Do you need a Website?
Do you have a current website that needs a makeover?
What do you look for in a designer?
Choosing the right designer is one of the hardest things about launching or updating a website. With so many design companies out there, it can be a huge task just trying to figure out which one is right for you.
Your website is the online face of your business. For many of your potential customers, it will be the first point of contact. Your website will be a driving factor behind whether or not people choose to do business with you. This is certainly not a decision you want to take lightly. That's why it's so important to choose a designer that will help you reach your target audience and your business goals.
So how exactly are you supposed to choose? Here are 10 things to look for when selecting your designer:
They Need To Listen
You're the expert in your industry. No one knows your business better than you do. If a designer won't listen to your ideas, then you probably don't want to work with them. Your designer needs to be able to put your ideas into action and not just give you a generic templated site.
They Have Ideas
While it's important for your web designer to listen to you, you don't want a designer that’s going to produce an exact replica of what you say. You may know your business, but your website needs to be designed by someone who knows design. Your designer must be able to bring exciting ideas to the table.
They Have A Maintenance and Upkeep Plan
Websites have to be kept up to date, especially if they require third party plugins or software to function. Your designer may offer a maintenance plan or you can opt to learn how to maintain your site yourself.
They Offer A Content Management System
If you plan to do the maintenance on your website yourself, you need a content management system for your website. Any web designer worth anything at all is familiar with the best content management systems. If your designer recommends a static HTML website, then you need to find another designer.
They Know Responsive Design
As mobile and tablet usage continue to grow, responsive design is a must. Even Google thinks it's simply the best way to design a website these days. If a designer isn't experienced in responsive design then they're probably not right for you.
They Have A Portfolio Of Live Websites
What's the best way to see if a web designer knows their stuff? Look at their portfolio. But don't trust screenshots of home pages. You want to see the websites they've made in action. Take the time to look through their portfolio and actually visit the sites they've designed. If you don't see anything you like, then they're not going to be a good fit.
They Keep Up With Modern Design Trends
The last thing you want from a new website is a design that looks out dated. A web designer needs to keep up with the latest technology and modern design trends. Customers are much more likely to trust a business if their website looks modern. A good designer incorporates what's hot into their websites.
They're Not Super Cheap
Your website is one of the most vital pieces of your business. This is not an area where you can afford to cut corners. When a web designer tells you they'll build a custom website for $200, they really mean they'll drag and drop your text and logo into a WordPress theme that 8,000 other websites use. If you want a website that's going to work for your business, you have to be willing to invest into it. A great website will yield a high return on investment. A bad website will result in a stagnant business.
They Are Available
Are they full-time web professionals? Or are they moonlighting from some other job, even a completely unrelated one? Do they have standard office hours? A good designer will always reply to emails and return calls in a timely manner.
They Are Customer Service Oriented
If a designer is too busy to answer e-mails or phone calls, will they be able to keep the production schedule? Ask for references, and make a point of actually calling them. Ask the prospect's previous clients if the web developer was responsive, on time and effective.
Finding the right website designer is not the easiest job you have as a business owner. But once you find the right designer, your job becomes a whole lot easier.
Ready to discuss your next project? Contact us today at 828-308-6616 or email us at Dara@DarasDesign.com and find out how Dara’s Design measures up to the list above.