Professional Websites vs. Amateur Web Design

We have a new client who recently signed up and one of her questions to us was, “How come you guys cost so much when Joe over there wants to charge me $800 for a new website?”   Thats a great question and something that a lot of people ask:  Whats the difference between a professional website and an amateur one?

Professional Websites are Fast

A professional website will always consider Search Engines requirements.  One of the most basic Search Engine Requirement is Page Speed.  Below is a Screenshot of the Page Speed of one of our Client’s websites:  You will notice that both Mobile and Desktop speeds are highlighted in green, meaning Google approves the Pagespeed of the website.

Fast Websites as Required by Google
Fast Websites as Required by Google

Amateur websites will probably not even bother with the speed requirement of Google because they don’t know about it. Below is a screenshot of a web developer’s website thats vying for the same keyword as ours.  The difference is we are on the first page of our keyword and this website was on the third page of the same keyword.
Amateur Websites don't deliver speed
Amateur Websites don’t deliver speed

This website was actually a web developers website so imagine if their website doesn’t meet a basic requirement of Search Engines, how will they develop your website?

Professional Websites Optimize Code

One of the things that we are so proud of is our code, our code is clean.  Clean code is the standard for SEO websites. We remove any scripts that aren’t working or being used.  We minify our code, we make sure that each line is optimized and minified.  You can see that by clicking on “view source” on your browser.  Here is the screenshot of optimized code for our website:

Source Code of White Oak Websites
Source Code of White Oak Websites

You can see that we only have 11 lines of code and there are no spacing.  This is good, clean, coding and it enables the search spiders to crawl our pages much more efficiently than source codes that have too much spacing and lines of code.  In the example below, this competitor of ours has 1080 lines of code but its not optimized.
Amateur Websites don't optimize Code
Amateur Websites don’t clean up their code

Professional Web Developers know how to code properly and cleanly, which is good for your website because Search Engines are robots, not people.  Robots cannot see the design of your website, they read the HTML code. If your code is clean then its easier for them to parse it and return results.

Professional Websites provide Guidance to Search Engines

One of the hallmarks of a Professional Website is the way they provide guidance to Search Engines.  One of the ways they do this is by properly using the H HTML elements within the website.  Sometimes when we are auditing a site and we see an H element used as a font size, which shouldn’t be the case.  The H elements should be used to target keywords / key phrases, semantics and permutations thereof for a landing page.  Below is an example of an H1 Element used correctly:

H1 Element helps Search Engines categorize Websites
H1 Element helps Search Engines categorize Websites

Below is an example of a website that doesn’t use the Header Elements properly.  Whats unfortunate about this website is that it is a non-profit and they won’t be searchable unless the user is searching for their brand.
Example of a website with no header elements
Example of a website with no header elements

Amateur web developers do not understand that H elements are similar to road signs in that they inform Search Engines where to categorize a website for searches.  H elements shouldn’t be used simply for font sizing.  In this screenshot above, the developer didn’t even use an H1 element, which is really in bad form because the H1 is what informs the Search Engines the category your website belongs to.

Professional Websites are Hosted on Premium Servers

An important aspect of Web development is hosting.  Google takes into consideration where the websites are hosted for two reasons:

  1. Location — your website should be located in a server where you want your website served.  ie. if you are targeting a US audience, make sure your server is in Texas and not the U.K. or South East Asia.
  2. The Company it keeps — an efficient web developer will make sure you that your website isn’t surrounded by dead websites / spammy websites / pharma websites / pornography websites because thats not a good signal for the Search Engines

When we took over a website project for a local cleaning agency, one of things we noticed was that they were hosted on a server that wasn’t updated to the latest release of the Server Software.  This meant that the websites hosted in the server would frequently get hacked and when we asked our client, sure enough, they had just gotten hacked.  A Professional Web Developer would never tell you to host your website on a shared hosting platform that doesn’t have a good reputation.
There are more differences between a professional website developer vs. an amateur one but this is all we have time for today.  Essentially the difference is pricing.  Professionals charge more because they have to spend more time on making sure your website is up to par with standards expected by Search Engines and Users.  Click here to get a free quote from Professional Developers!