Despite what some design clients think, designing a website isn’t a matter of pushing buttons. If you have years of design experience and keep up on the latest trends and technologies, then you can probably create your own site; but if you don’t have that expertise or are trying to run a business, you’ll have to hire someone else. Don’t hire your friend’s cousin’s teenage son, either. If you want a professional website, hire a person or company that specializes in professional Web design. If you find the right designer for your project, communicate effectively and give the right feedback, your site will be just what you and your business need.
Do Your Homework
Whenever you meet with a designer, you need to have a clear idea of what you want. I’m not saying you need to produce a full mock-up of your proposed website, but you can’t go in with vague feelings and expect the designer to be able to give you what you want. Research color schemes you like, take screenshots of websites you enjoy and write down what you’d like your site to emulate. Define the purpose of your website. Are you trying to get people to read your blog posts, sign up for a newsletter or purchase a product? The designer needs to know so he can base his design around it. If you want an effective website, you must define what your goals are in concrete terms. If you want the process to be fairly fast and easy, you have to communicate well.
Hiring a professional to design your site is better than hiring an amateur and better still than trying to do it yourself. Why is that?
Creating a website takes time. Depending on the complexity and number of pages, it can take hundreds of hours. Do you have time to do that and run your business? Probably not. Plus, it would take you or an unskilled designer far more time to create the same design than it would take a professional. You’ll have to pay the designer — and a good designer will seem expensive — but compare that to how much money you’d lose by trying to do it yourself, and you’ll realize that you come out ahead by hiring a professional.
Even better than the time you’ll save is the experience you’ll be able to harness. Professional designers spend years honing their craft and keeping up with the latest versions of HTML, CSS, PHP, Ruby on Rails and whatever other systems you need to build the site of your dreams. Plus, every good designer has an eye for design. Designers know how to make a site appealing. If you have a horrible idea, a good designer can point it out to you, explain why it’s bad and come up with good alternatives. Designers aren’t there just to turn your ideas into reality; they’re there to keep your bad ideas from seeing the light of day. Trust them and their expertise.