How to choose a website designer

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Hiring a website designer can be a daunting task.

Either everyone you know calls themselves a website designer, or you don't know of anyone at all! Both have a way of leaving you wondering which way to turn.

Choosing the right Website Designer

Here's a little something I wrote to help clear the path a bit for you…

The challenge…
Because the Internet is relatively new, most people experience variable amounts of uncertainty as they tread into this foreign territory – creating a feeling of vulnerability.

Without previous experience in the website design process, much trust is being placed in the website design company that you've chosen – so you want to be sure they will listen to you, treat you with respect, and deliver a professional product.

The solution…
Your best asset when making this decision is knowledge. The more you know in general about website design/development, and about the company and its clients, the closer you are to reducing your risks and making a smart and educated decision.

Take some time to do you homework. It will remove much of the fear you may be experiencing, and empower you to confidently communicate your concerns, questions and website needs with your future website designer. Developing a website can be a fun process – really!

To assist you with this exciting journey, I've compiled some information to help you with your decision making. This is by no means all there is to consider, but definitely is a great place start. And hey, if you've got any questions, don't hesitate to give us a shout. Enjoy!

Location

To some this is a non-issue. Other prefer to be able to meet face to face.

  • Would you prefer to work with a local company?
  • Will working remotely equally suit your needs?

Style and Layout

At first glance, what is your gut feeling about the company's own website?

  • Professional: clean, easy to read, intuitive navigation, beautiful graphics.
  • Amateurish: cluttered, confusing, Google Ads, poor quality graphics.
  • Do you like its layout – does it evoke trust or doubt.

Move Around

Navigate through the company's site and read what interests you.

  • Is navigating the site easy? Did you get lost or, or did you always know where you were?
  • Are they consistent: with their own brand, with pages look/feel?
  • Is the web copy concise? Does the tone match the site's style?

Portfolio

Study their portfolio.

  • Are you impressed with what you see?
  • Does their design style match your website needs?
  • Do they show a broad range of creativity?
  • Can they develop the functionality your site may require?

Clients

Who are their previous clients? While not alway true – if they strictly work for huge corporations, their rates may be high, simply by virtue of their client list.

  • Multi-million dollar corporations i.e. Nike, Coke etc.?
  • Small – Medium Businesses?

Testimonials

If they have Testimonies on their site, why not read a few. Try to read between the lines.

  • What are people 'really saying' about this company?
  • Do the testimonies address some of your concerns?
  • Is there a thread or theme to the testimonies?

Design Standards

Website design is more than arranging images and text on a page. Does the company:

  • Use responsive templates for mobile use?
  • Optimize graphics for quick download?
  • Test for cross-browser compatibility?
  • Utilize user-centered design?

Maintenance

If your require maintenance, do they offer this as an additional service or will you need to look for someone else to do this for you?

IN CLOSING

Do a Google search – the results could be very enlightening.

Look at their online footprint: Blog, Facebook page, Twitter page, Linkedin profile – these may give you a real good feel for the 'pulse' of the company.

Referrals rock - if someone you know has recently launched their own website, find out as much as you can about their experience throughout the project, and about the website design company itself.

Okay, that's about if for now, I hope this has helped some. I truly wish you all the best. The journey is exciting – have fun with it!

Posted in Website Development

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