The tough thing about looking for a web designer is that there are plenty of smart web designers out there, but many of them just aren’t focused on customer service or managing a project.
“I’m looking for a web designer, and I’ve talked with several and I’m just not sure how to make the decision.”
If this sounds like you, then you’ve probably heard some real horror stories about working with a web designer who sucks or may have even been scammy.
We all know the importance of having a business website in this day and age. It allows customers and clients to find your establishment more easily; helps generate greater brand recognition; and it can be used to generate direct sales with practically zero overhead. But if you’re going to hire a professional web designer, there are a few things to consider.
Here are 5 things to consider when looking for a web designer that will make your life easier.
Who Owns the Design?
It’s a common assumption that the customer owns the web design, but this isn’t necessarily true. When you purchase the services of a web designer, he or she may use certain images and graphics which contain limited use rights. In other words, you (the customer) may use the graphics as part of your website’s design, but you cannot resell them. This can lead to problems later down the road if you plan to sell your website or extend your brand with those graphics, as certain parts of the design cannot be sold. Check with your web designer for more information on ownership rights.
Eliminate Confusion Between Design and Hosting.
Web design is a bit different than print media when it comes to consolidating your assets. Many people are under the impression that their web files can simply be zipped up and moved wherever they please. This isn’t always the case. While you may own the design elements that make up your website there could be many aspects to your website that you don’t own such as the database, CMS software or source code that could make moving your site nearly impossible.
What’s the Turnaround Time and Work Flow?
Regardless of your business’s niche or industry, I think it’s safe to say that “time is money.” The longer you remain offline, the more sales you’ll essentially lose. So before hiring a professional web designer, find out what his or her turnaround time is. A good web design agency will layout a clear time frame for the specific scope of work along with benchmarks.
A good web designer will present customers with multiple options and provide plenty of opportunity to make revisions. If you aren’t completely satisfied with an element of your design, you should request a change from the designer. Revisions are completely normal, as it’s virtually impossible for a web designer to get it right the first time.
Both the client and web designer should work towards an ‘approved’ direction before coding the site even begins.
Problems solved by Resoponsive Web Design:
- 46% of people using mobile devices report having problems viewing a static site. A static site is a traditional, non-responsive website.
- 44% of people surveyed claim that navigation was difficult on smaller devices.
Given the fact that more people now access the Internet on a smartphone or other mobile device, this is something that business owners can no longer ignore. Make sure your web designer knows how to develop mobile-friendly websites. Ideally, he or she should use a Responsive Web Design (RWD), in which CSS3 media queries and proportion-based grids are used to create a fluid, universal design.
It’s always a good idea to check the web designer’s portfolio before hiring him or her. Doing so will give you a first-hand look at their past projects, at which point you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not they are right for your website. And if a web designer does not openly display his or her portfolio, you should skip them and move on to the next designer.
Listen To Your Gut
There are literally thousands of articles on what you should look for in a web designer, but the one thing that all of them leave out is your gut feeling. One of the biggest indicators of whether or not a job will be a success is how you feel about working with that designer. Technical skills aside, communication is going to play a huge roll in the design and development of your website. If you don’t feel comfortable after speaking with someone – walk away.
Here are some quick guidelines to help you;
• When you called the web designer or agency were you able to speak with someone about your project quickly?
• When you spoke to the web designer, did they take the time to listen to you?
• Did the designer take the time to answer any questions you had?
• Did the designer make you feel confident in moving forward with the project?