How to Evaluate and Choose a Web Designer

With the increasing popularity of do-it-yourself website building sites, offering free website templates that allow users to design and publish websites, some folks believe that website designers are no longer relevant. They are wrong! Website designers do more than design a beautiful website.

What is a Good Website Design?

Website designers are often referred to as web designers and they combine technology with creativity. They understand that using both skill sets to build new or redesign websites is the beginning of a successful site. While DIY website building may seem like a good way to keep web development costs in check – it may cost you in the long-term by not effectively shunting users into the purchase funnel.

Website designers take responsibility for the aesthetics of the site they are working on by paying detailed attention to the site’s general design, color scheme, and layout. In addition designers make

  1. Web sites easy to navigate;
  2. Web sites likely to rank higher in local search results; and
  3. Decisions about ad placement on your site for effective advertising

How to Evaluate Your Web Designer

Sorry, that is Impossible

Web designers are talented artistic types. But if you ask your designer to do something and he or she tells you it is impossible to do, they may be lying to you. If your designer tells you that a request cannot be fulfilled due to

  1. Budget;
  2. Site configuration; or
  3. Would ruin the design and/or curtail accessibility for some visitor

It is likely that he or she is being truthful. But, if more often than not the response is just that your wants cannot be done that most likely means they just don’t know how to do what you requested.

You Hired Someone who is Cost-effective

If you find a designer willing to do your site at an unbelievable low cost, remember, you get what you pay for. When a price is too good to be true, it usually means one of two things,

  1. You are part of their learning experience and you and your site are being used as he or she learns the skills needed to become a successful website designer, or
  2. You are being conned

The Design of Your Website does not Allow for Updating

If your website designer tells you that updating your site is a bad idea as updates mess things up, fire your designer at once! Websites should always be updated when needed without fear that the update will make your site inoperable.

Plugins Here, Plugins There, Plugins Everywhere

Although not every web designer is able to code (though they should be) they must understand how the Internet runs and how websites work. The most beautiful website on earth is useless if it loads so slowly that users flee the site. While all businesses want their sites to have aesthetic appeal, it has to load fast and redirect even faster. Folks searching the Internet have no patience for slow loading sites, which is often caused by too many plugins. Site designs with an abundance of plugins are not the sign of an experienced web designer.

Failure to Educate

Once your designer completes your website, they educate you on how it works. No one expects a full course on how to use WordPress, but features special to your site should be gone over with you before the site goes live.

How to Choose a Great Designer

Do not maintain a cheaper is better mentality when hiring a web designer. It can be costly if you do as you may lose business that spurns your site because it is slow to load, slow to navigate, and hard to understand. Your website is your world marketplace, spend enough so you get a great site.

Ask for references and then do two things,

  1. Visit the website of the reference; and
  2. Talk with the business owner or the manager about their experience with the designer you are thinking of using.

Skimping on your website is akin to having a bricks and mortar store that is disorganized, dusty and dirty. Most customers simply open and close the door and hurry away.

 
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