My friend and mentor, Michelle Ames, and I have recently been talking a lot about staying within our areas of expertise. This, of course, brought up the topic of outsourcing. Michelle is an accomplished author, coach, speaker, photographer and podcaster (you can listen to her on WPCoffeeTalk).
Looking at her bio you might think she’s a master at everything she attempts. She makes it look easy because she knows when to outsource. She has shared some great questions in this guest post to help you make the decision whether outsourcing your website is right for you.
What if I told you that creating your own website might be the most expensive decision that you make? That the time it takes you to learn how to make it, then actually create it, and afterward do updates, backups, and restore your site if it goes down uses your most valuable resource: time?
They say that the man who represents himself in court has a fool for a lawyer. The same may be true across other industries. And just like in court, where a little bit of knowledge isn’t enough…neither is it enough when it comes to creating and maintaining your online presence. Ultimately, the person that designs your website (and maintains it afterward) should know what they’re doing, create something that works with your brand, and then have a plan in place for frequent backups, updates for themes and plugins, and what to do if (heaven forbid) your site crashes.
If you think you know enough to design and maintain your own website, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you know how to design a site with a user interface that makes your site visitors feel comfortable?
- Do you understand SSLs and site security?
- Do you know how to manage your site’s SEO (or who to outsource it to)?
- Are you okay with “good enough” or “half done” when it comes to how your company is portrayed online?
- Do you know how much time (and angst) you can save by trusting this to someone who does know all these answers?
If your answer to these questions is no, or you’re not sure, then it’s time to trust your website to a professional.
A WordPress web designer will take the time to listen to your needs, understand your business, and work to provide your online presence in a way that best represents the essence of your business.
Some things a professional web designer knows:
- Site flow: How to organize content and menu structure for the best flow through your site so that visitors aren’t confused.
- Call to action: How to make the call to action stand out. What is it you want visitors to do? Make a purchase? Hire you? A web designer can make this a focal point without making it a plea.
- The right tools for the job: The content management system, themes, and plugins for a solid site that you will own. (Unlike the site builders you see in ads.)
- Color, font, branding: How these work together with your logos and within your industry.
- Image management: The proper sizing of photos and images for fastest page load.
- SEO: Search engine optimization for your site to be found.
- Site maintenance: Backups, software updates, storage, hosting…and more.
- Site security and Visitor peace of mind.
Most people wouldn’t do their own catering, and house painting, and lay their own floors, and do their own business accounting, and fix their own cars, and…well you get it. Why is this? Because 1.) they would rather trust a professional, and 2.) they would rather spend their time making money than spending it and not making any at the same time. Think of it like an insurance policy for your website.
When you trust your website design and maintenance to a professional designer, you have peace of mind, and you can use your time doing what you do best – making money for your company.
Your online presence is your reputation to every web user. Make wise decisions.
More about Michelle Ames:
Michelle completed her MBA in Marketing, E-Commerce and Information Systems from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. She has over twenty years of experience in higher education; ten years owning a web design and marketing company; and currently serves as the Head of Customer Success for Impress.org (developers of GiveWP.com and WPBusinessReviews.com).
Michelle is a veteran of public speaking. She’s been an instructor for a wide variety of topics including Using Quantitative Data Analysis Software, Meditative Drawing, Intro to WordPress, and Marketing for Massage Therapy. Michelle speaks at conferences all over North America. You can find many of them recorded on WordPress.tv including “Little Things That Make a Big Difference” and “Hidden Features of WordPress Revealed,” as well as panel discussions on marketing, WordPress experts, and women in technology.
Michelle is the author “A Good Firm Handshake (and other essential business tips)” available on Amazon.com.