One decision that is always part of running a website is whether or not you should hire a web developer. Most often, the only thing people factor in while making this decision is their budget, but this is an incomplete consideration. While cost is a factor, it is equally as important to think about what a web designer can bring to the table. You may ultimately end up saving money, and good web design can have a significant impact on your customers’ perception of your eCommerce store, which will only further improve your profits. Here are some of the things you should consider when making this decision.
Changing Codes and Standards
Both code and best practices in site design change frequently. For example, several years ago, flash was all the rage. But today, you rarely see quality websites using it. Flat design, mobile integration and voice control are some of the new buzzwords in web design. While you might not be able to keep up with the changing trends, doing so is part of a web designer’s business. A good designer will keep up with industry standards, best practices, trends and code changes and integrate all of this into her service.
Your Time and Abilities
If you don’t hire a web developer, you will have to do everything yourself. You may encounter many problems, such as the shopping cart icon not being visible in the correct place. This can cause a big problem for you. You are not merely a blog or a reading service, where this will be a minor hitch. You will lose profits because of this. Fixing it must be a priority, but without the necessary background knowledge it may prove extremely difficult and time-consuming. Keynote reports that 46 percent of mobile users report having difficulty interacting with a web page, and 44 percent complain that navigation was difficult. Forty-eight percent of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well, they take it as an indication that the business does not care. Think about how many customers you stand to lose because of small site design errors that translate into large usability issues.
Updating Your Store
An eCommerce store is meant to be used for a long time. After all, you want to stay in business. In order for your store to stay up-to-date and appealing to your consumers, you will need to occasionally redesign it to stay current with design trends and customer needs. When it is time to update your design, though, you may well find that the current code is not compatible with a simple upgrade. Features you added or site customizations may require specific accommodations in the site redesign. Indeed, it may be even more necessary to get professional assistance for an upgrade than it was for the initial site design.
While you may have the time to initially set up a site, running one is an ongoing process. A site has to be constantly kept updated, has to be refurbished, redesigned, and so on. As your business grows, you may find you do not have the time necessary to both manage the store and maintain the website. If you are unsure about the balance, spend a couple weeks or a month tracking how much time goes into different aspects of running your business. You can use this to guide you as to when it is necessary to hire outside help to maintain your website.
Technical and Legal Issues
A professional web developer should be familiar with many of the common technical and legal issues that surround web design. This includes such things as copyright considerations for site content, integrated features that may compromise site security and a thorough understanding of coding. If you are not familiar with web development, you may well be missing out on key factors that could make a difference to the success of your store.