The explosion of website builders like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly has made it seem like anyone can build a website within a few hours, whether they have a background in tech or have never written a line of HTML in their life. To an extent, that's true - there's a lot you can do with website builders, and for people building a personal website or blog, these tools can be a great pick. However, when you're building a small business website, you need more than a DIY website builder can deliver.
That's a tall order from someone without experience building business websites, especially when designing a website is just one of many things on your plate. Since your business is on the line, it's worth investing in the professionals who can build your website right the first time.
If you think you need a web designer to build your website, you're making a common mistake: While web designers can be a useful part of your team, a web developer is the person who writes the code that makes your website function.
Web developers fall into two groups: front-end and back-end developers .
A back-end developer is responsible for the server-side functions of your website. Back-end developers specialize in different coding languages, but since most websites run on PHP, a PHP developer is most likely what you'll want.
So what about a web designer? A web designer also helps you create an attractive website, but typically, the designer's work happens before the developer's. While a web designer creates mockups using tools like Photoshop, it's the web developer who writes the code to turn the designer's vision into a reality.
If your front-end developer doesn't dabble in graphic design, or you have a big project like a branding redesign, hire a graphic designer. There are a lot of inexpensive graphic designers selling their services online, but remember that you get what you pay for. If you want consistent branding and high-quality graphics, it's worth paying for a professional with a great portfolio .
Not all businesses need complicated search engine optimization for their websites. Local businesses can get by with local SEO, which focuses on the on-page signals that let search engines find you. However, if you're trying to reach a nationwide or global audience, you'll need more from your SEO specialist.
The work an SEO specialist does also makes your website more accessible. Page titles, alt text, video and audio transcripts, and other SEO features improve a website's search engine rankings and make it easier for people with hearing and vision impairments to use.
Is your head spinning at the thought of managing all of these different workers? If the idea of coordinating a gaggle of freelancers has you running in the opposite direction, hire a full-service marketing agency instead. A marketing agency can handle all of these jobs and more so you can focus on the nuts and bolts of running your small business.