Why It’s Important to Hire a Web Design Specialist

When you look to hire a person or company to build your website, you have a lot of choices:

  • A freelance web designer / A web design company
  • A graphic designer
  • A PR agency
  • A Hybrid SEO, Web Design, Graphic design shop

Why is it important that you choose one that is a specialist in web design and not in the many other facets of design or marketing?  The answer is simple: there is too much to learn, understand and master if that is not their sole profession.  To be proficient at web design, the person/company building the site must have the following tools and knowledge specific to websites :

  • Knowledge of the Technical Components: an understanding of the coding behind the site and how it is structured and optimized.
  • Usability:  an understanding of what makes a website easy to navigate and easy to find information with the least friction possible.
  • Search Engine Optimization: a technical knowledge of what makes a site look good to Google and other search engines and ways to optimize the site to rank well.
  • Aesthetics: a knowledge of what makes a website pleasing to the eye while being formatted for optimal usability.
  • WordPress / Other CMS’s: the WordPress content management system is always improving.  It takes time to stay up on what those changes are and how to get the most out of them.
  • Design Trends:  the person/company building your website should be up to date on the latest trends so that your website can not only look modern, but also have the longest useful life before it looks outdated.
  • New Technologies:  Every day, new technologies are emerging that you will wish your website had if they were on top of the new trends.  Responsive design is a perfect example of this.

So how do you know if the person building your site is a website specialist?  Look out for people/companies that claim they do it all.  If they do logo design, brochure design, social media, SEO, and web design – they are probably not sufficient in any of those.  Each vertical takes a different skill set and bank of knowledge to be proficient.  It is best to find a company that focuses on websites, and only websites, that can also refer you to other professionals that are experts in their respective fields.


8 replies
  1. Alexis Kestler
    Alexis Kestler says:

    I could not disagree with you more. I personally am a website “specialist” as you are describing, however I also have over 15 years experience not only in design and development, but in search marketing, user experience, and print design as well as lecturing across the country on these topics. I personally have put in approximately 131472 hours in study, research and development, education and hands on experience. And an SEO hybrid specialist is basically the top surgeon in the hospital understanding all levels from design to IT and that my friend IS The Person you want to hire. My point here being that if it is “too much for you to learn” well then, my friend, you are in the wrong profession. As this sounds like one of those ploys where people tell a client they need X because X is all they know how to do. Its one thing to be just starting out and NOT have a lot of experience and its another to say that those who do can’t possibly.

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      Hi Alexis,
      Thanks for your opinion. It is very important for a web design specialist to have in-depth knowledge of SEO when building a website, no question. It is another thing for that person to be doing ongoing monthly SEO (which entails staying on top of algorithm changes and spending their time creating content and building links), social media management or consulting (which takes constant monitoring of social media changes and strategy) and keep up with web design trends and technologies at the same time. Clients are better served by a team of vendors that are each individually experts in their profession. If it is a company with separate positions for each specialty, that works. If it is one peson trying to be a jack of all trades, there is not enough time in the day. It is not a lack of knowledge or a will to learn, but a clear understanding that one person cannot possibly know about every subject.

      • Alexis Kestler
        Alexis Kestler says:

        Kevin-time management. In my opinion the owner/director of a web firm needs to be an expert in all areas of web. When you speak to a client you should be able to give them input from design through server requirements and know what you are talking about. Doesn’t mean you are the person submitting links but it is your responsibility to know everything needed to know about link building and be certain that your staff does as well. Though you should be able to set up an email account on the fly for a client or write and upload SEO server side files. My company provides web business management services to web companies across the country because of our level of expertise. I personally manage that level by keeping up on the latest in all areas of the field. This provides clients with the ability to trust in the quality of the service they receive, and know that they CAN in fact get this all in one place. I dont have to be the designer, developer and print department but the point is I can be, at the expert level as yes I do have that much experience. Saying that one person cannot possibly know about every subject is like saying you couldn’t handle all the classes/workload of general ed.

  2. Kerry Rego
    Kerry Rego says:

    I think you are right on. I found when I tried to be Jack of all Trades with my business that I wasn’t performing to maximum capacity and my clients weren’t getting the best service. I find that working with other professionals that are experts at what they do ensures that my clients are getting the best. There is simply too much to know, learn, and stay on top of to be able to do everything. No one knows everything.

    131472 hours = 45 years experience. Is that right? How did you calculate that? I think I’m missing something.

  3. Terry Johnson
    Terry Johnson says:

    “Saying that one person cannot possibly know about every subject is like saying you couldn’t handle all the classes/workload of general ed.”

    This analogy falls flat – students take general ed to become well rounded students, yet we choose a major to SPECIALIZE in. When I look for support for my website needs I am not looking for a “one stop shop” run by someone who knows a little about each of my needs – I am looking for my needs to be fulfilled. I think what Kevin is suggesting here is the best way for these needs to be met.

    • Alexis Kestler
      Alexis Kestler says:

      We were discussing workload and what a person can and can’t handle. In this field you need to be able to juggle a lot of knowledge. I agree I would not recommend hiring someone who knows “a little” about everything or anything, my point has been from the start that it is not correct to say something such as “it is too much for one person to learn” that simply is not true. Many people have multiple degrees, talents and skillsets. I personal am one of these people. I realize not everyone is designed to be able to do that, but my point is simply the statement was too broad and incorrect. It might have been better to say “in most cases” but not define it as “no one can” it simply is not true.


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