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Having a website for a business is a necessity in most markets and industries. It does not matter whether you are a local business that has nothing to do with the internet, still you should have a website and online presence. In fact, you might set your business up for failure if you think that you can sustain without it in today’s economies. If 9 out of 10 businesses in your sector are online, you should be too. If no one in your industry is online, you better still be online as well.

In this article we not just discuss the importance of having a website, but more importantly how crucial it is to have a professional website. We will break down what really matters, and we will identify factors that make a website strong.

One of the most important things is to start with a strategy in mind. You as the businessperson should have a clear understanding of what your business aims to represent and what you stand for. Not just in terms of the products or services, but the values and the vision you have for the business. Websites are driven by visuals and if you have inconsistency and ambiguities about what you do and who you are, then there is no basis for growth.

Furthermore, it is crucial to give your designer a comprehensive briefing about these aspects. Without clear and open communication to your web designer, you wouldn’t make the project work. A good web designer will ask you about all the information he needs for the design and might have briefing or questionnaire forms in place.

After the briefing, it’s time to get to work on the web design. Your designer or the web agency will start a mock-up or create a wireframe graphic. This is needed before going into coding and the actual development of the site. A good web designer will build your website also search-engine optimized. This will involve the creation of meta descriptions, optimization of page load time, site navigation features, sitemaps, etc.

As you can see, design and data are equally important and there is a third element that you need to consider in professional web design: User experience (UX). In recent years, marketers and businesses became more aware having a website which not only functions well, it also provides great user experience. UX is a big field to study on its own and oftentimes you will find web agencies fully focused on the profession. It is a skill which requires the designer to think from another viewpoint, with the user in mind.

To summarize: It is important to understand that web development is not just about design, it’s combining design with data and understanding about user experience.  Furthermore, your website should be conversion-optimized. After all, this is what monetizes your site. Keeping all those elements in mind, will help you assess which web design agency to hire and what to focus on specifically.