Tips for choosing a web designer to build your website

If you are looking for a web designer to build a website for your business, you will find no shortage of options to choose from. So what do you base your decision on when choosing a web designer? A small business with a tight budget might simply request quotations from a number of web companies and go with the one that supplies the lowest quote. This is hardly a wise strategy, you would probably not purchase any other product or service using this strategy. If you wanted to buy a car, would you just pick the one with the lowest price and buy it? Of course not, you would want to know exactly what you are buying, you would do some investigation, ask some key questions, determine if the car matches your needs and requirements. The same should apply when you choose a web designer to create a website for your business. You should do some investigation, ask some key questions and determine which web designer or design firm can create the web site that best matches your needs and requirements.

However, if you do not have any experience with getting a website set up and/or little or no technical knowledge of the workings of the internet, you’ll probably struggle with how to evaluate a web designer. The purpose of this article is to give you some ideas of what to look for in a web designer and to get you thinking about matching up a web designer with your own particular needs and requirements.

Questions to ask a web designer

  • What technologies do you use to build websites? e.g. static HTML, HTML templating system such as Dreamweaver, Content Management System, server side scripting languages
  • Will I be able to make updates to the website myself without any special technical knowledge?
  • What is your process for designing and building a website?
  • What is your approach to search engine optimisation (SEO)?
  • Do you provide training for managing the new website?

Questions to ask yourself about a web designer

  • Does the designer design sites that are intuitive and easy to use?
  • Does the designer do a good job of visually showing visitors how to take action?
  • Do they explain issues in a way I can understand?
  • Does the designer have the range of skills needed to build the website that I require?
  • What credentials and experience does the web designer have?

Comparing pricing from different designers

Does the price represent good value for my money? Keep in mind that a well designed website for your business is an investment that will pay for itself many times over in sales, while a poorly crafted site will drive away potential customers. A cheaply put together website may seem like a bargain at first but in the long run it may damage your business.

Price and quality often (but not always) have a direct relationship, i.e. you get what you pay for. Designers who are overly inexpensive often lack experience, don’t understand much about online marketing, or don’t truly have a grasp of good web design techniques. A website from such a designer may cost your business dearly in the long run.

When comparing quotations from different design firms, be sure to look carefully at what each designer is offering for the quoted price. Examine their portfolio to see what type of work they produce and ask to speak to some of their clients.

Consider too what happens after the website is built, who will maintain the site and keep it up to date and fresh? What type of analysis will be available for evaluating the performance of the site?

A poorly designed website can cost you money, drive away customers, and hurt your reputation.


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