Choosing the best web designer to create your site is extremely important. You want a web designer to create clear, concise and powerful messaging that defines your company’s services, differentiates you from competitors, and delivers the value of the service to customers, media, and stockholders. To locate the perfect web designer for your site, consider these five vital aspects: goals, experience, portfolio, references, and communication.
1. Set Your Goals
Before contacting any web designers, establish your website goals. Ask yourself and answer the following questions:
- Why do I want a website?
- Am I selling something?
- If I’m selling, will I accept credit cards over the Internet?
- Who is my target market?
- What is my industry?
- Who are my competitors?
- How soon do I want my website?
These are questions a web designer will ask. If you have already answered these questions, this will save time and facilitate the communication of your expectations to web designers.
How long has the web designer been in business? The longer the designer has been in business, the more likely he / she has satisfied clients. Also, if you have questions later or need an upgrade to your website, you would want your web designer to still be available. You will want a web designer who has knowledge of page layout, has a way with color and knows how to place elements on a page for best appearance and website performance.
Look at examples of a web designer’s sites. Do the sites show diversity and range? Has the company created sites similar to what you need? For example, if you plan to accept credit card payments through your website, do the designer’s examples show that he / she has designed sites to handle this? Next, check the designer’s example sites online using various browsers. Do the sites load and work properly?
Ask the web designer for client references. Contact these clients and ask them about their experience with the designer. Go beyond just asking the clients if they were happy with the results. Did they get what they paid for? Were there any surprise charges? Was the site completed on time? How were your questions handled? Did the web designer answer emails and phone calls in a timely manner?
As you interview a web designer observe how he or she communicates. Is the person using technical terms only a technophile would understand? As you explain the goals for your website, does the designer ask relevant questions? Does the designer come across like a diva or as a partner in this endeavor? How well do your personalities mesh? Remember you will be working closely together throughout the process of designing your website.
Be sure to discuss your budget. Have the web designer break down the project costs individually. You should work out all deposit and payment terms before any work is done. Get every detail in writing, including deadlines and how many revisions are included. Discuss with the web designer what happens if a deadline is missed. Leave nothing unstated or assumed.
Use a combination of inquiry, discussion and study to narrow your list of candidates, but also use your intuition to get a feel for a person’s honesty, integrity and character. This pairing of “head” knowledge and “heart” knowledge should help you locate a web designer who is a good match for you.