Category Archives: Web Design

What the Customer Saw

A customer came to a store. It was only one store in an infinite row of stores, and they could see that the vast majority of the stores were bright and shining with professional polish. Most of the other patrons on the street veered away from this shop, with it’s odd colors and apparently hand drawn sign. The customer decided to head inside though, since things are not always as they seem.

Inside, they saw a man behind a counter. He was giving them a poorly worded sales pitch, and kept mispronouncing words. He led them around the shop, and showed them what the shop had for sale. Some of the shelves that he pointed to while describing their offerings though were empty, but the customer soon found something that looked decent and decided to buy it.

They picked it up and headed for the checkout, but several times the item jumped out of their hands and back onto the shelf. They eventually got their item to the checkout, and took out their card to pay. As they did though, several men in black coats popped up from behind the counter and took pictures of their credit card before running away.

After checking out, the customer leaves the store, but soon realizes that the men from the store are now following him down the street.

I’m sure you can understand why the customer in this situation won’t be returning to the store. Even more, he’s probably going to warn his friends off the store.

It’s a simple lack of professionalism on the part of the owner. They don’t know what they’re doing, and it shows. They’re going to lose business, because what the customer saw is important.

Told as an actual storefront, the situation is laughable. No shop would be that bad. It’s surprising how often perfectly professional companies won’t think through the need for polish online though. A good looking storefront with solid functionality and security is at least as important online as it is in person. And often it’s much more important, since the customer online won’t see your dedicated staff. They won’t see your superior products. All they see is the storefront, the sales copy, and the products on the shelves.

So if you haven’t yet, look at your company website and ask yourself: What will the customer see?

6 Reasons YOU Shouldn’t Build Your Business Website

It’s easy to build a website for your business, right?


Well, of course it is. Anyone can build a website. There are programs you can download that let you just drag a few elements around with your mouse, type some text, and POOF! they’ll spit you out a website with your business name at the top and a list of your services down the page in comic sans. Now you’ll get a slice of that web traffic and business will boom!


Maybe you know a little more about web design than all that, but in 95% of cases you still shouldn’t build your business website, and you shouldn’t let your tech savvy intern do it either, and I’ll tell you why.


6. SEO


Do you know what SEO stands for? Search Engine Optimization is a critical element for websites, because it determines how appealing your site looks to search engines. As you know, most people who are looking for you online will be doing it through a search engine, and if your site’s not maximizing on the potential for search traffic, that’s money out of your pocket.


5. Professionalism


Probably the most obvious reason is that it’s going to show. A website not built by a professional, is going to look like what it is: unprofessional. You might be a polished professional in your field, but if your field isn’t web design that’s going to show.


4. Efficiency


If you decide that you’ll do your homework and build a near professional looking site that will appeal you customers, that’s great! Except that it’s going to take a lot more work than you probably think.


Building a website isn’t as quick and easy as sketching the layout. You could easily find yourself spending 8 hour day after 8 hour day at your desk trying to figure out why the fonts went wonky or the headers’ a little to the left and won’t move. Why’s that image broken now? Why are all the links dead? Building a professional grade website is a lot of work, and if you don’t already know what you’re doing, the learning curve can be shockingly steep.


3. Security


This is a big one. Nothing sours customers like getting a virus from your site. Let alone if you want to actually sell items from your website. Keeping your website clean, secure, and your customers safe is a job many don’t even realize needs to be done. A website isn’t like a storefront. A hacker could stop by your site this afternoon and find a way to insert a virus straight onto your home page, so that it’ll infect every customer that drops by your site. Just one more reason a site built by professionals is more than worth the money.


2. Customization


“Hang on,” you might be thinking. “If I build my site, I’ll be able to make it however I like. If I have a professional do it they’ll be trying to put their style on it.”


However, the reality is that if you build your own site there will be some things you just don’t know how to do. Lots of little sacrifices you might not even realize your making, because you don’t have the first idea how to put that in. If you tell a professional web designer that you want the site to have a contact form, or dynamic pages, or anything else though he’s going to know how to do that for you. What’s more, the professional will present you with options you may not have known you wanted until he mentioned it.


1. Support


This is a big one. What do you do when the site goes down heading into the busy season? What if your site’s giving out free viruses to customers? What if your online catalog cuts half your inventory out and refuses to show anything but blenders?


You could drop everything, go to your desk, and spend the next 32 hours digging around in forums and source code trying to figure out what’s wrong. Odds are though that if you’re working with professionals, a quick call can have most problems fixed in moments.


So, it’s possible that on top of everything else, you’re an expert in web design. But if you’re not, YOU should not build the website for  your business. It’s not going to look professional, it’s not going to maximize customer experience, it’s not going to maximize traffic, and it’s going to lose your company money. A website is a bit like a store front. It’s not just a vital utility, it’s an investment. And it’s worth paying to do right.


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