Creating an effective website is necessary for your business’ success. Many small business owners try to create or redesign their business website on their own but in today’s technologically savvy marketplace amateur websites struggle to compete with professionally designed websites that have been created using all the latest search engine optimization techniques for site visibility. If you really want to create a strong internet presence you will need to hire a professional website designer. Consider the following tips for hiring the best website designers.
Have a Plan & Goal
Have a plan and goal for what you want from your website. When meeting with potential designers you should have a list of specific desires for your website design. These desires or characteristics should include items such as the size of the site, the target audience, the type of content you’d like, updateability, database needs, sales transaction needs, as well as the search engine optimization needs and design features that you like.
Designers will not know what you expect or want if you don’t tell them so be prepared to discuss your vision and goals with them. It is also helpful if you can outline a specific timeframe and budget for the task. Another tip, this one’s a freebie, don’t select the website designer based solely on the price of the project, frequently you get what you pay for.
Visit Other Sites
Look at other sites from the same industry to gather ideas about what you like and dislike about websites. Visiting other sites will allow you to discover what seems to work and what doesn’t.
Create a List of Designers
Create a list of potential designers. It can be easy to find website designers in the phonebook or with simple internet searches but this isn’t always going to get you the best website designers. You need to find a designer that will suit your project needs. Get names through referrals from friends, family, other businesses or even your competitors. When you visit your competitors’ websites you can typically discover who designed the site by searching for a link to the designer’s website in the footer. Be sure you create a list of several website designers so you have a number of good options to choose from. Compare these designers against each other.
View the Designers’ Portfolios
Look for samples of the designer’s work. Viewing a designer’s portfolio of websites is the best way to know how talented the designer is. When looking at the websites consider:range of design stylesdo all the sites fit a specific niche or is there a wide range of industries represented?ease of navigation and finding necessary informationpage accessibilityworking linkshow links open (same page or new window)design consistency between pagesaccessibility of the sitemap and contact informationrelevance, quality, and timeliness of contentpage alignmentreadability of textpage loading speed
Talk to References
Ask for references and pick up the phone and use them. Make sure you speak to other customers of the website designer. It is important to understand the designer’s work ethic and other businesses that use the designer will be able to speak to that. When talking with other businesses and references find out which designers are easy to work with and which are challenging. Designers that listen well and have good follow-through are going to be the ones with the happiest customers.
You will want to check with these other businesses to see if the designer has represented their business properly through the website design. You not only want an attractive and useful website but you want one that will speak accurately of your business’ culture, philosophy, products, services, and branding.
A good website design can mean the difference between your business’ success or failure. When it comes to internet marketing for your business website design is essential. Using the above tips will increase your chances of finding the best website designers for your projects. You will be investing a lot of time and money into your website so be sure to do your research and only hire the best.