5 Common Website Design Misconceptions

by | Oct 15, 2019 | Web Design, Website Development

There are a lot of bad ideas out there about how websites are designed and the entirety of the web design process: about the difficulty, about the cost, and about what goes into the process.

There are a lot of factors to blame here, like our ideas about the internet being “free” along with DIY website tools trying to get user and media representations of people setting up websites in seconds. (Which just doesn’t happen, sorry.) Website design is infinitely more nuanced than that.

So to clear that up, here are 5 common website design misconceptions and the reality behind them.

Misconception #1: Web Design is Easy

No. Just no. 

Web design is a complex process, requiring a lot of knowledge and experience. Web designers need to know various programming languages like JavaScript and C++; various CMS like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla; understand marketing best practices, like where to place calls-to-action (CTAs); understand internet user behavior, what they’ll respond to, what they click on; and have a strong understanding of visual design. 

Does that seem like a lot? It is. And it’s not something that just anyone can do well on the first try. Most web designers have all kinds of professional training, and the best ones have years of experience designing websites that not only look great but also work to pull in qualified leads. 

In addition, there is a lot of research that does into the design of a website in order to accurately reflect your company’s brand and voice and to do so in a way that appeals to your ideal customers.

Misconception #2: Web Design Shouldn’t Cost So Much

Web design shouldn’t cost so much. We hear it a lot. 

By that logic, nothing should cost as much as it does, and gas should still be a $0.36 per gallon like it was in 1970. Sounds nice, but it’s just not realistic. Good web design isn’t cheap, but the price isn’t unfair.

With web design, which is a difficult and complex process requiring advanced knowledge of programming languages, various CMS, and visual design, you get what you pay for. If you want beautiful and functional design, you have to be willing to pay the going rate.

If you skimp on design, you’re going to end up with a site that isn’t user-friendly, mobile-responsive, or attractive, and it’s not going to do much for you. Visitors won’t convert to leads on a poorly designed site, and what little money you put into the design won’t even be worth it.

A well-designed site, on the other hand, will delight visitors, provide them with a comfortable and seamless experience, and lead them to convert. Your website isn’t just a billboard for your company, and it needs to be doing more to drive sales, through conversions. A cheaply designed site won’t do that.When you put money into a good design, you’ll see the ROI of your decision in website conversions. Click To Tweet

It’s important to remember that web design is about more than making your website pages look pretty. It’s also about defining and embodying your brand in the online space. This means ensuring consistency with your existing brand standards, designing logos and images, and making other aesthetic decisions to represent your brand accurately and in a way that appeals to your existing and ideal customers.

Misconception #3: Designing a Website Shouldn’t Take This Long

This is one of the most  common website design misconceptions, and it goes hand-in-hand with “web design is easy” and “web design shouldn’t cost so much.” Web design isn’t easy, and a good design is going to take time, especially when you consider all that goes into it: designing the page structure, the images and design elements, the color scheme, the written content, and the functionality. 

 If a website really was just a digital version of a billboard, then yes, it would make sense that it could be designed in a day. But a website is infinitely more complex than that, which, of course, is a benefit. A website can do more, and it’s worth more as an asset. You need to be willing to invest the necessary time in the process to get the best result.

Misconception #4: Anyone Can Build a Website

We blame this one on the free-for-all days of the early internet and hosting platforms that promise they can help you build a professional-looking website yourself, with no expertise. 

There are a million DIY website tools out there being used by all sorts of people for various reasons. And while as someone who isn’t a web designer, you can probably make do with a free site on WordPress.com or Wix for your personal blog, that just isn’t going to cut it for a mid-size to large business.

Why do you need to hire a professional web design firm for your business site? First, the size and complexity of your site. A free website tool is great for a website with one or two pages, but your company’s site is going to have way more than that, in complex hierarchies. You’re going to want a professional’s help to ensure that pages are organized correctly and are easily, intuitively found by website visitors.

Additionally, DIY website tools will lack the functionality you need for a professional site. Features like plugins for collecting email addresses or visitor retargeting, an ecommerce platform, landing pages, or a custom theme to fit your brand guidelines aren’t available with a standard web design tool.

If you need anything more that standard blog posts or pages with text and images—which you undoubtedly will—you’re going to want a pro to build your site on a sophisticated CMS (content management system).

In regards to using a sophisticated CMS, the software necessary to build a robust, functional, and attractive website is not itself easy to learn or user-friendly, and at times, it can be confusing or difficult. Web designers have years of experience with various CMS and can navigate and manipulate them with ease. 

As a novice, it’s a website design misconception that you could build a high-quality, high-performing website by yourself. You’d need a lot of training, and trial and error, to get to the necessary level of competence. Certain programming languages may also be required to achieve your desired website appearance and function, with web developers will be well-versed in, but which is incomprehensible to those without web design experience.

Misconception #5: Web Design Should be Done In-House

We get it, you don’t want to pay someone else to do something you could do yourself. The thing is, website design isn’t something you should (or could) do yourself.

Yes, you have an IT department and they’re all geniuses with computers. That doesn’t mean they should be designing your website. Why?

IT and web design are vastly different specialties with less overlap than the non-techies think. Your IT team may not have experience designing websites at all, especially professional ones for businesses with many and varied needs.

Additionally, foisting a website design project onto your IT team is going to get in the way of them doing their primary and necessary function—keeping your company running.

Unless you’re at an extremely large, global enterprise, it just doesn’t make sense to hire a web designer or web design team for the one or two websites you need. If you have fifteen different branches with their own sites and are constantly growing, maybe you do need a team—but that’s not likely to be your situation. For medium to large organizations, the budget and the necessity of hiring a web design team isn’t there. 

We hope this blog helped clear up a few common misconceptions about website design! With these in mind, are you ready to build your new website? Let’s chat.

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