Choosing a web designer may be a daunting task. When you start getting into the technical part of creating a business or expanding your current business you probably don’t know the ins and outs of the technical mumbo jumbo. Even choosing someone else to do it for you may be difficult as you don’t necessarily know what you want or how to express what you want. A good web designer will be able to help you get over this hurdle and work closely with you to ensure your website is exactly how you envision it. Follow these steps to help you choose a web designer that will work for you.
Step 1 – Ask around
Perhaps your friends or family know of someone that is a good web designer. Honestly, word of mouth can be your best resource. If someone you know is willing to refer you to a web designer they will be able to give you an honest answer of how well this person/company performed for them. If no one you know can give you a referral then you will have to explore on your own – online. After you have narrowed it down to a couple you can move on to step two to see which company will fit your needs.
Step 2 – Give the company an evaluation
The first thing I would do is check out their website. If their website looks poor than I would assume they wouldn’t produce a good website for others. I think of it as finding a hairdresser for the ladies. If you walk into a hair salon and the hairdresser has a bad haircut and fried hair – it might be best for you to turn around and walk away. If their website looks professional and is something similar to what you want then take down their contact information.
Step 3 – Communication
You will want a responsive company. If you call and leave a message or sent an email then you can expect a return call or message back within 24 hours during the work week. When you ask a question are they able to answer the question professionally or does he/her “hmm or haw” before answering. A good web designer probably won’t need to think about the answer too much before giving you one (unless you are doing something extraordinary).
Step 4 – Written Proposal
The company should provide you with a written proposal and probably a request a deposit. The proposal will include important terms such as the timeline and costs to create your website. The proposal will then become a contract with your signature for payment. Do not sign the proposal until you have completed all the steps for all the companies you are researching. The final step you can sign the proposal/contract.
Step 5 – Review Referrals
Ask the web designer for referrals to other companies that he/she has designed a website for. Don’t be afraid to look at this company’s website in detail and contact them. Make sure that the designer did create what you are looking at and determine if the designer met all obligations of their contract including timelines and quality of the product.
Step 6 – Comparison
You should have explored more than one option for a web designer. Make a list of the pros and cons and see which one better fits your needs. Remember, price is not the only determining factor. Quality and efficiency should be high priorities, along with costs.
Step 7 – Updates
Ensure that you have the ability to easily update your website without having to learn how to create a website yourself. The website designer should be able to create a program that is user-friendly so you make changes or add information to the site.
Step 8 – Sign on the dotted line
Now you can sign on the dotted line as long as you are confident you have chosen a good web designer. If you still are not confident after step seven then you will have to repeat these steps with different companies in mind.