Website Designer Types and Why Agencies are Worth It

Woman frustrated with design on computer

As an advertising agency with a focus on web development, we’ve been tasked to remake a wide variety of websites.  We’ve seen it all, from homespun creations, to web builders to visually beautiful designs. But why come to us or any agency for that matter?  We’ll go through website designer types, the reasons why some websites just won’t work and why working with an agency can make all the difference.

Website Designer Freelancers

There are website designer freelancers that can make visually stunning works of art with all the bells and whistles. However they don’t always work?  Why? The design may not reflect the nature of the brand or the customers you’re looking to serve. Without proper branding research, all that hard work won’t speak to your focus audience and no matter how amazing the experience is to you, it may not convert the leads you need it to.  

Website Builders

There’s nothing wrong with website builders.  The best in the business use themes as a basic structure and are great for just starting out. On their own, they can be effective, easy to use and quickly produced. But when you use them, you run the risk of turning out something cookie cutter and uninspired.  If you’re not versed in using these templates, you could come to roadblocks and have to sacrifice your vision.

Websites you do Yourself

These websites can be the best, or worst, option for you.  If you’ve got the time and the knowledge, putting together your website can be a great opportunity.  You can realize your vision, show your brand exactly as you want to portray it and you have complete control.  Conversely, if you have limited experience building websites, you could publish something that isn’t a true representation of your brand. If you do find yourself building your site, think about all the elements you need outside of design, such as responsiveness, mobile accessibility and speed optimization. Otherwise, you may be stuck with a pretty site that isn’t very user friendly.

Why an Agency is a Good Idea

In all the types of websites out there, there are a couple things that can make or break your website and online presence.  Besides branding research mentioned above, the major things are a website without a good user experience and lack of search engine optimization.

User Experience

There are many elements that go into creating a good user experience (UX). It is, basically, the process of determining the needs and predicting the actions of users to create a website that fulfills their intent.

“UX Design is the purposeful application of logic and rationale for creating experiences that offer both utility and value to the end user. It’s a process of deeply understanding the user’s needs and objectives, identifying where their greatest problems exist, and working generatively to ideate ways to solve these problems.”

Scott Johnsen, Head of Design at UserTesting

It’s important that when designing a website that you keep the needs and wants of the end user in mind.  This can be as simple as understanding the way people maneuver through and interact with your site. More complex issues can be responsiveness of the site and the way it displays on mobile devices. A web design without user focus offers little of substance. But having a meaningful, engaging and easily navigable site gives you a better chance of growing and retaining your customers.

Search Engine Optimization

No matter what type of website you have or how good it is, it doesn’t mean a whole lot if people can’t find you.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a complex, constantly changing set of guidelines that tell search engines that you have a site worth visiting.  Following these guidelines will help boost your website up in the ranks, making them visible to user searching for your produce or service. There are some basics that won’t change and most of that can be implemented in the build of your site.  If you have a good designer, they’ll add these as they go. If not, you’ll be stuck with a beautiful site that few will ever see.

Conclusion

Many businesses need a website just to stay relevant. Something that can be reached by their current customers for basic information or for potential customers to see for credibility. And that’s okay.  But most businesses need to have an online presence to connect with current and potential customers, offer their products online and meet their business goals. In that case, it’s a good call to work with an agency that checks all the boxes. We work not just to provide a website, but a whole business solution.

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