Hiring a Professional Website Designer is an important decision for any business. Make sure you’re making the right choice with these 10 tips.
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to hiring a professional website designer. Before you start, it is important that you know the industry’s landscape and your digital vision. Here are ten useful tips to help you find the perfect match for your online project:
1) Think about what you want your website to look like
Consider your what you like and don’t like about your current branding. Odds are, you have an idea in your head about what you want your website so reflect in the future. Being able to paint a picture in your head before discussing the details with a designer makes the initial conversations much more effective.
Its no problem if you aren’t exactly sure what you want your website to look like. You can turn to any website on the internet you admire and want to emulate. In fact, showing a clear example of what you like is the best way to communicate your vision to a professional website designer.
2) Establish a realistic budget
First of all, if you want to get the most out of your website, you need to view it as an investment. The more resources you put in to it, the more value it produces in the long run. Top-notch websites generate an abundance of organic traffic that can completely revolutionize any business. If you skimp on some of the details, you could be holding your business back form reaching it’s potential.
That being said, there are a lot of designers in the industry who are more interested in their bottom line than keeping their clients happy. Don’t let designers fool you into overpaying by convincing you they are the only ones who know how to build your website. Web design is a competitive field and there are plenty of companies more than wiling to tailor their services toward your desired budget.
3) Consider the type of business partner you want
Are you interested in being “hands-on” throughout the design process? Do you want to give someone the reins to your online presence? What kind of business partner do you work best with? These are important questions to consider when hiring a professional website designer.
Above all, it is important to find a web design expert who shares your business’s core values.
4) Check out a few portfolios
Any reputable website designer already has a digital portfolio you can review. When you are combing through their website, take a look at their past work and see if the format is something you could see for your business.
Aside from the branding and colors, make sure you check the kind of features they installed on previous websites. About us, Services and Contact pages are pretty standard, but a great designer also has experience creating blogs, CTAs and landing pages.
5) Find out what their past clients are saying about them
Social proof is a huge indicator of success in the digital world. Just as your website should show your previous clients are satisfied with your work, so should the designers. Social media outlets are great for this type of research. Check out platforms like Twitter and Facebook to see the sort of feedback your prospective designer receives. If you see trends in what other people are saying, that is usually a good indicator of the type of company they are.
6) Make sure they can use your CMS platform
Content Management Systems (CMS) make the digital world go round. Website managers use CMS platforms like WordPress to build accessible webpages. When you’re hiring a professional website designer, make sure they have experience on your current CMS platform. If not, inquire about their ability to convert to your current system or transfer your information to a new CMS.
7) Ask about Website Security and Management
Having a website in today’s world is about a lot more than good looks. Websites also require regular maintenance and security updates to stay functional and safe.
With business hacking at an all-time high, it is more important than ever to have a protected digital presence. Providing consistent feedback for their clients as well as continuously updating crucial software are musts for any professional website designer.
8) Determine if the designer is aligned with your vision
Designers are admittedly guilty of letting their creative spark get the best of them. We believe our best work comes when we find a great idea that works and we run with it. Because of this tendency, it is really important you find a website designer who shares your initial vision.
When the website is complete, it will probably not look exactly like how you pictured it in your head, so be prepared for your designer to take a few liberties and trust they know what they are doing. You will be much more comfortable with this idea if you know for sure they see your business and it’s potential the same way you do.
9) Ask where and when the work will be done
Before you start writing a check, its important to make sure your new partner can deliver your product on time. Depending on their availability, a web design from scratch can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks. If you have to get your website completed in a timely fashion, this is an important inquiry. Also don’t forget to ask where the work is being done. Some companies that appear to be local may be hiring their designers from China or India. This is very important to get established before you start partnering with a company – as we have seen many clients that go back and forth with their local website designer because the local designer is sending the work oversees. A lot is lost in translation and you may not get what you are paying for.
10) Make sure you own the website’s content
Adriana Herrera, founder & CEO of TapAloha, says before hiring a professional website designer, you should ask “if they are willing to sign over all intellectual property rights [to your site].” Owning the content on your website is critical if you decide later you want to sell your business or change designers.
“Any good freelance designer/developer or agency will sign over intellectual property rights,” she continues “It’s common practice. If they don’t, it is a huge red flag.”
The fact you are considering hiring a professional website designer means you are taking your digital presence very seriously. Now that you have these tips under your belt, you can be sure whoever you decide to use is the perfect fit to take your business’s online profile to the next level.
At Web Design by Knight, we focus on putting our customer first and tailoring our services to their needs. If you’re interested in stepping your online game up, give us a call. We’ll be able to offer a free consultation and discuss the opportunities we can deliver for you and your business.