7 Reasons to Hire a Professional Graphic Designer

Graphic designing has become a fundamental part of today’s world. It’s surrounding us in a myriad of forms, both in a virtual sense and in print. Graphic designing can make your brand become distinguishable in the jam-packet market, making it look more professional and introduce your services or products to broad audiences.

With that in mind, a lot of companies decide to take the responsibility of graphic designing on themselves, with little or no knowledge at all. The internet offers many solutions for those who want to cut down their costs, so business owners go for free logo online creators, stock images and other quick fixes.

However, that might not be such a clever idea if you’re thinking about standing out in the crowd. If you want to maintain professionalism and raise uniqueness, you’re in the need of a professional graphic designer. We’ll provide you with some additional reasons to help you consider this idea.

1. Save your time

When you’re already overwhelmed by your work, why take another responsibility? Time is a valuable thing in today’s world and should be used cautiously. If you’re running a business, the chances are you won’t have enough time to be really dedicated to graphic designing, since it would take you years to master the complex graphic design work.

Having a professional handle this for you will take loads of work off your back. A professional already possesses all the necessary skills, leaving you room to be focused on other important tasks. Graphic design professionals can put all of their focus on your projects and deliver the desired results in less time.

2. Save your money

A professional can also prevent you from making sky-high costs as they are familiar with the most effective ways to keep your costs at a minimum. An experienced graphic designer would know where to find the best resources needed and which programs to use for the assigned projects.

3. Stand out

It is difficult to get attention in a crowded market, but a professional can assure your recognition amongst competitors. Following the latest trends and thinking outside the box can provide the much-needed uniqueness for your business. They can offer you creativeness and a fresh perspective and put an emphasis on the things you didn’t have in mind, which will help you attract the target audience along the way.

4. Maintain a professional image

This may be the most important factor when hiring a professional designer. Presenting your business in a visually appealing way is crucial because it guarantees a trustworthy image. Designers know how to combine all the essential elements to create a great visual representation of your company.

5. Achieve desired results

A professional designer will make sure to understand your business goals, as well as your audience, so you don’t need to leave anything to chance. Their responsibility is to brainstorm how to convey your message in the most effective way and deliver a wholesome and appealing website that represents your business in a good light.

6. Attract new clients

A successful website incorporates perfect load time, engaging imagery and good navigation, and will work properly on all devices and in different web browsers. All of these segments help you attract new clients, so it’s important to have a highly functional site to speak for itself. Without an expert dealing with your website, you could pass up a great opportunity for future customers as a result of a bad introduction.

7. Ensure consistency

Inconsistency in business can make you look rather unprofessional. A bad design may influence your clients to think you provide inconsistent services. Your brand is a reflection of your business, so you have to be careful about what kind of a message it sends. A professional graphic designer will pay attention to the smallest details and will have the right tools to ensure you credibility. Creating a style guide is highly important if you’re planning on expanding your business and a good designer can help you achieve that.

To conclude, appearance is crucial in the business world and communication is becoming progressively more visual every day, so online success is critical. Ultimately, if you want to wow your clients and beat down the competition, you should absolutely go for a professional to make your business really stand out!

The 2 Essentials for Making Your WordPress Website Load Faster

If your website is slow-loading, then you’re losing visitors hand over fist.  What many website owners don’t realize is that even though WordPress has created a revolution in DIY websites, they don’t do much to prevent unsuspecting newbies from creating sites that load like it’s 1999 when we were all using dial up.

Yes, that premium WordPress theme you have looks great, but when you try to stick numerous 2 mb photos you took with your fancy new phone, you might just be bringing the whole thing to a grindingly slow halt.

Here are the two most important things you should do to lighten up your site so it loads faster.

1.  Reduce Your Image File Size

Of course one main source of website bloat has always been images.  We all want fancy, beautiful images to grace our websites, but if you’re not careful they can be the prime reason your website loads slower than most visitors are willing to wait around for.

Reducing your image file size is the first place to start, especially if you’re using a new WordPress themes which features any of the following:

  • Parallax backgrounds
  • Hero images
  • Header sliders

Also consider your blog post feature images, which can line up on your blog home page like a parade of heavy, slow buffaloes and take eons to download.

But you chose smaller sizes when you inserted those images into your post, right?  Doesn’t that reduce the image file size?  Not always.

Here’s what trips up lots of website owners…

Some WordPress themes will stick a full-size image where really all that’s called for is a tiny image.  But the image is small!  you say.  Not quite, and here’s why.

The displayed image might be tiny, but unless you’ve fixed things, when someone visitors your site, it is first loading the full-size image, then shrinking it on the spot to display it smaller.  Total waste of resources.

There are two ways to handle the image problem in WordPress.

You have a choice in how to reduce your image sizes.  You can use photo editing software (pre-upload), or you can enlist the services of a plugin (post-upload).  Personally, I prefer the first method.  Both give the same result, which is exporting your original (heavy) image into a lesser quality (lightweight) image.

But I don’t want bad quality images that look grainy!

Nope, I didn’t say you had to re-export your images into bad quality images.  I recommended “lesser quality”.  Trust me, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a quality measure of 99 and one of 80.  You’ll be cutting the weight down significantly, but not the perceived quality.

This image weighs a gargantuan 460 KBs when exported at a quality rating of 99.  If I turn the rating down to a quality of 75, I can’t really tell the difference and now the weight is down to 72.9 KBs!

For further reading on the image optimization, I recommend this article which covers everything from how to choose the right image format, downsizing the resolution, and compares different online tools and WordPress plugins currently available for reducing image file size.

Let's see how many MBs when can load on there!

Let’s see how many MBs when can load on there!

2.  Cache Your Site

Images aren’t the only things that slow down your website’s load time.  Your website can be large (because of images) or it can also be complex (because of scripts).

Another reason to cache your site.

Shared hosting will suspend your account if your website uses too many resources.  Scripts that constantly run to the database to create portions of your website aren’t necessarily bad, but once you get a lot of fancy plugins going, that’s a lot of script-grabbing taxing the database.

Plus, once you add lots of traffic to the scene, you’re really dealing with a major slowdown in load time.

JS files are now literally heavier than entire websites used to be.

Modern websites almost always have some javascript on them. For a while, that wasn’t the case, but now JS is back in full force and everybody’s using it.

The problem?  A Javascript file may literally be bigger than an entire website was 10 years ago.

Back in the day, the general rule of thumb was you weren’t supposed to use images that were more than 30-70 KBs.  You also weren’t supposed to make websites that were more than 800 pixels wide, and each page was to be no more than 100 KBs.

Now javascript files are like 100 KBs each, and sometimes there are like 5 javascripts on one page!  Plus plugins!  And plugins use javascript too, so you can imagine how ginormous fancy websites are these days.

So, what do cache plugins do, exactly?

Cache plugins will create a text version of your website.  Instead of calls to database, and having to run all the functions in the PHP script to generate the pages, it’s taking the output of all that and creates a static file of the final HTML.  Then all it needs to do is serve up that one static file whenever someone visits your site.

Cache plugins also put your site on a diet, trimming the fat in several ways to make it lighter so it loads faster.  Here are some of those ways:

  • Minify.  This means stripping the white space out of your javascript and CSS to make those files smaller.  This includes tabs, comments, spaces, and new lines in the CSS files.
  • Grouping of files.  Will combine several script files into one, making it possible to have fewer http requests.  Also does this for CSS files.
  • Packs JavaScript scripts.  

The bottom line.

Examine your photos, and cache your site, that’s really it.  To test the results of your efforts, use tools.pingdom.com or the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see how fast your website actually loads.  Keep tweaking until you get the speed you need.