How to Choose a Good Web Designer

How do you choose a web designer when you know almost nothing about web design, what you need, how to build it and where to go to to find good one.

This article will help you make an informed decision instead of just selecting the first one you find.

Steps for choosing a good web designer:

1. Know the purpose of your website

Before searching for a web designer it’s a good idea to know what you want your website to do for your business. It will help the designer to know your needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want to generate leads?
  • Do you want to an online presence for your offline store?
  • Do you wish to sell products and/or services?
  • Do you want to interact with your customers?
  • Do you want to build long term relationships?

2. Experienced professional

There are many amateur designers who want to become professional. The problem is they don’t have many years of experience. For example they may create a pretty design but don’t know how to build search engine friendly pages. Look for a designer that has several years of experience, the longer the better. Visit their website to see the portfolio of websites they have already designed.

3. Qualifications

By viewing their portfolio you have a good idea of the types of websites they have built, however some amateur designers will simply get a template, modify it a little then charge you for a complete design.

A professional web designer should at least have these skill requirements:

  • html/xhtml
  • cascading style sheets (CSS)
  • javascript
  • graphic design
  • ecommerce design
  • php script installation and customization
  • search engine optimization
  • email marketing
  • FTP

Other design qualifications
CIW (Certified Internet Web Professional) is the world’s leading Web technology certification and curriculum program. The Master CIW Designer Certification shows the designer has taken the time and made the investment to become a Master Designer. You can’t go wrong if you find a designer that has been awarded this certification.

5. Testimonials

Reading the recommendations from satisfied clients shows they trust in the designer’s services. Visit the designer’s website to read the testimonials. Ask for them if they are not displayed.

6. Pricing

This is going to be all over the map because it depends on the complexity of the work involved and who is doing it. An online store containing 100s of products is going to cost more than a 5 page html website. A corporate design firm with many employees is going to charge more than a freelance web designer because they have to pay salaries. Ask for a preliminary proposal from the designer before hiring him or her.

7. Ask for a contract

The contract should clearly state what’s involved in the design of the website, prices, maintenance and hosting fees. It should also include who owns the website and the timetable for completion.

If your web designer fulfills all these requirements, is friendly, helpful, polite and easy to work then hire hime/her. You’ll be glad you made the right choice.
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Herman Drost is a Master CIW Designer,
owner and author of:
http://www.isitebuild.com/portfolio.htm
http://www.drostdesigns.com

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