Thinking of hiring a web designer? This post ‘how to choose a web designer’ looks at the important factors you should consider before picking up the phone!
So, how to choose a web designer…
Knowing what you want
If you are not too familiar with marketing or website design you may have been told ‘you need a website’ but are not entirely sure why or what you should put on it and for what purpose. Briefing a designer well in order to get the results you want to achieve can be tricky.
Luckily we have created logo and website briefing forms to make this process easier. They include some questions that you may not have considered that will help clarify what you are hoping to achieve and the type of functionality you think you may require.
Somebody having a clue about search engines
These days it is very easy to get some sort of online presence sorted out. If you don’t have a niece or nephew who can ‘do a bit of coding’, there are plenty of free website builders you can use yourself. However if you or the person you employ do not understand anything about how the search engines work (and this includes some of the web designers we have met) your website will have little chance of being found by potential customers on the prowl for what you offer. If you are just wanting a website that you can direct people you have already met to, this is of much less importance. Unfortunately getting clicks to your website is not even half the battle…
Marketing your business
Many businesses do not give marketing the consideration it requires. Wanting to generate more enquiries, they commission a web designer to build them a website but do not give enough thought to who they are trying to attract and the reasons why that person would want to do business with them over the competition. Most web designers know how to design websites but do not necessarily understand marketing. A lot of business owners will ask a web designer to build them a website without speaking to a marketing consultant first. This often results in a website that is technically proficient but doesn’t generate the leads they were expecting.
We love marketing! In addition to design we devote a serious amount of time keeping up to date with the latest marketing methods so we can help you win more customers.
If your web designer’s website does not show up on the first page Google (and not by using a paid for advert) when you search for a phrase such as “web designer in [your locality]” or “web design [your locality]” then there is little chance of the website they build for your company showing up for a relevant query.
Blowing their own trumpet in a vacuum
We strongly believe in telling others how much your product or service can benefit them. However what anyone says about themselves is a lot less believable than what others say! Established companies that do a great job should have no shortage of testimonials from happy customers. Don’t be duped by bogus testimonials written by web designers on their own websites. Testimonials from verifiable sources are a must and it wouldn’t hurt to contact those people yourself to check that they are genuine. Ideally check on third party review sites such as Google+ to get a real idea of what people are actually saying about their experience with the company you are thinking of using.
You can see what some of our clients have said on our Google+ page. Customers have to add these reviews themselves to Google+ pages and we have no power to delete any negative reviews. A lot of our new clients come from referrals!
Portfolio of work
One of the first things you should consider when searching for a web designer to build your website is whether that have a strong portfolio of genuine work. Often this is the quickest and easiest way to help you decide whether they are the right choice for your business and goals.
Not all web designers have been trained in design and this will often show in the look of the websites they have built. Although we always argue that content and functionality trumps the visual appearance of a site, that said, a poorly designed website looks amateur and can damage your credibility.
Some designers will have a house style and if you think it will be at odds with your business that can be problematic.
You should expect to see a portfolio of previous work detailing what was undertaken for each project with a link to the completed website for you to view.
View our web design portfolio which shows the diverse range of websites we have built.
If you are looking for a web designer who you can meet with to discuss your business goals and website requirements, then finding a web designer local to you is an important consideration. If you search in Google for “web designer in [your locality]” one section of the search results should be the Local results which have pins next to them that correspond to the map so you can see where your local web designers are located and also what reviews they have received.
Using a foreign web design service may be cheaper on the face of it but communication issues and not being able to pay them a visit if problems are encountered can cost you dear.
We like to meet potential customers before deciding if we are a good fit (though this is not always possible). We include an initial no-obligation consultation with our silver and gold web design packages where we discuss our potential new client’s goals and requirements to make sure we understand their business and what they want to achieve.
Speaking of cost…
Web design charges can vary massively between web designers but if comparing prices make sure you are comparing apples with apples and understand what is going to be included and what is not.
Though it is possible to give ball-park costs if a vague outline of requirements is supplied, be very wary of prices quoted without any detail of exactly what work will be done.
We are up-front about our web design fees and believe we offer great value. We have bronze, silver and gold website packages detailed on our website so you can get a rough idea of what we can achieve for you at what price. Don’t forget to check-out the additional bolt-ons that can be purchased with each package. Projects are quoted on a bespoke basis but often use one of these packages as a starting point. We also offer payment plans helping to spread the cost!
If you have a tight deadline it is important to make sure the work is achievable by the web designer in the time frame you require.
To give a realistic indication of time scale, the web designer will need a full brief to factor in all the work that is required.
If you are wondering about how to choose a web designer when looking to build a website or maybe revamp an existing site to raise your businesses online profile give a call to discuss what we can do for you on 01737 350 389.