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15 Tips for choosing a web designer
Many persons are clueless when they think about getting a website designed. They don’t know what to look for and how to evaluate a web design company. This post shows the 15 main variables that can be used to decide which web design company is for you.
Does the company have a website and a portfolio? How do I want to design a website for someone and I cannot show a website of my own? That is basic.
Next, you want to look at their portfolio to see the work they have done for others in the past. See if what they are offering is what you are looking for. Note well, then some unscrupulous persons will use other person’s works in their portfolio. Make sure the portfolio has a clickable link back to the website so you can test the site yourself. Also look in the footer of the website. Is there another company getting credit as the web designer?
2. Price Range
There are hundreds of web design companies worldwide. Their prices range from hundreds to thousands of US dollars per website. You will have to find one within your price range.
3. Bang for Buck
Tied in with the price range is how much bang for the buck will you be getting? A relatively new company getting their foot wet in the market will more than likely offer lots of value as they build their portfolio. Building a portfolio is so valuable, that some web designers will create their first few websites for free.
4. Availability of designer
How accessible is your designer? Is he available via phone, email, online chat? Even better, can you see him in person? Hiring a web designer on the web can be a headache if that person cannot be easily contacted. If attempts to contact that person the first few times are difficult, then forget it.
5. Completion Time
How long will it take to complete the job? The average delivery time for a website is 14 weeks. Will the designer better this or will it take longer? Is your website a simple one? It should take shorter than 14 weeks. Find out from the start the estimated time, as you could end up with a designer that is loaded with work and you just keep getting put off.
7. Satisfaction Guarantee
Will your web designer stop at nothing until you are satisfied? Will he make as many revisions as possible to ensure you love what you get? Some busy web designers offer limited revisions before delivery of your site.
Your website will need web hosting. If you do not already have web hosting, what kind of hosting does your designer recommend? Does the designer provide his own hosting? If so, who hosts his servers? Are they fast enough to host your website if it gets lots of traffic?
If you already have web hosting, is it fast enough to host a fast website?
Will you get a free domain name?
Who will provide the content for your website? Many web design companies do not provide the content as part of their package. Can you create content? If not get a web designer who will create content for you as part of the package.
There is no traffic like free search engine traffic. Is your website coded with search engine optimisation in mind? Will your web designer optimise your website to rank for your chosen keywords? Will emphasis be placed on optimising on-page SEO?
10. Mobile Responsive
The days of mobile unfriendly websites are over. With the proliferation of mobile devices, a website has to be responsive and adapt to the sizes of different devices, from desktop to tablet to smartphone, whatever the size screens.
Mobile searches recently surpassed desktop searches. Google will penalise your website in mobile search results if it is not mobile responsive. This means, your website will not show up in the search result.
You need a mobile responsive web design period. No ifs, and’s, buts, or maybes.
11. Website speed
Website speed is a major ranking factor in search results. Your slow website will be penalised. What’s more, visitors to your website will also penalise you. How? It is a fact that the average person will leave your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Will the web designer be optimising your website for speed, or will he be giving you a beautiful, slow website?
A website is first and foremost a marketing tool. In fact, it is the greatest marketing tool in the world, if used correctly. A marketing tool is not effective if it is not tailored to trigger calls-to-action. In other words, a website is only effective if it gets your visitors to take the action you want them to take.
Gone are the days of a website only giving information. Will your web designer be building your website to trigger the action you want your visitors to take? This could include calling you or making a purchase or opting-in to an offer, among others.
Is your website customizable? Can it be adjusted over time as needed?
What if your business grows? Will your website be able to grow without needing to be rebuilt? Will the hosting account be able to expand to accommodate increased size of the website and bandwidth that is required for big volume traffic?
15. Social Integration
Facebook has 1.8 billion daily users, Instagram has 700 million, Twitter over 300 million. A website without social traffic is like a fish out of water (it won’t survive for long).
How easily is your web design integrated with social media? Will your website have a blog so as to share content on social media to bring traffic back yo your website?
Now you know the major questions to ask your web designer. You will know what to look for in a good web design project. Many persons owning their own website for the first time are fooled by the beautiful outward appearance. Make sure you have a pretty impactful website and not a pretty white elephant.