Multiple choices to buy a website

by Karan Bhatt

A Website Buying Guide for Interior Designers and Architects

Many interior designers and architects are unaware of what to look for while buying a website. This article aims to help you make the best buying possible decision for your firm.

There are certain essential factors that go into making a successful website. Ignoring any one of these can lead to you not getting the right clients. Being aware of these essentials can help you create a website that best suits your needs.

There's 4 essentials necessary for making any website

  1. User Experience Design
  2. Copywriting
  3. User Interface Design
  4. Development

Each of these are very different skills. Based on who you hire, you'll have very different experiences and outcomes.

Website design is not the same as website development. They are separate fields that need to be merged to make a successful website. Just like an architect and a constructor have to play their unique roles to create a building.

Here's the different outcomes based on the people you hire -

1. None / DIY

There are automatic solutions that do the design and development for you. Think, Wix, Squarespace etc. are website builders that allow you to design a website by yourself. However, you might still want to consider hiring a copywriter who can produce high-quality text for your website.

When should you go for this option?

These options are great when you are starting out or are low on budget.

Trade off: The site won't be doing much for you in any real business sense. You can't expect to compete in Google search results or have any real reaction from your target audience. Switch to any of the other options as soon as you can.

2. Developer Only

This is very much like constructing a house without having a blueprint.

To make up for the lack of a designer, the developer might resort to using pre-made designs. These again come in the form of WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or other pre-designed templates to complete the job.

The outcome is pretty similar to None/DIY.

As stated above, it's rather difficult for a constructor to make an entire building without any plans.

When should you go for this option?

This option is only recommended when you lack the budget for a professional designer.

Trade Off: Without thought put into the design part it is difficult to get conversions from the ideal target audience. Your website will not have a unique personality, as it will be based on a pre-existing template. Moreover, websites made in this manner are generally not conversion-friendly or good for brand image.

3. User Experience / User Interface Designer (UI / UX)

Hiring a designer has multiple advantages.

First of, a User Experience Designer can make a conversion centric structure for your website(sitemap). The copywriter can then follow this sitemap to produce text that will help you connect with your audience and rank on Google.

A User Interface Designer can make sure that your website’s visuals are exactly what your brand needs to communicate with the audience.

When should you go for this option?

This is a good option when you are ready to invest in marketing efforts for your interior design or architecture firm.

A good designer can really up the brand image and position you as a market leader.

Trade-off: If you hire a designer to build a website, there's a chance they will choose a no-code platform to develop the site. Examples of no-code platforms include solutions like Webflow or Framer.

No-code platforms are not inherently problematic. But since they handle all the code, they have their own pricing models which can sometimes have absurd fees. This is especially true if your website scales beyond a certain point. They can change their pricing on a whim, and pretty much bring your site down if any payment fails.

Another trade off is a loss in performance. These platforms are simply not as performant as code heavy solutions. Moreover, these sites can be heavy, slow to load, and sometimes difficult to maintain. These platforms always have their limitations. No-code solutions are never without a trade-off.

4. Designer and Developer

This is the best possible combination.

Not only do you have the design thinking necessary to pull off strategic decisions but you also the coding prowess to bring it to life. The designer can use their creativity with absolute freedom, and the developer can in turn help bring this vision to life.

When should you go for this?

This is the best option for interior design or architecture firms that are looking to scale and have the budget to spare. Such a website can quickly become an efficient business tool. Almost like a second office in the digital space.

Trade-off: It's not easy to find a cohesive team because designers and developers don't always see eye to eye. But if you find a team that's working in sync (which is easier said that done), you're golden.

(Note: Hiring a copywriter is essential in each of the above-mentioned options. You can go with a solution like ChatGPT if the budget is tight, however, doing so is not recommended. )

Conclusion

Choose an option that best fits your current budget and situation. If you are starting out, go with more DIY-centric options. If budget is not an issue, then take the help of experts for the best possible results.

Next Article

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