What’s the difference between amateur web design and professional web design? I can think of several arguments that favour professional, but can’t think of how one can really benefit with an amateur. Web design is really like any other profession: It takes a professional to do the job well.

Professionals are specialists; they are experts in their given field. Would you have a professional pastry chef repair your car’s transmission, even if the pastry chef “knew a thing or two” about cars? Probably not.

Then why would you want somebody of another profession, who happens to “dabble” in web design, build your website? Think about that while I point out the elements that make for professional web design.

Aesthetics

A professional web designer is an artist, one who understands composition, color, light, shadow, contrast, etc. Of these, composition is the key to an inviting website. You need a balance between clutter and minimalism. “Tight” would be a good word to describe a professional web design.

Seasoned web professionals will work with colors that are pertinent to your line of business, they will handle the alignment of text and other media with care, they will obsessively work with the typography until the text is perfectly clear and readable, they will know what should be big; what should be small, and so forth.

Ease-of-Use

Those who work in professional web design understand that most web users are not tech-savvy. They need the site to walk them through it. Think of it as a well-organised supermarket. They use clearly labeled aisles to guide customers through the store. A pro web designer will give your visitors a clear path to navigate your site.

Text & Media

These are the primary elements of content, and the content on your site should serve a number of purposes. It should be engaging, enlightening and entertaining for your visitor; it should be search engine optimised, recognizable and unique to give the website a boost in its search engine rankings; it should be persuasive with a clear message that your service or product is in the customer’s best interest.

These are only the basics. There is so much more to professional web design such as developing widgets, incorporating eCommerce, mobile device optimization utilizing responsive web design, streamlining the site map, and so on. So when you seek a professional to build your website, be sure to query about the three topics outlined above.

If they can prove they are experts in all three, you’ve got yourself a professional web designer.