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Like most things in life, website design is something that people think they inherently understand and know how to do. And, just like the out of shape kid who walks overly confidently onto a soccer field during freshman orientation, business owners who attempt to design their own websites often do more harm to themselves than good.

It’s understandable that you would think you know not only what good design is, but how to build it yourself. You spend most of your day on the internet, looking at different websites and dealing with different web-based tools! You know what attracts you, therefore, you know how to build a site that attracts others, right? Wrong.

Good Design Drives Good Results

Today’s professional site should walk the line between cookie cutter corporate and super indie bootstrap blog from the first decade of the millennium. In other words, simply tossing up a free WordPress template and inserting some stock photography into your content isn’t going to get the job done anymore.

There are many--often incredibly subtle--elements to designing and styling a website that only professionals and those well versed in marketing and design know how to do. For example, you might see icons as simple graphics used to “dress up” a page or infographic. In the world of design, says the Avalaunch Media blog, when used properly, icons tell a story.

Another good example is with fonts. You’ve probably heard plenty of jokes about Comic Sans from your friends, but the truth is that choosing a font properly is important. Font choice is not simply a matter of whether or not you like the aesthetics of a font. Everything from the font’s width and size to whether or not you use serifs conveys something about your company to the site reader. There is a great video about the history of typography that explains how this came to be.

Even the colors you use are important. The influence of color on moods and sales conversion has been proven. For example, in theater, experts warn against using too much red in a set or lighting design. This is because the longer people look at the color red, the more likely they are to become angry. With marketing, the opposite is true: red calls attention to specific words or spaces (but it is still a good idea to use the color sparingly). If you want to increase your conversion rates, you need to cater your color choices to your audience demographics. The only universal truth out there seems to be that nobody likes orange. The use of blues helps build trust.

It can take years to learn how to design for someone else’s tastes besides your own. And remember, that is exactly what your company’s website is supposed to be doing. Your professional site is not a means to convey your own personal leanings or ideas. Your professional site is supposed to draw in other people.

This is why it is always a good idea to hire a professional to handle your site’s design and web presence. Professionals have put in the time and effort to learn how to convey your messages graphically so that they will be appealing to your audience.

Of course, before you sign any contracts it is vitally important to “vet” your potential designers. Remember, with today’s employment market consisting more and more of freelancers, anybody can claim to be a site designer. Don’t just look at the pretty screen caps on a designer’s portfolio site. Actually contact those companies and see what they thought of your potential new hire. Ask for mockups and ideas. And be prepared to pay for these services. The good designers do not do business on fiverr.

In addition to what others have thought about your potential site designer, how do you feel about this person? It’s important to hire someone with whom you have a good rapport. This is important everywhere, but it is particularly important with designers. You need to work with someone who can translate your own personal language into their professional lingo so that your ideas and needs are properly conveyed in all of those ones and zeroes.


It might take time to find the right person or firm, but once you do, we promise: your site will be all the better for that effort. Your conversion rates and profit margins will thank you. 

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