No matter what size your business is, there are very few that can get away without having a website. And, even those that do get by sans website would do exponentially better by leveraging the power of a business website.
One of the most frustrating aspects of creating a website is, however, knowing exactly what you need – and what you don’t.
While the amount of information you can get your hands on online really is wonderful, it is, as you already know, a double-edge sword.
- Which web design and development services for small business do you really need?
- How much should you actually be investing in web design and development?
- Are the responsive web design services you’ve heard about as important as they seem?
To be as honest and straight to the point as possible, it depends.
Not as helpful as you were hoping?
Then let’s dive into those three questions a little bit more to hopefully provide you with some much-needed clarity about creating the best website possible for your unique business.
Question #1: Which web design and development services for small business do you really need?
First of all, although the internet loves to group “web design and development services” together as one singular entity, they really are quite different.
When creating a website for your business, you need it to be developed and designed.
While the development side focuses on the customer experience and how it functions, the design side focuses more on the aesthetics, as well as the content.
To keep things a little bit more clear, we’ll separate this answer into two parts: Design Services and Development Services.
The better the design of your website is, the better it will perform. And that’s (almost always) a guarantee.
In order to develop a brand that actually stands out and attracts customers online, it needs to have a memorable impact – and that starts and ends with web design services. Whether your website is a single page or a robust multi-page site, the design matters all the same.
Ignore it, and suffer the consequences. (Okay, that sounds a little too serious maybe, but you get the point!)
Although you’ll find web developers who also offer design services, it’s a good idea to make sure that who you’re working with when designing your website has the experience (and portfolio) you want.
Yes, the worlds of design and development do overlap, but being an expert in one doesn’t necessarily mean you automatically become an expert in the other.
To create the aesthetic you want on the pages of your website, you need great design services, which sometimes (not always) means you need to work with a different company or individual in order to get the right result.
Only focusing on the development of your website and glossing over the importance of design will take away from your business’s bottom line.
One of the most important aspects of web design services is creating awesome branding for your business. Without great design, you’ll have a difficult time getting the results you want from your marketing efforts.
That means that, before choosing who you’ll be working with for web design, you need to be sure that the individual or company has a good grasp on what works (and what doesn’t) in terms of marketing. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a very beautiful website that doesn’t convert.
Another important aspect of web design is the content you put on it, which is actually something many businesses and business owners overlook altogether.
Although Google and other search engines can get a general idea about what your website looks like (for example, how long your visitors stay on a certain page), for the most part, search engines are blind to aesthetics. To help them see, you need to offer the right content.
When creating a list of the web design services your business really needs, content creation, therefore, needs to be at the top of the list.
The best web design services include a solid combination of creative design and smart content, which usually means you need to work with a company that focuses on hiring professionals that do both – or, you need to seek out individuals for each role (branding and copy).
As awesome as your website design is, it really is only as good as the developers behind it. How useful is a beautifully detailed and painstakingly maintained classic car if it doesn’t start?
Investing in web development services is a must if you want your website to function. That doesn’t mean, however, that there is a one-size-fits-all answer to the type of development services you actually need.
You’ll find a lot of people online talking about UI vs UX design, which can leave you feeling like you need to choose one over the other when it comes to developing your website.
It is, however, actually a false belief.
UI and UX need to work together in order to create a functioning website. UI stands for User Interface and UX stands for User Experience – and both are very necessary.
While UI covers the graphic design and code behind the way your website looks, it’s UX that makes sure all of your visitors’ needs are met from the moment they arrive on your pages.
The debate you do need to pay attention to is Template Development vs Custom Design Development.
While templates serve their purpose and definitely offer value, a custom designed (and developed) website is the only way to make sure that all of your business’s unique needs are met and its values are represented.
In the long term, a custom developed website will evolve with your business, giving you the options you need to grow and scale.
A template, on the other hand, will almost always be outgrown, which often means that the investment is short-lived.
Question #2: How much should you actually be investing in web design and development?
True or false: The nicer a website looks, the more money it costs.
If you answered false, then you understand the realities behind creating a website – it’s so much more than just appearance. There are lots of great looking templates available for you to use when creating a website, and a lot of them are completely free!
Today, if you put two websites side by side and only offer a screenshots of how the pages look, it’s almost impossible to tell which cost more money.
That means that, if you’re wanting to invest a lot of money in a website for your business with the sole purpose of it looking nice, then you’re probably not making a smart investment.
If, on the other hand, you understand the experience you need to provide your visitors and customers in order to generate more sales and loyalty, then investing in a more expensive website might just have the pay off you’re looking for.
True or false: I should only look at the cost of website design and service when making my final decision.
Hopefully, you understand why answering false is so important.
While the total cost can seem like a smart bottom line to adhere to, the reality is that there is so much more to consider when deciding how much you should invest in your website.
Every year of experience, every unique skill, every strategic tactic your website design and development team brings to the table impacts the total investment, giving you so much more to consider than just the price tag.
If you only work with the team or individual that is within your comfortable budget, then you put your business at risk.
By paying more for experience and expertise, you can avoid major pitfalls, ones that can actually destroy your business if you’re not careful.
Deciding how much you should invest in your website really does come down to what you have (and want) to bring to the table. You need to decide:
- What Your budget Is
- Which Technical Skills You Have (Or Want To Develop)
- How Much Time You Want To Invest
Rather than asking “how much should a website cost,” you need to be considering what matters the most to you: What do you value and what do you need help with?
If you can focus on this, rather than cost, you can feel more confident about the investment you’re making.
While some people might value certain web design and development services over others, only you know which are the most valuable to your unique needs.
When it comes to building your website, the final investment you make really depends on the four resources you bring to the table:
- Design Skills
- Technical Skills
Which resources do you have the most of? Which resource are you lacking? Knowing where you stand allows you to better spend your money, making sure that the investment you make is well worth it.
Tempted to say that money is the resource you’re lacking most?
In most cases, it’s actually the one that you have the most flexibility with. And it’s exactly why only focusing on how much a website costs is so dangerous.
In most cases, it’s worth your money (whatever the cost might be) if you end up saving time in the process of creating a website.
Question #3: Are the responsive web design services you’ve heard about as important as they seem?
Answering this question is actually easy: Yes!
Making sure your website is responsive by choosing the right web design services is critical for your business’s success. Having a responsive website means that it adapts instantly to the type of device your pages are being viewed on.
Knowing how interchangeably most people today use their desktop and their smartphones (not to mention tablets, etc.), you quickly understand why having a website that works across devices is so important.
Investing in a responsive website also means that you improve your visibility in search results.
It’s a known fact that all search engines give preference to websites that are responsive because they know that there is a much better chance that visitors will have a good experience, regardless of if they are on their phone or laptop.
Feel better? Good!
Have more questions? We’re on it.
Our team at FreshySites are (friendly) experts in the world of web design and development services and we’re here to help you make sure that your business is set up for success online.