Your business may already have a website. Yet, you may have decided that you no longer like the looks of it or that it needs a major overhaul like adding more graphics and video, or even minor updates. Or maybe, you are new to the online business market and realize you need professional help. Web Design by Knight wants to help. No matter what business you are in, you need a great website designer.
Whatever your reason, there are steps that you can take to make sure you hire a great website designer for your business. Business website design is a serious business and needs to be very detailed. Most importantly to you is that you want your website to have a clear vision of who you are and what you want to accomplish in your business. A website that is unique to you. There are several key factors to hiring a great website designer. Let’s consider 10 steps to hiring a great website designer for your business.
1. Solicit Recommendations.
Don’t skip this crucial step to hiring a great website designer. We all know someone, a business acquaintance or someone in our business networking group. Ask for referrals. Find out who designed their business website. Are they happy with the outcome? Did the website designer communicate well? Was the cost reasonable and competitive? Would they use the website designer again? These business group partners can be a stepping stone for finding a great website designer.
2. Review the Potential Website Designer’s Portfolio.
Once you know your business vision and what you like and don’t like in a website, then you can begin to research a website designer’s portfolio. You should be able to ascertain the design aesthetic of the website designer you are researching. This would include looking at websites they have designed, reading testimonials of previous clients and customer reviews of their work. This will help you quickly discern if your business vision and what they have already accomplished with other clients will be a good match. If you determine that it is, then you can move on to the next step…
3. Acquiring Business References.
You wouldn’t dream of hiring an employee without checking previous work and personal references. Hiring a great website designer is just as important. It is okay to ask for references of past and existing customers, as well as look at the websites that these designers have created for their businesses.
4. Make Sure Your Designer Has Experience with Your Platform.
This step is important in this age when many want to DIY their own websites. True, everyone must start somewhere but do you really want them to start with your business website? Your business is too important to leave it to chance, or to amateurs. Experience counts when it comes to knowing how to implement a CMS (Content Management System). Hiring a great website designer means that they have worked with your CMS and is familiar with it, or at least can help you choose the best one for your business website if you haven’t already done so. Web Design by Knight focuses on WordPress and Joomla as the go-to content management systems. As a business owner, you may not realize the difference between the various CMS available. There are some that are proprietary, or template based, and others that are what is known as open source. WordPress and Joomla are both open source CMS. They are completely customizable and not very difficult to update. Plus, they can be moved to any hosting company or developer. A great website designer will know the difference and help you decide which of these content management systems will work best for your business. Besides CMS, it is important to understand any plug-ins or components that will be used for your business website. Web Design by Knight only uses paid plug-ins because they offer better security features and support.
5. Be Realistic About Your Budget.
It is true that you get what you pay for. Depending on the package and long-term management and security system you choose, it could be anywhere from $3000-12000. Web Design by Knight knows you do not want to compromise quality. The cost of a great website designer is based on the requirements of your project. The price would include if there are special requirements, how detailed, if there are ecommerce pages with multiple products, and integration of secure payments. Be honest about your budget and what your business needs are.
6. Know Where and Who Will Be Designing Your Website.
You might find this step a bit odd. However, if your project is outsourced to others or another country, then it could cause a major delay in your website design as well as a huge headache. You should always ask who is going to be designing and coding your website. Are they local? Do you want to meet the team? If being able to meet in person is important for communication, then hiring a local website designer is necessary. Web Design by Knight is completely USA based local talent, from design, to content writing, SEO, and graphics.
7. Be Aware of Business Deadlines.
This is a step that should be decided upon before you hire your website designer. You should always ask if they are able to meet your deadline as to when you want to launch your new business website. Before you commit to hiring a business website designer, make sure you are all on the same page. Be clear as to what you are expecting from the project and when you expect it to be finalized. Web Design by Knight clearly defines expected deadlines at the beginning of a project and has an open-door communication policy which allows you to contact us at any time regarding your ongoing business website design. It is also a good idea to find out how many revisions or changes you can request from the website designer. These are all important processes to hiring a great website designer.
8. Be Decisive.
Nothing gets done by chance. Uncertainty stifles growth. You must know your business vision; what you want and how to get it. Then work to make sure the website designer you hire knows and understands how to implement your vision. If you are unsure about what you want in a business website, then do some research. Browse the internet and look at other related business websites. What do you like about them? What do you not like? Take notes as to what you find agreeable to your business vision. Do you like the way the website looks? Do you like the flow, the ease of accessibility, its functionality? The answers to these questions will help you to communicate your business vision to prospective website designer. Web Design by Knight has a valuable tool available to help you with these important decisions. It is our New Website Design Questionnaire. You must know what you want and how to get it accomplished. Web Design by Knight is dedicated to asking the right questions to help you get the answers. Once you know what you want then you can find a website designer that fits your style and vision.
9. Be in Control of the Ownership of Your Website Design and Content.
You do not want to be in a situation where you hire a designer and they commence on your website design, only to find out too late that they own the intellectual property of your business website. It cannot be stressed enough, find this out ahead of time. Ask the website designer if they are willing to sign over the intellectual property rights to your website even though they are designing it. Not owning the design or content could hurt you in the long run if you ever decide to sell your business. That is why Web Design by Knight acknowledges and signs a release of content once the design is complete and paid in full, you completely own it.
10. Follow Up Support and Security Packages.
A great website designer knows the importance of follow up support after designing a great business website. They will not just design it for you and then drop off the face of the earth. There should be options available for security and maintenance packages. Your website designer should endeavor to build a lasting partnership in website maintenance, and management. They will be there to initiate on-going website updates and security measures. Web Design by Knight wants to build a continued partnership with our clients. We offer many security and management packages that are designed with you in mind. These packages ensure that your business website will continue to be up to date, fully secure, and maintained with great content.
In review of these 10 steps to hiring a great website designer, we see the importance of:
- Knowing what you want in a website design.
- Getting recommendations.
- Reviewing the portfolio of potential designers.
- Asking for references.
- Making sure the designer has experience.
- Having a realistic budget.
- Making sure you know who and where your designer is.
- Communicate business deadlines.
- Own your website design and content.
- Find out about follow-up support and security packages.
Hiring a great website designer is a serious business but once you find the right designer for your business, it should be a relatively smooth on-going process. Web Design by Knight has the experience necessary to make your website design stress free. Call us today for our free New Website Design Questionnaire. We guarantee your website design to be simple, secure and stress free!