Having a website for your business or organization is an important tool, but a GREAT website is even better. If you are thinking about hiring a web designer to build a new brand website or revamp your existing one, then it is the right time to read this blog post.
Whether you are website savvy and know all about the latest trends or not, choosing the right web designer or web design firm can be a tricky process. There are quite few things to keep in mind when searching for the right professional or company.
To help you out and make the process more organized for you, I have put together a list of four things you should know or consider when looking for a web designer.
Let’s look at them.
I will never stress it enough. You always should try to get any type of services locally. Why? First, we should always support our fellow entrepreneurs. Secondly, local businesses and organizations offer high quality and customer services. They care about you and your needs. Search for a web designer or a firm locally, ask for recommendations from other businesses, and arrange to meet with two or three that were the most referred.
Take a look at the portfolio
Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three web designers/firms and arranged to meet with each of them, take a look at their websites and portfolios online. Do you like their websites? Do you like the work they have done with other clients? Do you like how their websites are structured? Do you like their graphic design and style? What do you dislike?
Make sure to have a list of questions to ask them and yourself when you meet your potential future web designer/firm. The following questions are important:
Can they offer everything you might need? This refers to any other service that support your business or organization and your online presence, such as graphic design, copywriting, domain names, hosting, support and online marketing. It is easier to have it all in one place if possible.
Can I update the website myself? Is it easy? You want to make sure you are able to update your website at any time, and most importantly it is easy. It doesn’t require coding or programming. You should be able to log in and make any updates or changes when it suits you. Avoid having to call every time you need a small change. Independency is crucial.
- Will I get support when I need it? Of course, you should be able to call and get support if you need it, and preferably it should be included in their services at no additional charges.
- How much will it cost me? Set a budget and try to work around it. It is usually a bit cheaper when it is done locally. Keep in mind that the domain name and hosting will be a recurring annual expense.
- Do they understand what I want and my needs? Do they show me they do? Do I feel they do?
- Do I understand any of what they are telling me? Are they too technical when they speak? Do they simply focus on the website structure, style and layout? The less technical jargon they use the better. Do they make me feel they are offering me something very simple yet elegant in look and usability?
- Are they knowledgeable when it comes to Search Engine Optimization, online marketing and e-commerce? Do they know the latest trends and how to integrate them in my future website?
Keep it simple and simpler and even more simpler!
This is another thing that I will never stress enough, and I believe it is the foundation of any website development and maintenance. Keep it SIMPLE and even more simpler. From the planning to launching phase, every step should go smoothly. Leave the technical details to the web designer/firm, but ensure that you are able to accomplish any tasks independently with your website once it is launched. Make sure your website looks great yet elegant with a simple navigation and structure. Ensure the content management system will be easy to use. Go as simpler as you can, and I promise that you will not regret it.