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Hiring a Professional Designer

By Craig Kistler
Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The reasons for hiring a professional designer are the same reasons as hiring any other professional. You want someone who is knowledgeable in design, understands the needs of clients, and is able to accommodate any issues that arise. As such a professional designer can create a site that not only meets your needs but also does so affordably.

I'll Just Get Joey From Down the Street
With the advancements in WYSIWYG editors and the multiple books on websites, HTML is becoming a household word. Elementary schools have even started showing students how to develop their own web page. It is no wonder why so many people are calling themselves designers. So, Joey from down the street might be an HTML whiz. But what are the chances he knows how to properly create a user interface. Or leverage your site to enhance your current marketing. What about determining your site's purpose?

You Do Have a Purpose?
You have a site for a reason. Or if don't you need to. Having a site for the mere fact that you have a site no longer is a legitimate reason. What purpose will your site serve? Why would a user benefit from coming to your site? Who are the users that will view your site? A professional designer can help you answer these questions as well as, establish goals and objectives.

Professional designers understand the fact that with so many choices of sites out there you site has to stand out. Establishing a purpose will result in a better-designed site. Leaving a lasting impression with your users.

Even more so designers will help establish a purpose for users to come back to your site. Each time you get a user to come back you will establish more mind share than the time previous. And so on.

Us vs. Them
So now that a purpose has been established it is time to create the look and feel. One of the best ways to get started is take a look at your competitor's sites. Make a list of things that you like about the site, feel work well, or things that you feel don't work well. The designer should also research your competition. Challenge the designer to make your site better. Maybe it is a more professional look, better usability or more functionality. Whatever the case maybe you want your designer to make your site better than your competition.

The Big Issue
With the economy the way it is right now cost is a big issue. It will come as no surprise that Joey from down the street will create a site cheaper than a professional. But what will the end result be? How well will the site reflect your company?

Users often times judge the book by the cover, so to say. If your site isn't up to par chances are good that a potential clients will leave before they go any further than the home page. If they get frustrated or discouraged by your site, it won't leave a very good message about your company. This result could end up costing way more than the cost of a professionally designed site.

Not Intentionally Bad
No one intentionally designs a bad site. And I'm sure that a Joey down the street somewhere has designed a functional well-structured site. Chances are however, that you will get a better return on the money spent if you go with a professional designer.

Contact Small Farm Design today to schedule a FREE consultation on how SFD can help your business. (

About the Author
Craig Kistler is a freelance web designer specializing in
graphic re-designs, complete web development, flash, e-card, and
banners, as well as, print design, identities, and stragtegies.

You can see his work at (


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