Website design is probably the first step in your journey towards building a presence online and because of this, there are many myths of website design that stop or discourage people from getting involved with that very process of getting set up online.
In this post today, I want to share with you some of the common myths surrounding website design.
So let’s start with the first of our four myths of website design.
1. It is very expensive to have a website built for you.
I chose to cover this topic first of all because this is the first one that usually excludes a lot of people when they want to have their own website online. With a lot of people not having much experience in this area it can be a very tricky process to know just how much certain things cost.
It’s no different to any other trade in the respect that, why would you know how much certain things cost if you’ve never had to buy them before. It also doesn’t help when you have tv adverts posted by some big website hosting companies saying you can have your own website from as little as a single £ or $.
You can pick up a bathroom set or kitchen set for free from someone who wants to get rid of theirs but that doesn’t mean that a) its any good or still practical and b) how you fit this new kitchen or bathroom into your own house if you’ve never fitted one before. So although the message is true, yes you can have a website for very little, if you don’t know what you are doing then then it’s about as useful or helpful as a chocolate teapot.
If you did a little research you can find that there are cheap places to register a domain name, you should expect to pay around the £10 a year mark for most domain names unless they are highly sought after names which have been pre bought by domain sellers who are auctioning them off to the highest bidder, these can reach thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of pounds.
Nex up you’ll need relatively inexpensive hosting that provides a solid service and good base features like security and importantly keeps backups of your site. Most budget lines of hosting won’t do this and if something goes wrong your site is down the pan. By inexpensive I’m talking about hosting costing you between £15 and £30 a month for a single website. Yes you can buy it cheaper but I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of the classical saying, buy cheap, buy twice.
Finally, and the bit that is actually free, is a particular website software (that is the best option out there) to have your website built on.
If you didn’t know what you were doing but covered steps 1 and 2 in this list, you could possibly hire someone on a freelance website to build this for you for less than £300 for a base website. Obviously the more bells and whistles you want, the higher that price goes up. It’s no different to anything else, the better the quality of the materials the more you pay.
The one bit that you don’t want to do here is hire someone too close to your personal or business network and what I mean by this is when you are asking for recommendations only for someone to say to you that their nephew or niece does this in their spare time from the back bedroom when they are back from University, or for someone to say that their son or daughter likes computers so they are sure that they can build you a website for £100 as some pocket money.
You may laugh at that last statement but the number of customers we see coming to us who have had someone else ‘have a go’ is actually quite funny but not great for the business. It’s different if it’s your own business and you’ve had a go yourself, I actually applaud you for having the tenacity to try and make it work. One thing’s for sure, that you trying it yourself will reveal just how tasking it can actually be to produce something that looks good and functions properly and as intended.
So here’s to the next point, myth number 2 of website design.
2. It is a very technical process to set up even the most basic of websites yourself.
Again, this is another myth that people believe to be true only because they have not tried to complete this process themselves yet. This is just like anything else, in any other part of life, has a process to follow to get to your end result. It is no different than someone wanting to change a simple part on their car. You have to go out and buy a couple of things, choosing the brand you want carefully and paying the price you can afford, bearing in mind that often the less you spend on something, the less reliable it may be. Then you follow a step by step process to get the old part taken off and the new one put on.
Building your own website gets easier every single time you do it.
Is it technical, always a yes, no matter how many times you do it. Does it being technical mean that others can’t do it, no, not true. If you asked me to come and do your job for a week I bet I’d struggle no matter what your job was. It takes time, effort and a routine to make a success of anything, website design and development is no different.
Here’s the third of our myths of website design.
3. Choosing the look of your site over it’s practicality.
Pleasing to look at website design is obviously an important factor to consider when building your website, but this should definitely not come at the expense of its practicality and it’s ability to function properly.
Quite often I come across websites that look really beautiful and they have a lot of attention to detail included, yet simple things like page links do not work or images have been stretched out of proportion, the contact form is duff or it has a text colour that clashes with its background making it impossible to read back what you had just written. These practical issues should be the first things that are sorted and ironed out before worrying about how pretty you can make it.
The look of a website will become pretty irrelevant to your visitors when it doesn’t actually work properly.
Choose practicality over prettiness.
And finally, my fourth and final myth.
4. Website will look the same regardless of which browsers people use to look at it.
This is a common misconception that people have when putting together a website. Even though website software such as WordPress helps somewhat with this process, it is in fact inevitable that there will be some differences with your website depending on which browser it is viewed within. Some website developers prefer to create websites based on how they appear using their preferred browsers and can even forget to create code that alters the viewing style in another browser. The truth is that different website browsers read HTML/CSS coding in a different manner dependent on how they are configured and since they aren’t all built the same, they will generate different results in terms of how you view a site. A web developer will understand how this process works and would likely configure the build of your website to match a particular number of the most popular browsers.
On a closing note, you should always remember that when you are putting together your website, you should have the thoughts of your visitors at the forefront of your mind.
Although it is your website, your visitors will be the ones that need to be able to navigate through it easily and flawlessly.
If you get this wrong then people may never return again.
If you’d like for me and my team here at the Evergreen Marketing Academy to build your next website then all you need to do is get in touch.