How To Choose a Website Designer For Your Business

How To Choose a Website Designer

In Words of Wisdom by Wise Website Solutions

How To Choose the Right Website Designer

If you have searched for a website designer or web agency in the past, you know how true that statement is. When you own your own business, selecting the right person or team to build your website may be the most crucial decision you make. A well designed website will bring in new business, whereas a poorly designed site will discourage your visitors and lead them to look elsewhere.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” web designer. But that doesn’t mean finding a great web designer is luck by any means. It’s important to understand the different skill sets or expertise that often fall under the generic “web designer” title.

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    Website Design

    Simple definition: Designing the way your website looks. This includes the colors, navigation menu, fonts and layout at the most basic level.

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    Web Programming

    Simple definition: Defining the way your website works. This would include all of the maintenance and coding that allows your site’s design to come to life. Good web programmers should have expertise in html, css, javascript and php to name a few.

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    Graphic Design

    Simple definition: Creates the visuals that make your website “pop” including illustrations, photos, infographics and all of the aspects of your visual branding. A graphic artist should be able to create your logo and all of your print templates as well.

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    Online Marketing

    Simple definition: Bring targeted visitors to your website. An internet marketing expert should use multiple avenues to create traffic to your website. This includes search engine optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), social media and local directories to name a few.

All of the above characteristics are vital to a successful online presence. If we could give you one piece of advice you take from all of this… The person or company you choose to build your website should have all of the above traits and more! Even if you get a great looking website, imagine the scenario where you have 2 or more different companies trying to work together to put out one final project. I’ll give you one example out of hundreds you could choose from… Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Compare a company who designs and programs your website with search engine optimization already in mind vs a company who hands you over a nice looking website and then you get a search engine specialist to come in and tell you what to have your web designer and programmer change in order to provide better search results. Do you honestly believe that scenario could compete with the cohesive team or expert under one roof? Your branding is probably an even better example but I think you got the point so let’s move on.

Because there are so many different variables involved and no company is exactly the same, it might be more helpful to provide you with a list of items you will want to cover with potential website designers along with some potential red flags.

  • Make sure they are trying to gather as much information as possible about your business.  It’s impossible for anyone to design a successful website for your business when they know nothing about your business.
  • Make sure they are willing to show you previous websites they are still maintaining so you can ensure the designers style fits your business.  Make sure the sites are loading quickly and that they provide the same message across multiple devices (known as Responsive Design Layout).  Make sure the content on the site is spelled correctly and the designer uses proper grammar or this could be a big red flag.
  • Question the potential web designer regarding the visual aspects and imagery on the site.  Do they do the graphics and programming in-house or are they contracting this work out?  You have the right to know who is working on your project!  If they don’t do the work, you may either ask if they will work with someone you recommend or this may be where you decide to move on to the next web designer.
  • Does it seem like the designer has a structured plan on how your project will get completed along with a realistic time-frame?  A helpful way good web design teams are transparent with their clients is using a system that allows the client to log in and see who is working on their project and what items are being worked on during the logged time.
  • Ask them if they plan on marketing your website when completed or if this is your responsibility.  Remember, a great looking website is useless if nobody knows it exists. If they do plan on helping you with the online marketing, make sure they seem qualified and try to guage their expertise about the following marketing strategies:
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
    • Mobile Marketing
    • Local Listings
    • Email Marketing
  • Now that you have more information from potential web designers, you should now be able to guage if a bid seems accurate or inflated.  An experienced website designer will not quote you a price until they have a pretty good idea of the project, content and features you are interested in.  A quality website with good visuals and layout will cost approximately $2500 – $5000 for a simple business website.  This would be a range of about $60 – $125 per hour depending on location and expertise. If you need a blog, company newsletter, shopping cart, email, SEO, logo design and email, expect the price to increase to reflect the features you wish to include in your project.
  • Ensure you are comfortable with the way they will bill you for their services.  Are they expecting a deposit?  Will they split the cost over monthly payments or will they invoice you at specific milestones that are achieved during the construction of your project?
  • Stay focused on your budget.  Web designers are going to suggest new services and features that will increase the cost of your site but it is up to you to remain determined to stick within your budget.
  • If possible, get in touch with a current client to see how efficient the company works and if they did what they said they were going to do at the onset.  Your looking for someone with good project management abilities as well as communication skills.  You don’t just want advice… You also need them to be able to listen to your needs in order to hit your goals.
  • Ask about future updates and maintenance.  For security and performance, websites need to be constantly maintained to ensure there are no bugs or harmful visitors on your site.  If they are willing, find out how much they will charge you for this service.  If not, find out what type of programming they used so that you can find a skilled company to handle this for you.
  • If you are comfortable, you can request the designer to create a platform like wordpress, which will allow you to edit content and add new graphics or pages yourself.  If you go this route, make sure you inform the designer that you are going to perform the updates and maintenance so they can make this as simple as possible for you.
  • Confirm with your designer that you will own the copyright to the entire website and that you own the domain.  This will ensure that if something doesn’t work out the way you intended, you could provide the source files to a new designer to continue on with your project.
  • Most importantly, make sure you enjoy talking and working with the designer you choose.   You have to believe they will act ethically and deliver on their promises to you.  The last thing you want is a designer that comes up with excuses and wastes your time.  Do you feel good about them meeting your goals at the within your timeframe?

Now that you have the information, you can do extensive interviews of potential website designers to ensure the likelihood of your website success.  You’ll definitely be more likely to pick the right person for your business by following the bullets above.  We would love an opportunity to answer these questions for you and have a shot at earning your business.

For complete answers by Wise Website Solutions to all of the questions above, please submit request below.

We would love an opportunity to design your new website.  We will answer the above bullet points thoroughly and provide details on our affordable pricing model.  Please provide your name and email and we promise to keep your information private.

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