website design trends

beware the mouse wizards

Today’s blog is toungue and cheek mixed with serious business.  That being said this is a friendly warning to be careful about who you choose to build your website.

Many website designers and so called developers are mouse wizard clickers that just can’t produce a website that can compete or convert a high enough percent of visitors into customers to make pay per click (PPC) worth it.

Developer? Designer? Wizard?

Perhaps the most accurate name… generic name .. that should be handed out to everyone that is a candidate for your website creation/modification/etc is a “website builder.”  After all you don’t have to be a developer (see below) to create  a website but you could be.  You don’t even have to be a designer… by pure definition that is.

Here are the classic definitions that you will have to apply based on your research vs what candidates tell you:

  • Designer – By definition a website designer should have some competence in graphics arts and, of course, have a portfolio for you to review.  Designers should be able to use Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and similar graphics tools including Adobe After Effects for animation.  There are Adobe certifications which you can ask for but largely, there are a lot of designers that lack them so, if you have to use subjective measurements and focus on their portfolio and who you feel about it.
  • Developer – This is a tough one for the average non-website guy/gal because if you don’t know how to program then you don’t know if the person you are talking to does either.  Many people think that programming is anything they don’t understand computer related.  My advice is to ask what custom applications they have created for business purposes from something as simple as an advanced form with logic (price based on conditions/etc) to a phone app.  Get proof.
  • Mouse Wizard – This is the evil entity you want to avoid.  A Mouse Wizard will try to sell you a crappy website created via an automated website building application such as WIX that your 14 year old son or daughter can create just as well.  Websites created this way suck and do not make you money even if your friends think they are “cute.”  Stay away.  If their portfolio looks like a collection of generic pics with big fat margins that you could drive a car through move on.

To summarize this off the cuff website design blog:  Do your research and let your eyes… for the most part … help guide you.  If it looks generic and/or there is no proof (portfolio) than take the safe road and move on to the next candidate. 

Think twice before hiring the lady from church or needy college student on the cheap because a fraction of your online marketing cost is a website.  Below is a breakdown … Example Only:

Mouse Wizard Option

  • Cheap Website: $200 or less
  • Average Online Marketing Cost For 6 Months: $5,500
  • Expected 6 – month ROI: $500

Developer / Designer Option

  • Real Website: $2500
  • Average Online Marketing Cost For 6 Months: $5500
  • Expected 6 month ROI: $5,000

Can you waste $5000 profit your first 6 months?  Can you stay in business either making zero profit or very little?  Do you want the church lady to create you a cheap website and wonder if it’s your business concept, the market you’re in, or that creepy looking generic website that’s killing you?  Do it right and win online.

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