Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, IONOS, and more. The internet is rife with companies that claim to have the formula to make your own website quickly, cheaply, and effectively. If you are looking for a bare-bones, one-page website with no more appeal or information than an old school yellow-pages entry, you may be able to get what you need there.
But if you're looking for a robust website that has information about your business and your industry, acts as a sales portal for any products or services you offer, and is more visible in top website searches, then a professionally-designed website built by experts is a surprisingly cost-effective, competitive way to create a strong web presence for your business in an increasingly digital world.
What Is Web Design? The Trio
To start, let's talk a little about what web design is and how that definition is changing. The literal definition is, "computing the planning and creation of websites" (Source). While that's technically true, web design also involves some softer principles. Some elements of web design carry over from as long as humans have been making art. There are certain shapes, ratios, and color combinations that are appealing to the eye and have made their way through time in all kinds of artistic expression. Those design principles are as important when making a webpage as they are when creating an oil painting. An article in The Smithsonian Magazine explains our attraction to these shapes as "neuroaesthetics" (Source).
Taking it a few steps farther, the more we incorporate doing things online (making appointments, buying anything from craft supplies to technology to clothes, and even adopting pets), the more we need to consider another element to web design. Not only do we have "the planning and creation of websites," but we want the sites based on solid, proven design elements that also guide a viewer to a certain action, like hiring a service or buying a product. By accomplishing all three things:
- Basic construction
- Appealing aesthetics
- Effective function
You've fulfilled what we call the trio of good web design.
What Does A Web Design Company Do?
All of this is why web design firms exist. There's much more to designing a website than just typing your name at the top and including your contact information below. With the web design trio in mind, what makes a professional web design company different from your run-of-the-mill DIY website option? What do the pros do that DIY-ers are less likely to do as quickly or as well?
Web design companies know how to design
Obvious, right? It's right in the name. This refers specifically to those elements of design that the average person doesn't know off-hand, including those mentioned in The Smithsonian Magazine article linked above.
Qualified web design and graphic design professionals are educated on how to incorporate those enticing shapes and signals as well as make a design both look appealing and serve a purpose. They marry form with function. The average person is less capable at doing all of this within the framework of a DIY website helper.
A professionally designed site doesn't get lost in the endless internet shuffle, but can be truly outstanding and visible among competitors' sites. Customers who notice your site and interact with it, while also finding it attractive and easy to use are much more likely to buy your product or hire your service.
Some full-service web designers also offer logo design. Surge Web Design offers this service so that your entire brand–from company logo to company website to business card to business signage to business social media and more–can all be linked with one cohesive design strategy.
Web design is as much about web content as the design itself
A full-service website design business will help you write compelling text for your website. Technically, just an image of The Mona Lisa would make an "attractive" website. It's a beautiful image. But it doesn't say anything useful or new.
If I clicked to a website that was only an image of The Mona Lisa, I wouldn't have a clue about the purpose of the page or why it even exists. I would look to see if it had links to The Louvre or something else informative.
Even worse, imagine you open a page to The Mona Lisa, but it's just completely covered in nonsense words in lots of different fonts to the point that it mars the beautiful art behind it.
The same can happen to you. Whatever your industry's Mona Lisa is, a website that only has a beautiful image or nonsense text about a beautiful image isn't ultimately useful for converting potential customers or retaining the customers you have. Whatever your industry, a good web content writer will devise an appealing way to say what you need while also using important keywords. "What are important keywords," you ask? The next point explains them and just how important they are.
Keywords are part of a strategy called "search engine optimization" or "SEO."
SEO is accomplished when a professional writer does specialized research to find out which keywords (i.e. search terms) people are using when they're searching for information about your industry or business. When the content professional has done the research, they can seamlessly write a website that has smooth, easy-to-read content as well as a built-in marketing tool because they used important keywords throughout the text.
If you want to learn more about how SEO works and can amplify the impact of your website, see our previous blog:"7 Benefits of SEO Marketing".
In short, knowing enough HTML to make your page heading flash different colors is no longer the epitome of website design. The MySpace era of web masters has ended. If you want your website to actually work for your business, then employing professional website designers and improvement specialists like those at Surge Web Design can help you get there. We know how to make appealing sites with useful information and write them in a way that attracts search engine results, bringing in users who conclusively become your customers. Contact us today to learn how we can help you. We're based in Boise, Idaho, but serve businesses around the entire United States.