So you decided to get a professional website designed for your business but don’t know what to look for and where to find a web designer that will meet your needs.
Here are the 10 steps for sorting through the process of choosing a web designer.
1. Know the purpose of your website
Is the goal of your site to display information (informational website), sell products (e-commerce website) or to generate new leads (landing page)? Knowing this information before you call a web designer will speed up the hiring process.
2. Search within your local area
Use the internet to create a list of the top 10 web designers in your local area. Why local instead of a world search? Well, the benefit of selecting a local designer is that you can meet with him or her face to face, call for assistance and support your local business community.
To begin your internet search enter the keyword phrase such as “web designer in City, State” in the Google search box then begin viewing their websites.
3. Look for qualifications and experience
Hiring a qualified and experienced professional will save you time and money because he or she will intimately know all the intricacies of designing, building and marketing a professional website. If you hire an inexperienced person you’ll be paying for the time it takes to correct his or her mistakes or learning on the job.
View the website of each designer and ask yourself these questions:
- Does the website look professional?
- Does it load fast?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Is the information clear and concise?
Visit the “about us” page to review their qualifications and experience…the longer they’ve been in business the better because it means they know what pitfalls to avoid.
4. View the design portfolio
The portfolio page displays websites he or she has built for customers. If the designer has been in business for many years he will have many different designs for you to review.
5. Read client testimonials
What others say about you and your business is more believable that someone who “toots their own horn.” Read the opinions of others so you know what to expect should you hire this specific designer.
6. Call or email
Talking to someone on the phone gives you a better idea if this is the person you want to work with rather than just emailing them.
Ask yourself these questions when calling:
- Does he respond promptly?
- Is he polite?
- Does he answer all your questions?
- Ask if he or she will actually be the one designing your website
- Ask if you can call one of his previous clients.
If you prefer to email the web designer rather than calling him directly, make a note of the response time. Does he respond immediately or at least within the same day? If not, move on to the next one.
7. Offer domain registration and web hosting
Often a web designer will prefer to register your domain name as well as host your website because he can save time by keeping everything in one location instead of spreading the services across multiple companies. He can also help you select the most suitable domain name for your business.
Hosting your site with the same company means they can avoid the hassle of communicating with slow, inexperienced tech support when dealing with an outside hosting company.
So ask your potential web designer if they also offer domain registration and web hosting.
8. Create search engine friendly pages
Many web designers are very good at designing websites but don’t know how to optimize them so they attract visitors searching for information via the search engines.
To achieve this your website needs to have the correct structure, navigation, load within a few seconds, contain clean html code, display correctly in all major browsers and include your main keywords in the meta tags, file names and web copy.
Once this is completed you need to implement a strategic marketing plan.
9. Offer marketing services
Designing your website is just the first step in building a profitable business on the Web. A clear marketing strategy is needed to drive traffic to your site and convert those visitors into buyers. Ask your web designer if their company also offers marketing services.
If they have been in business for many years they’ll be able to offer the best methods for generating immediate and long term traffic to your website.
10. Ongoing maintenance
Websites need constant updating to provide new content to visitors and stay ahead of competitors. If you prefer to update the website yourself, ask if this function will be included in the design. If you don’t want to maintain it yourself ask if the company can do it for you and what they charge.
The cost of designing your website will vary from company to company based on your design needs. Ask for a preliminary proposal before hiring them so you can read over it at your own leisure before making your final decision. Don’t just hire the cheapest company as you’ll often get what you pay for and will run into problems down the road.
If you follow the 10 steps mentioned above it will not only reduce the time to find a professional web designer but give you the confidence to create a successful business on the Web.
Watch How to Choose a Web Designer on YouTube
Whether you want a custom designed website or need to maintain, market or host your current one I’ve got you covered. With over 12 years of experience I will turn your business ideas into reality and help you generate traffic that converts hungry visitors into buyers.