Professional Web Design in the Era of Do it Yourself Site Builders

Advancements in the technical industry have brought about vast improvements in software. The creation of WordPress democratized and streamlined internet publishing. Website builders such as SquareSpace, Shopify, and Wix have taken self publishing capabilities further by making the process of website development just as smooth. One can now build a website with little to no knowledge of basic web languages such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript or design concepts such as layout, typography, and color theory.

However there are reasons why you still may want to bring in a professional in to handle your website project. We can give ourselves a massage or do our own hair, but we can’t recreate the same experience or result of an experienced massage therapist or hair stylist. Even with the advent of advanced site builders, I still see professional web sites designed in poor taste or weighed down with superfluous features. I sympathize with those wondering why their website isn’t succeeding and the end users who have a rough time navigating through the web content of something they’re really interested in.

When it comes to hiring a professional for any task that you could do yourself, knowledge, wisdom, experience, time, and resources are deciding factors.

Get Advice on the Best Tools for the Job

A professional will be able assess your project and recommend the most appropriate software. There are a plethora of templates, plugins, and platforms spread across a multitude of marketplaces and I’ve evaluate a lots of web software throughout my career. Great software options available; however many times the marketing is a lot better than the actual product. For example, I always prepare for a rough time when a potential client comes in asking for help with a popular, featured packed WordPress theme from ThemeForest.

Although WordPress is my favorite platform and the content management system I choose for most projects, I’m well aware of its limitations. There are times when Drupal, Shopify, a custom Ruby application, or even a full development team may be a better fit for certain projects.

Benefit from the Wisdom Acquired From Working in the Field

As an experienced designer, I’ve made and learned from lots of mistakes. A professional can draw from their accumulated experience and extend a friendly warning if the direction of your project will cause problems down the line. I often see this issue arise with potential clients who have invested emotionally and financially in a particular platform that isn’t suited for their project or uses attractive but low-quality software. Even when advised that the chosen direction will cause problems and become more costly down the line, there’s a lot of resistance to starting over with a proper foundation or taking care of necessary maintenance to prevent problems down the line.

Getting off to a good start with proper research and planning is crucial to achieving your goals. Many web professionals, including myself, would be happy to offer complimentary advice and recommendations as a service to the general community because saving anyone from the pain of cleaning up a bad software project benefits us all.

Profit From an Existing Knowledge Base

Without knowledge of coding or the basic principles behind content management systems, the simplest bugs can become very elusive. We all have to start from square one at some point; however, if you’re not interested in pursing the knowledge-path of web development then it may be better to ask for help, or pay for professional assistance when issues arise. Its a great feeling to see my clients empowered with the knowledge of what caused a bug and relieved from frustration when their website starts working again.

So, in the nutshell, please consider getting the advice of a real live human being and doing adequate research before building any website!

Thanks for reading and see you next time.

2 thoughts on “Professional Web Design in the Era of Do it Yourself Site Builders

  1. That Yale website was just — wow. You’d think they have the budget for a real designer. All points well taken! Love your articles, and of course, your work. :.)

    1. You would think, but maybe they’re too busing learning about Ivory Towers. You’re expert at this so you’ve must really being seeing this ever-changing technical landscape. Thanks for the comment!

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