There are a lot of web designers out there. Unfortunately, there are relatively few good web designers … and even fewer good designers whose artistic sensibilities and the idea of perfection in a web page gels well with your own! If you take a methodical approach to hiring a web designer, though, and are willing to look beyond the price tag to see the value of their work to your business, in the long run, making your choice can actually be fairly straightforward. We show you how.
Look beyond the local
The whole point of the internet is that it makes it possible to work with people outside your local area. There is a whole planet worth of awesome web designers out there – so don’t limit your search to those in your phone book! Additionally, if you pick web designers from a country where the cost of living is lower than your own (for example British businesses using Australian web designers), you can get a top quality site at bargain prices.
Choose full-service firms
Most people need a full creative graphic design for their websites as well as dedicated website developers – two different fields of work and separate skill sets. Look for a provider that offers both, to streamline the process. It is wise to start incorporating SEO best practices into your web design, so even if you plan to outsource your internet marketing later, designers with a knowledge of SEO are best.
Email past clients
Many web designers have a portfolio of their past work – you can email them to find out how satisfied they were with the work.
Know their specialities
Some web designers are particularly experienced with hotel websites. Some have done a lot of e-commerce work. Some are best with blogs and information-based sites. Look for a web designer that specialises in your website’s niche.
Ask about the design and review process
Can the designer incorporate your feedback throughout the process, and do a larger number of revisions cost extra? Who retains the copyright at the end of the process?
Can you update the site yourself?
Look for web designers that can implement an easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) on your website, so you can make fast and easy updates yourself. If there is no CMS, you’ll have to get in contact, wait until they have time, and then pay for changes.
Do they speak your language?
If your web designer is able to explain changes, processes and their reasoning in a language you can understand (a minimum of technobabble!), they are a very valuable business partner!
Your web designer’s pricing is nowhere near as important as their skills, their processes and the way they interact with you. Just the same, nobody wants to pay more than necessary, nor end up with a sub-standard website because they ‘got what they paid for’. Try to get an understanding of how your web designer sets prices, as well as what the final price will be!