Three secrets to choosing the right web designer
Does the thought of having a new website built or your current site upgraded, fill you with dread? There are so many options, but who has time to research and understand them all, right? And then there’s the cost.
How much should you pay to get what you want? And, who can you trust? But it doesn’t have to be all bad. Here are three secrets to choosing the right web designer, enjoying the process and ending up with a website you love.
1. Choose a great web designer
Professional - As appealing as it might be initially to have your sister’s, cousins, brother build your website for you, in the long run it won’t be worth the stress it causes or the time it takes. Anything done as a favour nearly always becomes a low priority so choose someone who builds websites as a profession.
Experienced – To ensure an enjoyable experience choose a designer who has at least five years experience so they have their systems and procedures clearly defined.
Portfolio – Each web designer will have a particular style so peruse their portfolio and look for examples of their ability to build a site with the look and feel you’re wanting.
Committed long term – There’s a lot more to a website than just building and sending it live so look for a designer that displays an ongoing commitment to you after the go live process.
Designer vs Developer – A designer makes a website look appealing, a developer creates the functionality. Both are required to create an ideal customer experience so choose a designer who has a great developer in their team.
2. Pay the right price
Free – When you’re just starting out free DIY websites such as Wordpress.com, Wix or Weebly can be appealing. But these can often be full of hidden costs, you never own your site so you can’t take it with you, they are slow to load which effects your SEO and you can lose hours/days/weeks trying to get the design right.
Mid-range – An average website will be between $500 to $5 000. The price difference is in relation to functionality and quality of design. The better the quality and more moving parts/pages, the higher the cost to build. There are also some new companies who provide quality pre-made websites at the lower price point.
Expensive – What you’re paying for in higher priced websites is expertise and ability to customise to your unique business needs. Building a site that converts, is easy to navigate and has functionality unique to your industry, takes years of experience but is worth the investment because it will produce a return much like an employee should.
Ownership vs proprietary – Something to note: owning your website is important to give you freedom of choice and control. Being tied to one developer or company through proprietary software is limiting and could be expensive in the future.
3. Communicate with your web designer
Be clear in your communication – Using broad terms and words such as “more swirly and flowy” makes it difficult for your designer to know exactly what you want. Give clear descriptions and use examples, screenshots and illustrations as much as possible.
Speak up – If there’s an issue or something you don’t like, don’t be afraid to tell your designer. They aren’t mind readers, they’re human, so give them the opportunity to fix the issue by letting them know it exists. Assuming they ‘should’ know is unrealistic.
Be respectful – You’ve chosen them as the expert, so respect their advice. Bring problems to them and although you might have a solution, be open to listen to theirs. You may find a solution you never knew existed.
Nothing is rarely simple – What might seem like a simple addition or change to you, can be the most complicated to do and visa versa. Accepting this is how technology can be will go a long way to a good relationship with your web designer.
With over a billion websites currently online and more being added every day, it’s important to keep ahead of your competition by updating your website every two years and constantly adding content so that Google knows you’re still in business. These three secrets to choosing the right web designer have evolved over many years of working with clients and will definitely put you in good standing to choose the best web designer for your business.
About the contributor:
Clark Marshall has been tinkering with computers since he was given his first Apple 2C at the age of ten. He transitioned into building customised websites over twelve years ago at the request of a friend and now owns and runs the Blue Dog Digital Marketing agency with his fiancé Tegan. Website: www.bluedogdiywebsites.com.au