If you have a toothache, would you go to a chiropractor? Of course not. If you have a toothache you go to a dentist, someone who is an expert and trained to treat oral conditions. This is just common sense. So why would you choose a web hosting company to design your website? This seems a little silly when you really think about it, yet many small businesses are lured into web hosting packages that include website design.
Here are the top three reasons to avoid package hosting deals and go with a professional design firm for your website design:
Reason #1: Knowledge and Expertise
Some web hosting companies offer free or low cost web design if your company is willing to make a one to two year hosting commitment. This may seem tempting, but think carefully before you commit to this arrangement. Without a doubt, the most important reason to choose a design firm over a web hosting company is that design agencies have experience and training in web design. You may have heard that anyone can "build" a website, and to some degree this is true, but not everyone can design a website. A modern, well-designed website takes much more effort and expertise than a hosting company may have the ability to provide.
Reason #2: Functionality
Hosting companies may be able to "build" a website for your company, but they are typically only experts in their primary business function... website hosting. Even if your website appears to be well-designed, it may not be functional. A functional website should have clear navigation, an intuitive layout, and accessible information. The site should also guide visitors through to conversion. An experienced website designer understands how to strategically place “call-to-action” buttons and will design page layouts that clearly guide users to take these actions. This is a pretty tall order for a web hosting company that offers design services as secondary part of a hosting package.
Also see: Your Website Design Shouldn't Suck
Reason #3: Your Reputation and Visibility
Like many aspects of your online presence, your website is a direct reflection of your company. The decision to use a web hosting company over a design firm can make or break your company’s reputation. Your logo, your style guide, and your brand’s identity all have to be properly represented on your website. If these elements are not consistent, users will not perceive your business as professional or trustworthy. In addition to your reputation, consider the effect that poor website design can have on your company’s visibility. You don’t want your website to be buried in Google's search results. An experienced design firm can help to increase your website’s search engine visibility from the start.
Sometimes package deals offer significant discounts on valuable services, but buyer beware. "Cheap" and "convenient" are often just industry code for low-quality, shoddy work. Since your website design is critical to your success, why choose someone skilled in hosting over someone skilled in design and user interface to build it? Choose a design agency with the right experience and you won't have to worry about getting stuck with a website that isn't functional for your business.
Designing a website can be a daunting task; if you feel yourself overwhelmed don't hesitate to seek assistance. Stop by our website design services page, we'd love to help!