The fact is that pretty much anyone can build a website these days. With the multitude of the free tools around or by using the cheap do-it-yourself subscription models you might even end up with something that looks OK.
I even heard of one company that claims to build you a fully functioning website, with original images, icons and copy within a day. I have to be honest (and not just speaking from decades of experience), but these claims fill me with as much confidence as a Rembrandt painting-by-numbers kit.
Do you care about your user’s experience?
There are two basic reasons that a company chooses to have a website (three, in actual fact).
1) Firstly, the people responsible for generating more sales in 99% of businesses realise that most people today go to the internet before making any buying decision. And when these ‘potential customers’ search online for the things that their business sells, they would like its shop window to be within reading distance. Then, once they have got the attention of this customer, they want them to go to a shopping cart and ‘buy’ now, or at the very least engage with the website in a way that might lead to a sale in the future.
2) The second reason for a company website is simply to represent the business online because they want to be in control of how the internet represents them. In this case the owners are not looking to sell or generate leads through their website, but simply to be a kind of static shop window.
3) I mentioned a third reason, seemingly as an afterthought, but in reality, this is the most common type of commercial website – particularly for small businesses. Most businesses have a website simply because they think they should. There is no plan underpinning the site, there has been no thought applied to enhancing the user experience, the design is clunky and outdated, it doesn’t accurately represent the products and services, and it often encourages a potential customer to look elsewhere rather than to ‘request more information’.
Advancing technology and new developments
Would you be happy with an accountant who trained in the 1960s, and who has never touched a computer, filing your company’s accounts online for you? Does the idea of a trainee dentist, with three months’ experience, conducting major root canal surgery on your teeth inspire confidence? Or, would you like to arrive in New York for the first time and jump into a scruffy-looking taxi, driven by someone who doesn’t speak your language and who clearly doesn’t know their way around the city? Of course not… So why would you want just anybody to build your website for you?
Like I mentioned at the beginning, with today’s readily available templates and done-for-you services, pretty much anybody can build a website, but if you want one that works for you, chose wisely.
The other advantage of living and working in a technology-driven world is that there are always new developments and innovations being introduced into the market. That is where experience is so important. It is said that to be able to handle your future, you first need to have mastered your past. Here, at Pebble Web Design, we believe that past experience is the foundation for using advancing technologies in the best way. In short, new ideas are only worth adopting if they improve on what was already there.
We love technology here, and test every new thing in the world of website design and development ourselves before allowing it anywhere near our customers’ sites. It is just what we do! That way, our customers can be sure that we are advising them on the best results for them, based on experience – not just what others read about on the internet.
It’s all about your UX… focusing on the User Experience
One of the first things that happens when we start work with a new customer, or the redesign of an existing website is that we ask you to fill in a Discovery Document. This is a critical piece of the journey to creating a website that works for you and your customers. It will identify the audience you are trying to attract, bring out some of your USPs and help to amplify them for you, encourage you to think smartly about the design, content and structure of your site, and gently push you towards considering the user experience you will give your customers.
When you have completed this document, and returned it to us, we can start to talk to you about the details; and between us we will begin creating the framework for your new website.
Let me finish by writing a little more about the user experience. Remember, at the beginning of this article, I talked about the different reasons for having a website? Well, we specialise in the ones that will generate more sales for your company, and the single biggest obstacle that most DIY or budget websites create for themselves is that they don’t consider how a user will want to engage with its features.
In short, you want customers to get from arriving at the first page to pressing the ‘checkout’ or ‘call me now’ buttons as smoothly, happily, naturally and quickly as possible… We call this the perfect user experience and we love making it happen for our customers.
Get in touch if you’d like some help creating a website that works. You can reach out to us by calling us on 01733 902070 or by visting our contact page.