Given the rapidly changing online environment, you will inevitably hit a point where a redesign becomes necessary. Whether you account for an increasingly mobile audience or simply want to improve your search engine optimization, redesigning your website is often the only choice in keeping your online presence both functional and successful.
When that point comes, you have to answer a single question: should you do your web redesign yourself, or hire an agency? Though the choice is ultimately yours, it requires careful consideration to keep all of the variables in mind. Here's what you should know:
The Challenges Of DIY Web Design
On its face, doing your own redesign brings with it many advantages. It's quick, and perhaps more importantly, cost-effective to build your own site. Especially if you have some knowledge about SEO and CSS, you can start up a site relatively quickly and for little cost.
However, you always need to keep in mind the challenges of this DIY approach as well. They include:
The Need for a Strategic Approach.
Your website, at its core, should accomplish a single marketing goal. You may look to generate leads or engage in e-commerce, but everything on your site should drive visitors toward that goal.
To make that possible, you need a web design strategy. When you build it yourself, it's tempting to jump in and start building your home page and landing pages. However, without a strategy, the end result may miss the mark in terms of reaching your core goal.
Accounting for Web User Trends.
In addition, your website also needs to account for current trends in the web behaviors of your target audience. For example, as mentioned above, increasing numbers of consumers access the web on their mobile devices.
Ensuring Consistent Usability.
Another danger of DIY web design is the fact that it inevitably becomes an inside job. Your users typically won't be exposed to the product until it's finished. How do you make sure that they'll like it?
Without usability testing throughout the process, you'll have no way of finding out. The reason you're engaging in a web redesign is likely because your current version is not performing up to your standards and goals. A website built without testing will not do a better job.
How An Agency Can Help You Overcome DIY Challenges
Given the above challenges, hiring an agency to help you in redesigning your website may be more beneficial than initially thought. Here are just some of the many benefits of working with a web agency:
A Strategic Visitor's Journey.
Most importantly, an agency will help you develop a website that funnels visitors toward your core goal. Taking user behavior into account, professional web developers can help you build a site that guides your visitors from the homepage through relevant calls-to-action.
Working with an agency also means you will have experts by your side that are well informed about both web design details and current industry trends. You may miss a Google algorithm update that requires you to adjust your code for better SEO, but dedicated developers will not.
Testing Throughout the Process.
Finally, your agency will work with test groups throughout the process to make sure that your finished website will meet user expectations and specifications. Website usability testing is a crucial part of any development project, helping you get to the finish line with an online presence you know will work.
The above points leave cost as a major sticking point for most businesses in need of a redesign. Here, the important part is to think of your project as an investment: over time, a great website will attract greater numbers of visitors, leads, and customers. That added return will make the initial investment in professional help well worth it.
Make sure before you dive head first into a redesign project that you are truly equipped to do it internally if that is the route you choose. While doing it yourself seems tempting at first, the benefits of working with an agency speak for themselves.