Quality Website Design

Does your small business really need a website?

“A plumber’s customer had a leak in his house, so he went online to “Google” the plumber’s phone number. But because the plumber didn’t have a website, his customer wasn’t able to find his phone number, and called his competitor instead.”

Stories like this happen all the time, especially involving people under the age of forty. For them, the internet is now the “go-to” way of accessing information.

So, yes, in this day and age, you need a website. No matter the size or type of your business, you need a website in order to market yourself, gain traction in your industry, or simply be found by customers. Even if you don’t sell products or services online, that is now where the majority of customers’ decisions are initiated. So if you don’t have a website, or are only listed in the directory sites, you’re losing customers. It’s as simple as that.

Of all the advertising and marketing methods available to businesses, websites are the most effective and efficient. Compared to other forms of advertising, a website is much more inexpensive, but yields better results. In the past, many businesses have spent up to thousands of dollars a month on “traditional” advertising. Once they would get a website, they would stop running that advertising, yet still gain more clients! These businesses have been able to lower their costs and increase their revenue through their online presence.

The simple fact is that if you can't be found online, you appear to be out of business. And that can put you out of business. A website can help to legitimize your small business. There’s nothing more unimpressive than getting online to check out a business or service that you’ve heard about, and finding nothing but online yellow page listings and review sites.

If you are a small business without an online presence, you are missing a great opportunity to be there when potential new customers are looking for your product or service in your area. Customers are looking for what you have to offer. Will they find you?

Why "Free" Websites Just Don't Work for Business
Now that you are convinced that you need a website, how do you go about building one?

Many small business owners believe they can build a site by themselves at next to no cost. There are plenty of web hosting companies out there that allow you to make a website for “free.” You can get a website builder, domain name, disk space and even an email account – all for “free.” Sound too good to be true? Well, we all know that with “free,” there is always a catch. With “free,” they always get you in the end. “Free” is just a distraction. One way or another you will pay - and if you do not pay, you suffer.

In business, there is no such thing as free or cheap. If someone is offering you something for “free,” then they are really trying to sell you something else. If someone is offering you something cheap, they are actually offering you something that is really not very good. If you make the mistake of opening an account with a company offering you a “free” website, here is what you really get:
  • Very limited disk space. Your website needs to be small and have few images.

  • Limited bandwidth. If your website suddenly gets a lot of traffic, the website will most likely crash or deny access to most of your visitors.

  • Your domain name will be ugly. Something like "www.yourwebsite.freehosting.ab.com." Not very memorable.

  • You do not own the website. Read the fine print. They own your website and they can do whatever they want with it. If they want, they can shut it down and send you a email saying, “Hello Free User, we shut down your website. Have a nice day.” It happens.

  • They will advertise on your website. You are getting a free website because they put their advertising on your website. You have no control over the placement of the advertising. You do not get any of the money they make. And you may even be embarrassed by the products or services they advertise.

  • Little or no support. These companies run on a tight budget with very low margins (remember, you did not pay them anything), so they are not able to spend time and money helping you with your problems.

  • Most search engines ignore free website hosts. Search engines know that people who use free web hosts are not serious about providing quality information to visitors. The idea is that if you are not willing to pay a few dollars a month for quality hosting and a domain name, then you are not serious about providing quality content. And if search engines ignore you, so will potential customers.
Why You Need a Professional Web Design Business Like
CT Graphics to Create Your Website
It’s simple: The quality of your website reflects on the quality of your business. Right or wrong, customers often judge whether or not to do business with a company solely on the basis of their website. Your website is the face of your company, so you need to make sure it’s professional, looks great, is easy-to-use, and provides a level of service comparable to the rest of your business.

In business, time is money. Professional web designers can save you the time in creating and putting your website online. If you were having problems with the lighting in your building, you would call an electrician. If your pipes freeze and burst, you call plumber. If you need a quality website, you call a web design business. A full service web design business covers many areas - web design, web development, programming, graphic artistry, S.E.O. management, maintenance or updating, marketing, and more. If it was simple, everyone would be doing it. Always use the right person for the job.

