There are many misconceptions about what a web designer actually does. We decided to write an article to help show the truth behind the myth of web design
A web designer will meet with their client to find out what they are looking for, provide an estimate of how much the website will cost to make, and help their client understand how a website can achieve their goals. Many steps are taken by a web designer during this time (we will outline Claxton Web Design and Marketing’s steps in another post for comparison later) and from that point the design process will actually start. Now it’s time for some actual myth busting:
Myth: I just tell a web designer what I want and he makes it happen.
Truth: If this is true then this is a web designer you do not want to work with. A web design company that puts out cookie cutter websites will ask you to send them everything you want on the site then put it into a template they have already created. Not much designing happens, they just fill in the blanks. They also do not take the time to get to know your business, your local clients, and your hopes for end results. A good web designer will show you after the initial meeting what steps go into their design process and will make changes to the process according to your feedback or from their experience with prior clients with businesses similar to yours. Then, they will follow each step in detail, working with you on content and layouts to get the perfect site.
Myth: The web designer will write all of the content and find pictures to use.
Truth: That would be awesome! The truth is though that most web designers do not handle any type of photos or texts for the website beyond making them look good on the site itself. You as the client know your business and your vision better than anyone else. You will need to provide clear images and clear edited text. If there is a misspelling in your text then chances are the webmaster may miss it. A lot of times they do not even read it. This is a sad truth but a designer is just that, a designer. The job of editing photos falls to a graphic designer and text falls to a copy editor. Now, many web design companies have these other positions filled by other people and will work with them and use the content you provide to get everything perfect. Finding a balance in cost for all of this work is the toughest issue. Either way you will be providing the content for the website. Claxton Web Design and Marketing of Radcliff, Ky will work with you every step of the way. We can do photography for locals and even know many other photographers worldwide who often work with small businesses. We even have in-house graphic design and copy editing and include much of it in our packages. Do you want articles written for your site? We can handle that as well. Making it easy on you and keeping it affordable are two of our top priorities.
Myth: The web designer will handle my domain names for me.
Truth: The domain you want might be available but it might also cost thousands of dollars to purchase for you. The domain resell market is a giant in the business and domain re-sellers buy up every domain they can think of, mark up the price, and sell to businesses. Webmasters might know how to play this game and get you a domain that is perfect and inexpensive for your business but most do not handle this aspect. It is usually up to the client to find the domain they want and secure it. Then they have to follow the directions if provided by the webmaster, to point the domain at the server that the website is hosted on. Claxton Web Design and Marketing of Hardin County Kentucky will help in this throughout the process. We are the custodians of many domain names that belong to our clients but are held by our company so the client does not have to worry about anything. If a client ever terminates service with us we transfer the domain ownership wherever they say.
This way also our company shows up on the registration page and your personal information is safe from prying eyes. Yes, spam companies use the registration pages to contact businesses since it is required to have an email address and phone number on that page. A private registration costs extra money and many of our clients opt to just have us handle everything.
Myth: I do not have a lot for the site so it will only take a day or two for them to complete.
Truth: It will be a quicker job for a web designer if you just need a tiny one-page site; with not much in the way of design and code you MIGHT be able to get it done in a day or two. However, code and design takes time and input takes time. Most web designers do find themselves at the mercy of their clients, waiting on content requested. This can stretch a design out for months if the client is having a lot of issues and the web designer does not understand how to keep things on budget and within a good time frame. There are many factors and steps to handle with web design and a good designer will follow them all. The quickest we have gotten a site done was four days but we were paid a large deposit, had a strict contract and the site had a much higher cost. It was for a larger company as well and we worked 24/7 over 4 days to finish the project. The good news is the company was very happy with it and we were exhausted. Our turn around on average is two weeks to a month, longer if a client is VERY busy and cannot get content requested to us in a timely manner. Turn around can be shorter if a client already has a site and just wants the site re-designed because most of the content is already on the old site.
Myth: My website will appear in Google, Bing, and others right away at the top of the search results.
Truth: Having a website is an awesome step for any business. Expecting to show up in top rankings on search engines in any easy way is not awesome. The truth is no one really knows how search engines pick what sites to show for what search phrases. There are many good practices that will usually help. I have seen sites with very similar content designed in the same way, with one showing up on the first page of Google and one not showing up at all. This was done in a test a few years ago by a popular SEO company. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Notice that it does not stand for Search Engine Guarantee. Design practices should always keep SEO in mind. Some ways to get you higher in the rankings fall on the web designer, others fall to an SEO expert. Your website is built and it has content. Getting that content out to the world quickly is going to cost you more money in advertising. A good marketing plan should be looked at for anyone who wants to get their website out there quickly. Do not despair however and do not think that this is just more money you have to spend. The truth is, in a small or medium-sized town there are many ways to market for pennies for a click to your site. Many business owners find that adding their website to their business cards and social media gets them the exposure they need. Social media however is another animal to tame in itself. Claxton Web Design and Marketing understands online marketing and handles every aspect of it from social media to getting good local organic traffic to your website.
“Organic traffic” is traffic that comes to your website as a result of unpaid search results.
Myth: Since I have a web designer my site will never get hacked.
Truth: I wish this was true. I really do but it is not even close to being true. One thing we have found through the years is that any website can be hacked and for many reasons. Some reasons are simply because they want to deface the website similar to putting graffiti on public property. Other reasons are much more treacherous and include stealing other people’s bank account information and website user names and passwords. We will write another article on how and why hacks occur but for now, understand that no matter who builds your website it can be hacked. A good web designer will write code that is in current standards and help you choose a host with a good reputation. (See, hackers can hack another website on your server that you do not know is even there. Then because of this hack, they end up in your website too.) This is part of the reason why Claxton Web Design and Marketing will stay with a client for as long as they want. We manage and maintain code to keep it up to date and secure. If a hack does happen we fix it free of charge and this includes keeping good safe current backups of your website. Most web designers only design a site and then walk away from a client. Then, if something changes or needs to be updated, the client has to hire the web designer to come back and fix it, and the web designer leaves again. We know this is tough on a small business to afford so we designed our unique web design and marketing business in Radcliff, Ky to fit real needs of local clients.