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We’re going to let you in on a little secret: All web designers are terrible when they start out, but practice makes perfect. We, too, had plenty of room for improvement when we started out. As best practices continue to evolve, the best web designers rise to the top, leaving the rest behind.

However, if you need a website for your business, you want something professional. You want to know that you are getting your money’s worth.

How do you know whether you should invest in a pro web designer?

Basic websites go for cheap. You can get a simple site for $150, but is a cheap and simple template-based site really what you want? Probably not!

Cheap designers also don’t offer a copywriting solution, which is the number one cause of delays, and one of the main reasons why a website does not deliver the results clients expect. A pro website designer values the importance of professionally written digital content to your success and will put you in touch with a content writer right from the start.

Some designers are so focused on creating attractive sites that they don’t pay attention to functionality. Have you ever visited a beautifully designed website that failed to convey important information? It happens to me almost daily.

Does your site look the same as it did three or five years ago? Perhaps it’s time for you to consider investing in a pro web designer. Search engines and web technology evolves at a rapid rate, and it’s important for the success of your site to stay on the cutting edge.

Here are some signs that it’s time to invest in a pro web designer:

1.  Your Site is Keyword Stuffed

When search engine optimization first became popular, people would replace every second word of their web content with a keyword to ensure that they reached the top of search results pages. Today, we know that practice as keyword spam – a black hat SEO technique that hurts your search rankings.

These days, SEO is as important as always, but the way in which it is done really matters. Speak to your pro website designer about the importance of professional digital copywriting.

2. Your Site is Light on Content

Just like best web practices, the modern consumer has evolved. People now value informative websites that answer their questions, and that’s what they look for on your website before they bother getting in touch.

Search engines also favor valuable content. According to American Express, posting one informative post of 700-1000 words per week is most likely to boost your rankings.

3. Your Site is Built on Custom Code

One of the main reasons why people loathe updating their sites is because it is built on custom code. Manual coding takes a tremendous amount of time, which makes it difficult to implement big changes.

You’re going to have to update at some point, so consider investing in a pro web designer and a WordPress site that runs on Genesis.

4. Your Site Still Uses Flash

Videos and animation slow down the page load time. Nobody has time to wait for a site to load, so make this a priority.

Likewise, flash-based websites are consistently being downgraded in the search rankings, because flash doesn’t work on most mobile devices.

Why should that matter? Because more than half of all internet searches are done via mobile device.

5. Your Site is Not Mobile-Friendly

In order to meet the latest design practices, your site must be responsive. If your site is still outdated and not mobile-friendly, you are missing out on a huge potential market.

In addition to the above design-related factors, your site graphics should integrate well with the design and content, and your website should flow logically. Calls to action should be used in all the important places to help navigate your visitors into becoming buyers. The best websites combine beautiful design with excellent functionality that speaks to its visitors through quality images and effective digital content