If you’re just starting your business, or already running a small business, hiring a professional web design company may seem unnecessary, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s why you should hire a professional:
  • They know what they’re doing. A professional web design company simply has more resources and experience than you do. When you hire a professional web design company, you have a team of professionals that make websites day in and day out, working to create the best possible web site for your business. Design, programming/development, and optimizing your site to rank higher in search engines, are generally each handled by separate employees. Would you rather have a web site created in this manner, or by yourself—learning as you go, and hoping that you’re doing things the right way?

  • Stick to what you do best. Just as you know your business better than anyone else, a professional web design company knows what type of website your business needs. Essentially, a web designer applies all the principles of graphic design to the web—only they know how these principles need to be re-thought so they do apply to the web. Trying to learn web design on your own is simply too time consuming, and will test the limits of your patience to the fullest possible extent. Running your business is tough enough. As they say, “Keep your eye on the prize.”

  • A website is your online representative. Would you lay the foundation for your new home yourself? Or would you hire someone who knew nothing about interior design to decorate your new home? Most of us wouldn’t. We would hire professionals to insure that we get the best results possible. A professional web designer knows how to direct your website to your target audience. First impressions are very important and if your website represents your company in a professional manner, you will gain customers that would be missed or lost if your business was misrepresented.

  • You will be hiring professionalism. When hiring a professional designer, not only should they know how to create a beautiful image, but also how to give you the image that’s effective for your business and industry. A skilled designer should know the important aspect of marketing as well as creativity. An effective website should be unique, easy on the eyes, have easy navigation, load efficiently, and work properly with all the major browsers.

  • Stay one step ahead of the competition. Competition is present in every industry, and businesses are using the internet to gain that edge over the competition. If your competitors have a web presence before you do, they are already a step ahead. But, if you launch a more effective website, you will have that edge.

  • Customization will make you unique. How are you going to make your website stand out? Professional web designers can provide custom features that you may need for your website, such as contact forms, galleries, forums, and other special scripts that are simply not available with pre-made templates. If you have a website built with a pre-made template and in the future you want to expand it, chances are you will have to rebuild the whole site again to include the custom features that you need.

  • Communication is key. A professional web designer is experienced in knowing how to effectively communicate your message by presenting your information in a clear and concise manner, as well as relaying your message through the use of colors, fonts, shapes, layouts, and more to deliver the message that best represents your business.

  • The power of search engine optimization. One of the most important factors about a web site is its presence in the search engines. It is useless to have a great website if it does not show up in the search engine results. A high search engine ranking is important because they are free and are usually the number one way potential customers will find you on the internet. A professional web designer will know how to develop your website in a way that search engines can easily read and rank your page. This is known as search engine-friendly. The result would be a decent ranking in the search engine listing. This is the most effective and legal way to insure top rankings for your web site.

  • Browser compatibility is essential. Browser incompatibility occurs when a website doesn’t show the same way, or appears “broken,” to site visitors on different browsers. The reason for this is that different browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) have different standards for displaying web pages. What looks perfectly fine in Chrome may show up as a jumbled mess in Internet Explorer. Professional web designers are skilled at knowing how to make web sites display properly on a multiple browsers. An efficient web designer will test your web site across browsers, insuring that the majority of people on different browsers can view your web site the way it should be displayed.

  • Hiring a professional web design company is a worthy investment. Having a professionally designed and developed website will give your business an edge that no pre-made template website can give you. Your website will be something that thousands of people around the world may view every day. Make sure your website represents what you want the world to see. A pre-made template website may seem cost efficient and easy, but in the long run, it’s more beneficial to your business to hire a professional designer.

Like what you see? Contact CT Graphics now to start working on your small business website today!



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