“This looks easy.” you think. “Do I really need a web designer?”

So you’re starting a business, or perhaps you’ve been in business for a long time. You’re considering putting your business on the World Wide Web. You know a friend who’s good with computers, or maybe you’re feeling frisky and want to try your hand at website building. Should you hire a web designer? They seem awfully expensive, and you’re sure that you can make everything work by yourself. How hard can it be?

This story always begins the same way. A company needs a website, so they find a friend or relative to put something together quickly. The site works fine, and business is good. The company grows, and becomes more successful. Technology evolves, but their website doesn’t. Time passes, and eventually problems crop up: the website breaks, information needs to be updated, customers complain about how the site looks on their phones. Nothing works right, and the friend or relative who built the website has vanished. Frustration sets in.

Here are some reasons to hire a professional web designer, rather than taking the do-it-yourself route.

Make sure everything is done right, the first time

When you hire a web designer, that person will make a thorough assessment of your needs and wants. He or she will make sure that all the features you need will be present, and possibly suggest a few that you hadn’t considered. They’ll get a feel for your business model, your scale, and your personal tastes. A good designer will be able to integrate your ideas and inspirations into a workable creation.

Once your site is built, the designer will thoroughly test everything before it goes live. Is the website user-friendly? Does everything work correctly? Are there any unexpected hangups or glitches? They’ll know what to look for — and how to fix it. There should be no “surprises” when your site is active. Investing in professional web design is worth the peace of mind.

Stand out from the crowd

Free and low-cost site builders like Wix and Squarespace market their services as a quick, easy way for a small business to get started. And to be entirely fair, they are easy to use. You upload a few stock photos, write some quick blurbs, and…bam. You’ve got a website. It works. It also looks just like every other website out there. Your customers may be able to find your site, but will they remember the visit?

A competent web designer can offer design enhancements and features that aren’t available in free site builders. They’ll help design an eye-catching visual style and lay out your site in an easy-to-navigate manner. They’ll also ensure that your website looks great on all devices — desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones. The designer’s job is to make sure that all the elements of your site, from the font options to the mobile experience, leave your customers with a memorable experience.

Great designs aren’t built in a day. How much time do you have?

As a professional, you know how valuable your time is. If you’re like a lot of the professionals we know, you’re probably busy from the start of the day to the end, doing everything you have to do to ensure your company stays afloat. And if you’re a small business owner, the workday never ends. How much time are you willing to devote to building and maintaining your website — and how realistic is that estimate?

It may only take you an hour or two to set up an extremely basic site. How much time do you have to keep the content up to date? Are you willing to spend hours doing keyword research and SEO optimization? Do you have the time to deal with code errors and plugin conflicts? Compatibility testing? Mobile display problems? E-commerce security? Will your site be ready in time, if you have a deadline? If something breaks, will you have time to fix it?

When you hire a web designer, all of these concerns vanish. Getting everything built, tested, and running is their job. You can relax and focus on your business, secure in the knowledge that when your site is ready it will look great, function well, and impress your clients.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to invest in web design services is up to you. However, I believe that having a good website is worth the price — and the peace of mind.