Should You Quit Your Job as a Web Designer?
In today’s web design market, you can’t move for drag and drop page builders, all in one frameworks and ready-to-go WordPress themes. With platforms like SquareSpace leading the charge, the instant, everyman’s solution has been embraced with open arms.
The message seems to be that there’s no need to waste time and money hiring an experienced web designer when anyone can build their own fully functional, professional looking website in minutes. So does that mean that professional web designers are an endangered species? Should you be dusting off the CV and considering your options?
It’s true that it has never been easier for an individual or business to get their own site up and running, with no coding experience and limited technical skills, but there’s still a ceiling on what people can achieve without enlisting the expertise of a skilled and creative web designer. Many of these “do-it-yourself” sites end up looking fairly generic, lacking in personality, and don’t reach the high performance levels of a site that is designed and built by someone who really knows their trade.
So what makes the difference? What can you, as a professional and experienced web designer, bring to the mix?
When it comes down to it, a tool is only as good as the craftsman. These so-called multi-purpose WordPress themes, selling fast on marketplaces like ThemeForest, claim to be able to bring your website to life in minutes, but there’s no guarantee that such a site will have any unique creative edge. As a web designer, maybe there’s a chance that this trend could work for you rather than against you.
Let’s take one of the bestsellers as an example: TheGem is a multi-purpose WordPress theme that works for beginners, making life easy and getting them ready to go in no time, but it also has the capacity and depth to allow for much greater things – in the right hands!
What Do Your Clients Want From Their Website?
- Creative design.
- Excellent user experience (clean navigation, fast loading and responsive).
- Optimized for SEO.
- They want it now!
With a theme like TheGem, you don’t waste time on the essential building blocks but can focus on creativity, innovation and optimization – refining your web page and exceeding your clients’ expectations. TheGem is a jam-packed toolbox of design elements, styles and features. Beginners will find it easy to use, with great results, but it takes a seasoned pro to realize its full potential.
What A Difference A Designer Makes
Create Design, Not Code
Multi-purpose, user-friendly WordPress themes pride themselves on the sheer volume of design possibilities and customization options, in just a few clicks – no coding required!
TheGem, for example, comes with over 60 built-in elements and add-ons, and 250+ styles at your fingertips. Versatile navigation and header options, unlimited layouts and sidebars, 50+ widgets and plenty of shortcodes give you complete design freedom.
Many rookies find this expanse of creative freedom overwhelming, however, and will never delve too deeply into all of the available options. As an experienced web designer, you’re completely at home in such a creative playground – you can see the potential and explore endless customizations without batting an eyelid.
You have a specialist understanding of what makes for an exceptional user experience, and can therefore make best use of TheGem’s multiple navigation options and pre-made menu styles.
Design is built into the DNA of TheGem, through collaboration with award-winning designers from Behance.net, and without the need to do any coding or programming, you are free to focus on unleashing your creativity. All of your time and creative energy can be focused on refining the look, feel and user experience of the site, and with no coding expenses, your clients get great value for money too!
Connect & Inspire
As a designer, it can sometimes feel like a struggle to communicate and demonstrate the various design possibilities to a client, or to make sure that you’re both on the same page before you put a lot of work into a design concept. Again, a user-friendly theme like TheGem, with so much of the behind the scenes work already done for you, can be an invaluable tool for bridging this gap.
With over 150 creative page templates, layouts and demos for websites of all kinds, from the corporate to the creative, and unlimited portfolio options, you can present your clients with instant inspiration. You will then be able to open their eyes to the unlimited scope for building from this starting point and making the design work for them.
Designed with the everyman (or woman) in mind, an intuitive, multi-purpose theme helps you to make sure that you’re speaking the same language. It’s also easy for you to make changes, based on client feedback, without having to do a complete re-design, new demos, or mess around with the code. Clients don’t always realize what their “little tweak” might involve at your end, but with such a professional, multi-purpose toolbox it’s no problem!
Refine & Optimize
This is where your experience and know-how really come into their own and make a measurable difference to your clients where it matters most – traffic and conversions. Such advanced, high performance WordPress themes have SEO built into the code for guaranteed high Google rankings, but a professional web designer can fully capitalize on this with the smart use of headings, images and tags.
These smart WordPress themes are also compatible with SEO plugins and Google Analytics, which require a certain level of technical expertise and industry know-how if you want to get the best results. The same can be said for social integration – TheGem, for example, is ready to be optimized for social sharing, but this only becomes a powerful marketing tool when implemented and managed by someone who really knows what they’re doing.
Evolve & Grow
Any individual, brand or business that you design for is likely to want to evolve, adapt and grow in the future, and you can be on hand to help them take advantage of the add-ons and plugins available to them. Over time, they may want to introduce new features or functionality to their site, and a versatile theme makes it quick and easy for you to meet these changing demands.
You can integrate forms, mailing lists, e-commerce, calendars, and more, with plugins such as MailChimp and Yoast. TheGem is also compatible with W3 Total Cache – this may be a mystery to your client, but you will be able to wow them with the instant difference it makes to user experience!
So let’s not get ahead of ourselves – perhaps anyone can build a good-looking website these days, but there’s still plenty of room for the specialist skill of the professional web designer. You bring an invaluable eye for creativity and optimization, and a good WordPress theme like TheGem gives you the tools and the space to explore this. If you roll with the trend of multi-purpose WordPress themes, drag and drop page builders and pre-built demos, you will find that you can use these as a springboard for your own creativity, to build something unique and powerful.