies shine—they understand these core concepts and apply them appropriately to attract visitors. Design agencies keep up to date with the latest trends, allowing you to breathe easy knowing you’re not about to join the 94 percent of websites people dislike passionately enough to provide feedback about.
Time Is Money
When you see advertisements boldly stating that anybody can build their own website with this or that builder, they’re not lying. It’s absolutely true—if you choose to, you could create your own site with these services’ tools. What the ads don’t mention is that the website you build is likely to be horrible. That’s no slight on you—our first website was awful, too.
Design agencies represent thousands upon thousands of hours spent building websites. Over that kind of time, you get pretty good along the way. While you can always practice, you’ve got to consider the money you cannot make while learning. If a design agency can produce a quality website in 20 hours, and you take 200 to make something roughly equivalent, that’s 180 business hours paying your salary, with no return on investment. A design agency’s fees save you money in the long run, leaving you time to spend making a profit on the back of high-quality web design.
One of the biggest mistakes you see amateur web designers make is their failure to pick a theme and stick with it. You can probably think of a site or two with these issues—websites with beautiful, minimal landing pages, leading to sub-pages laid out entirely differently, clogged with pictures and .gifs. You may not think this matters, but it does to potential customers. In fact, 38 percent will stop engaging entirely upon reaching a page that isn’t pretty enough.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, design agencies know their stuff. They’re trained to understand user psychology and what can potentially deter audiences. Equally, they understand what users find appealing and will factor that into building you a stylish, cohesive website.
Speed, SEO and Site Traffic
Ads touting web builders rarely stress the importance of site speed. They should, of course—on average, slow websites cost online retailers $2.37 billion per year. There’s an art to building websites that’s rather complicated to explain, but essentially the components used to construct it have a significant impact on your loading speed. Taking too long? 39 percent of your users are gone.
Websites also need to be optimized for search engines to accrue traffic naturally. Builders try to incorporate these principles but do so rather poorly, damaging your site’s chances of appearing anywhere near Google’s first page. When only 0.78 percent of users even check Google’s second page of search listings, that’s tough to overcome. Design agencies consider all the above when designing your site, highlighting your content rather than poor site performance.
Let Us Help
If you have faith that your business has a valuable service to provide, you need to give users a reason to share that faith. A self-made website may seem cost-effective, but as we’ve covered above, it’s likely to cost you money in lost opportunities and any issues that arise. We at Web Tree Development are a small design agency in Missoula with the tools to make your business stand out. We offer WordPress design and hosting, so contact us now to schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation and put your website on the map.