But here is my answer to "why should I hire a professional website designer?"
You Get What You Pay For
If you want a site that looks fabulous no matter what device it is viewed on and makes use of the most modern tools, you need to hire someone who invests in their skills and not only stays on top of, but ahead of, trends. And with that comes the old adage, you get what you pay for. Someone who is constantly upgrading their skills and who uses the latest technology (and thus has to buy the latest programs, gadgets, etc) isn't going to be able to afford to work for you at minimum wage. Like any business, their rates have to not only cover their cost of living, but also cover the overhead.
This is becoming even more important as more people are accessing the internet on their mobile devices than are accessing it from desktop computers or laptops. If your website is not coded properly it will not appear correctly on all devices and this will become a major problem for you. This is also the reason why I no longer will create websites that are not "responsive" in design, meaning they display graphics and text according to the device that is being used. Yes it's more programming hours at first, but imagine how you'd feel if you knew half the visitors to your website were leaving because they were unable to view the content. That is sadly the case for many websites right now.
There Are People Who Will Bail On You
I wish it wasn't the case but I can't tell you how many people have approached me, frantic for help, because their webmaster left them high and dry. Sometimes in the actual sense that the person quit with little notice and didn't provide them with what they needed to get someone else to take over; but often in the sense that they got in over their head and started a project they couldn't finish correctly. Then they bailed (or were unable to do anything) when everything went downhill.
Programming a website can be complicated and if the person doing the work isn't comfortable with that level of programming, the results can be disastrous. I love getting new clients and helping people achieve their goals, but I really dislike getting a new client because they were messed over by someone else. Not only is it unfair to the client, but it gives a bad name to the industry.
Bringing Visitors Back Isn't A Thing Of Chance
Professionals know how to bring visitors to your website using things like search engine optimization, but just as important, they know how to make a site into one that people want to visit time and time again. I'm involved with one website right now who gets just as many return visitors as they do new visitors and for what they do, the amount of both is impressive in my opinion. And here's the secret: it wasn't anything too costly or complicated that turned their visitor trends around. It was all about knowing why people were coming and knowing why they would want to come back. You might not know the answer to that, but believe me, if you hire the right person they will and you will reap the benefits.
Don't believe me? Want to put this to the test? Contact me and for no charge I will do an analysis of your website and give you a few tips to help you out. If it works and you want to hire me, great, but I'll leave that up to you. I just love helping people make their websites into tools that actually work for them!
Turn Around Time & Availability
Someone who does websites on weekends or after hours might be able to give you a lower rate, but they also aren't going to be able to make themselves available to you like a full-time professional could. When you hire a professional doing websites is their job and it's what they have chosen to invest themselves in. Those kind of people aren't usually the kind to make you wait for days to have your site updated or the kind that won't pick up the phone when you're calling because there is an emergency. If you have a website that is essential to your business, church, or organization you're going to want someone who makes your business their business and is committed to making sure your site is accessible and accurate at all times.
While I could use this space as a great opportunity to promote my business, I'm not going to do that. Instead I'm going to encourage you- if you rely on your website as an essential part of what you do, please do yourself a favour, save yourself headaches and hire a professional. A professional who can not only program a website that works for this moment in time, but who has the vision and knowledge to be able to create a platform for you that will attract new visitors and keep previous visitors coming back time and time again!