How to Choose the Right Web Designer for Your Business Website
September 26, 2022
If you’re reading this, you probably know by now that a website is crucial to your business. You understand that the right website needs to be functional, accurately represent your brand and be the base of all your online operations and marketing efforts.
That’s why you’ve decided to do it right by engaging a web designer. Before you start your search, understand that not every web designer is the right fit for a client, and not every client is the right fit for a web designer. But don’t worry, because we’re here to help you understand what you can do to find the right web designer for your specific needs.
By carefully considering the seven tips we’ll be introducing in this article, you’ll avoid a mismatch in expectations and find the right web designer who can bring your vision to life.
#1 Define the Scope of Your Website
Anyone working in a creative field will tell you that it is difficult to turn vague ideas from a client’s mind into reality. Before you engage a web designer, increase your chances of success by first establishing what you want or need from your website. The more detailed you are, the easier it will be for your web designer to create something that meets your requirements.
If you don’t know how to start, ask yourself these questions to get started. Any web designer worth their salt will ask you these questions, and they’ll be pleased to know that you’ve already given them some thought.
- What is the purpose of your website?
- What and how many pages should your website have?
- How do you want your website to look and feel?
- Will your website require any special functions?
- Do you need help with copywriting or SEO?
Try to answer these questions with as much detail as you can. We also recommend starting a collection of websites with designs you like. Share this collection with your web designer at the first meeting to better communicate your design preferences.
#2 Define Your Web Design Budget
Before you hire a web designer, be clear about the exact amount you are willing to pay. Many web designers will be happy to provide you with a quote if you are able to provide the rough scope of your website.
However, when shopping around for quotes, don’t make the mistake of simply going with the lowest possible. Your website is an investment, and rather than trying to reduce costs, you should be trying to extract the maximum value out of the budget you’ve set aside.
When considering price, look at some of these factors:
- Is it a fixed price or hourly rate?
- What is included in the quote?
- Content writing
- Domain registration
- Are there any hidden costs?
- How many revisions are you entitled to?
- Will you have full ownership of the final product?
#3 Check Out Web Designer Portfolios
The easiest way to determine if a web designer is right for you is to look at their past works. Professional web designers will often have their portfolio displayed on their website, and you may also be able to request for more samples.
When checking out portfolios, it is important that you don’t just consider the looks for the website. Although aesthetics matter, you should visit the websites in a web designer’s portfolio to see it in action and experience using it for yourself. This way, you can judge their websites as a whole, not just on specific aspects.
Here’s an easy thought process you can follow:
- Do you like their web designs?
- Do all their designs look the same?
- Are their websites simple or complex?
- Have they created any websites for your industry?
- Have they created any websites with the features you are looking for? (e.g. E-commerce, CRM integration)
- Visit their websites
- Does the website load quickly?
- Does the website have a clean and simple user flow?
- Is the website responsive on multiple devices?
- Is information buried or easy to find?
- Are there obvious call-to-actions?
Once you’ve found web designers with the right expertise for your project, it’s time to move on to the next stage.
#4 Read Customer Feedback
Okay, you’ve shortlisted a few web designers and you really like what they’ve shown in their portfolio. Now it’s time to figure out what they’re like to work with. Just like buying a product, social proof is invaluable.
Before you make your choice, read reviews from multiple sources so you have an idea of what it’s like to work with them. It’s especially helpful to look at recent reviews and spot common themes. For example: Are they responsive? Do they respond well to feedback or changes?
Look for these traits and decide which are more important to you. Remember, you’ll be working closely with your web designer so it pays to take the time to find someone you’ll really gel with!
#5 Go Over the Added Services They Offer
Whether you go with a freelance web designer or an agency, you’ll always have an initial consultation and discussion phase before you decide if you want to engage their services. This is the time to talk to them and get a feel of what value-added services they can offer you beyond designing your website.
As a general rule, you don’t want a passive web designer that is only going to do exactly what you tell them. As a client, you won’t know all the web design knowledge necessary to make informed decisions. It’s important that your web designer makes the effort to think for you, someone who is capable of providing you with relevant feedback and suggestions to improve your vision.
A good web designer will ask you questions about your website’s purpose, and your desired goals. He or she will take the time to ask important questions and understand your needs before coming up with a draft.
#6 What’s Their Web Design Process Like?
An organised, well-structured web design process clarifies the unknown, establishes clear deadlines and puts expectations in writing so the entire project goes smoothly. It is key to ensuring you and your web designer are on the same page and goes a long way toward alleviating any anxiety you might have.
Ideally, the web designer you go with should have a project plan or contract that clearly spells out the following:
- Complete list of deliverables
- Timeline of the project with checkpoints
- Total cost of the project
- Web designer responsibilities
- Client responsibilities
- Intellectual property rights
#7 What Sort of Post-launch Website Support Do They Offer?
Your website is not a one-and-done project! As an extension of your business, it needs constant updates, maintenance and support in order to perform its role as the center of your online marketing and business operations.
When choosing a web designer, you should consider what kind of post-launch website support they are able to offer:
- Will they provide training and teach you how to use the Content Management System?
- Will they provide long-term SEO services after your website goes live?
- Do they provide content writing services?
- Do they provide technical support in the event something goes wrong?
- Do they provide domain renewal and hosting services?
It’s always ideal to get support from the people who created your website because they are familiar with how it works. If your web designer is unable to provide you with post-launch support, ask them if they have someone they’d recommend.
Like what you see? Contact us for a consultation.