Although amateur web content can contain all of the various elements that a professional web designer would implement the knowledge of how to get the best from these elements isn’t always available or present. As a professional web developer based in Preston, Lancashire I have found that a lot of amateur sites aren’t well designed at all having quite often been designed by the person that either runs/ owns the business and has “glued” it together using drag and drop sites. Whilst this is great for a blog on a professional site that is aimed at generating another source of revenue to the business this can have the opposite effect causing customers to go elsewhere because they don’t feel the site is somewhere that they want to be. As Brinker (2017) writes in his article
“Have your website professionally designed. It shouldn’t look like it was built by a 6th grader.”
This means there shouldn’t be anything there that you don’t need to see such as superfluous content.
What I have also found is that quite often a lot of amateur sites are if not built by the business owner are built by a family member who knows how to steer a computer and build a website but doesn’t know much after that – again causing the page to have no customers and produce a negative ROI. A professional on the other hand knows how to design that site that drives customers towards the business they know how to maximize a customer’s potential and ensure that you get the maximum return from each customer.
A professional web developer will take the design process at a speed that is suitable for the application that they are building and at all time will usually communicate with the customer so as to ensure that they are happy with the work that has been produced. They will take into account what a page is going to look like will it fit the rest of the website template and the content on that page will it be too much or not enough to get a point across to the customer. Not only will a professional consider the contents of the pages but they will also consider the after-build aspects of the site such as how the site will perform and how they can help it perform in such areas as SEO. It is also important that when building a website that certain criteria are met in order to get the best from it and quite often these criteria are ignored by the amateur DIY style website builder. A professional will take these criteria and apply them to every element of the production from the initial design phase to the completed build. These criteria are often comprised of:
- Use of established social media channels that allow access to customer that may previously have not used the business
- Good link building practices and plans – Not too many links that the site looks un-natural & not too little that the site isn’t getting access to the traffic that it could potentially achieve
- Well written content that makes good use of keywords within the text where appropriate so as to avoid any search engine penalties as a result of poor quality links from irrelevant content (Google Penguin September 2016)
The perfect blend of this all depends on the target audience of a website & their online abilities. As more & more people are born into the digital age these people are going to have more and more contact with digital products. The fastest growing of these being E-Commerce, worth in 2016 to be estimated to be £133 billion. This owing to growing use of the smartphone and “I want it now” culture of today’s fast-paced modern society.
E- Commerce has long been considered a market that every website must have from the dot-com bubble of the 90’s to the present day. Ever since the first item was purchased almost 25 years ago E-Commerce has been a market that has never stopped growing. Amateur web developers can often overlook just how important E-Commerce can be for a website in terms of features and what these features can do in terms of driving money into a business. An amateur also tends to forget the importance of SEO in the E-Commerce section of the website (this is assuming that they have added the feature to their site that they are working on). A professional on the other hand has got a lot of experience in web development and understand that the features of a website should also be optimized to get the very best out of them, especially when it provides an opportunity to drive more money into their customer’s business and help the professional customer realise that their ROI has been worth every penny that they have spent on it.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that in order to get the best from your website unless you are very confident in your own web development skills as a none professional leave it to those that are professionals. Otherwise, your efforts to maximize your ROI from your website could be doing more harm than good. SEO is a very competitive world but also a word where a mistake isn’t corrected by saying sorry or a change of tactic it can have far reaching consequences especially with the introduction of Google Panda & Penguin. So much so in fact that you may even find that your website is simply dropped from the rankings on not just one search engine but if the mistake is bad enough perhaps all of them. It is also advised that you leave your web content to the professionals as well as they have studied how a person interacts with what they see on screen and are best placed to create a design that allows your site to maximise the revenue stream that comes from it as well as your overall ROI on the project, they also know just what way that your new site can access the target audience in ways you never thought possible. A professionally built website can offer you so much more than a website that you build yourself, you don’t have to worry about the site as they have the time to dedicate to the construction of the site whereas you may not.