Finding the right web designer for your next website isn’t as straightforward as it may sound. We live in a digital world in which the thought of any company conducting business without an online presence is practically unheard of. When you consider that online sales in 2018 are estimated to go beyond $400 billion, it is fair to say that the web has now become the platform of choice for anyone who is serious about running a successful and thriving business.
Whilst it is true that the web has made things easier in terms of accessibility, availability of information and the proliferation of web designing platforms, including the so called “free website” offers out there, finding the best web designer for your website could be the difference between an online presence that is just there, and one that acts as a true business conduit between visitors and your company.
Whether you seek a mere presence, an online brochure so to speak, or a thriving and expanding business hub it is important to take into consideration that the person or company you select to work with you on your online project is the right fit for you and your website. Here are some things to consider:
One of the prevailing factors in the decision-making process of selecting a webs designer is to find out how much designing a website is going to cost you. Here are some questions you might want to ask when selecting your web designing professional:
- How long will it take in terms of hours to complete the work?
- Is the web designer an independent professional who works on his or her own or is he/she part of a larger team?
- Who will be your contact during the design process? As a rule, dealing with the same person from start to finish is thought of as being a better option than being bounced from person to person as the designing process goes through its various phases.
- Are there hidden fees?
- What happens in the event that extra features are needed beyond the project’s scope. How will the extra work be priced?
An obvious question is to find out how much experience does the web design professional have. How long has she or he been in business? Example of websites designed recently.
- A designer who works as an independent vs a main street web designing firm.
We’ve all heard about the expanding world of professionals who elect to work from their home office and if there is one industry that is practically tailor made for such professionals, then it is the web designing industry. Of course, that is not to say that companies with a physical address and a team of professional working from their corporate offices should not be considered, but for most of the small to medium businesses, contracting with an independent web designer represents the best option, in terms of costs, customer contact and services.
- Developer vs Designer
Ask the average person the difference between a web developer and web designer is and you’re likely going to get a whole range of differing opinions. Web developers are programmers, coders who build modules, plugging etc. If you’ve heard of content management platforms such as WordPress for example, know that these platforms were created by web developers. By expanding on the WordPress example, it becomes easy to explain what a web designer is. WordPress provide the platform, the language or engine that will drive your website, a theme will be what makes it look good (or bad). Developers create the platform, designers create the theme and use it to dress the site.
- In-house or contracted work
Depending on your geographical location, it is safe to assume that the lowest the price you’re quoted, the higher the likelihood that the work is going to be contracted out. Many US companies use designing firms in India, the Philippines and other countries for all their local customers.
As such, these US companies act as “moderators”, in-between parties attempting to maintain quality control over the designing process that is taking place in a different part of the world. This system can be a source of frustrations at best, and loss of money at worse.
- Delivery time
How long will it take for the site to be completed and delivered. It is important to point out that the final delivery of a web site will largely depend on whether you have provided the web designer with all of the contents needed for it. Some web designers place a time limit between the moment the site is finalized to the moment they have all the content in hand.
As web designers and developers, we hold the view that those free websites not only end up not being free at all, but in effect may even end up not belonging to you either. It is important to make sure that when your site is finalized, it then belongs to you, hosted by a company who will not hold your site hostage in the future. The hosting company you select should present the necessary features of security, speed and uptime.
- Internet marketing
Once upon a time, it used to be that “if you built it, they would come”. In other words, all you had to do was to create a website, publish it and then, miraculously, customers would come flogging to it. How things have changed. Back in 2014, it was estimated that there were over 1 billion websites on the world wide web. Forward to 2017 and this number has gone up to nearly 2 billion! It is crucially important to understand that publishing a web site will not bring you any customer. This is where internet marketing, such as SEO, PPC and other forms come into play.
Your website is one of the most important investment you’ll make when launching your next online empire. It is vital to the success of your project and as such, hiring the right web designer is extremely important. The above points are some of the many considerations you will have to take into consideration during the selection process. Whilst it is absolutely crucial that the professional be able to work within your budget, please remember that like most things in life, you get what you pay for.