How To Pick A Web Designer For Your Small Business?
A quality business website has never been more important than it is today. Majority of consumers browse the internet for products and services before making purchases. As a business owner, you want your website to look professional and aesthetic while delivering top performance. This can only be achieved if you select the right experts to design your website. In this article, we discuss the main checkpoints in selecting a web designing service.
What do you expect from the website?
Websites can be informational or promotional, static or interactive. The first step is to decide what kind of website you want for your business. Do you want to have an e-commerce store? Do you want customers to interact with you through a blog? Blogs help businesses by:
- providing fresh content every day – this helps in search engine ranking
- building an authoritarian status as you disseminate relevant information
- familiarizing customers with your business name, thereby engendering trust
Ask associates and friends about the website designers they have employed in the past, their experiences – good and bad, time taken to complete the project, their level of expertise, ease of communication, quality of work, etc. Collect details of three or more designers to get quotes and conduct a comparative analysis. You can also get contacts of good designers from other websites. If you see a design that you like, look for the designer’s signature (an email id, “Design by: XYZ”, etc.) at the bottom. Sometimes, the website administrator’s email address is specified. This is even better as you can ask them about their experience with the web designer. You may also request web design quotes from sites that aggregate designers and sell web design leads to them.
Look for samples and competing websites
Website designers usually display samples of their work on their website. Have a look at them, especially those in your line. You can also look at random websites and keep note of what you like. Another important step – search for competitions’ websites that come up on search engines. Observe the level of search engine optimization, customer-friendly design elements, content, and other details. You want to make sure your website is as competitive if not more.
Look for technical and design skills in staff
Web design services should have personnel skilled in both technical and design fields so that you get the advantage of latest technologies. Large web design services usually have dedicated content writers, SEO specialists, website designers, graphics experts, and a technical team for web development.
You can write your own content but you should have some experience in creating web content, implementing SEO, and copy writing to make it truly effective. Plus, it should be very well edited or it will send a wrong message about your business.
Communication with the web designer
When conceptualizing the design of a website, it helps to think like a customer. An experienced designer can guide you on this aspect. She should be able to communicate her approach to you while taking your points into consideration. Some points that should come up in discussions are:
- Website specifics: Web designers can guide you on the best technologies to use, design elements, number of web pages, content organization issues, and solutions.
- Graphics: if you ask the web designer to buy stock images for you, it will be time consuming and expensive. Where possible, collect your own graphics in high resolution JPEG and give them to the designer on a CD.
Fee structure and time lines
Website designers will charge for services based on experience, service quality, and expertise. Inquire about the fees and the services covered – web hosting, domain name registration, maintenance of the website (coding errors and performance issues), alterations, training (in case you want to maintain the website yourself), etc. Discuss the time line of the project. Typically, each project phase is associated with a fee slab.
Experienced and qualified web designers will deliver reliable website solutions but they come at a price. If the fees justify the quality of work they produce, go for it. After all, your business website will introduce you to millions of customers. It should be perfect. Else, keep shopping around till you find a web design service that fits your requirements and budget.