I support anyone who can learn new tasks and do them at a high level. This sentiment extends to web design as well. If you can pick it up and get it done at a high level, then I am all for it. On the flip side, if you are not able to get it done at a high level, my sentiment here would be to hire a professional. It takes time and energy to cover all the bases necessary to do it right. Even though the web builders companies such as; Wordpress, Wix Squarespace and Weebly make it dramatically easier to put the site together, they fail to educate their customers as to what makes a great website. A web designer works with you to make sure that you cover all the bases when it comes to creating a great website.
When you hire a web designer, they first meet with you to understand your business and the goals of your business. They work to get a clear picture of the products and services that you offer and how to translate that to the web. If you are a restaurant owner and you need a website for your restaurant, you wouldn't follow the practices of a furniture store to create your website. There are specific design traits that work best for the restaurant industry that don't translate well to the furniture industry and visa versa. It's your web designer's job to understand your goals and do the research as to what will work best for your company.
A web designer or design agency will be tasked to create graphics for your website. It could be creating a logo, figuring out image options or creating custom graphics to be used throughout your website. The reason that custom graphics are essential to your website is that the designer can give your site a cohesive look and feel. The designer will also make sure that when adding the images to your site, they are optimized for loading quickly. Google checks your website's load times and if your site takes too long to load, your search engine ranking will suffer as a result.
One of the things that are great about modern web builders, is that they make your site responsive without you needing to understand code. This means that the site will resize to give an optimal viewing experience on desktop, tablet or mobile. When building your website with a web builder such as; Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace or Weebly. The website builder company does a lot in the background to make sure your site has the correct coding. However, the problem comes into play when the designer is not aware of what makes a site technically sound. If the designer is not aware of the features that make your site technically sound i.e. Meta tags, alt tags, header levels, optimizing images and keyword research. If search engine optimization is important to you, making sure your site is technically sound should be a priority.
The three reasons for needing a web designer that I noted above can sometimes be overlooked as unimportant. But if you look closely at the most engaging websites on the internet, you will see that they were created through great strategy, beautiful design and a technically sound platform to make sure the website functions as it should.