A quick Google search will show you that there are thousands of web designers and developers who could probably build a website for you. But finding the right one for your business isn’t that easy. Just like dating – you have to do some work to find the right one!
A new website can be a significant investment, so hiring a web designer is a big step. Not only is a business website essential, but it also helps define your brand image and works as an important marketing tool. Whether you have an online shop or sell a service, your website is your virtual shopfront and needs to create the right impression.
There are lots of ways to get a website for your business, from off-the-shelf website-builder tools like Wix, to hiring a full-spectrum design agency or a specialist freelancer.
When you work with someone, the design process can take a while and involves a lot of back-and-forth discussions, honest communication and, sometimes, challenging conversations!
So, it’s vital that the web designer you work with is the right fit for both your business and your personality.
In this blog post, we’ll give you tips to help you find ‘the one’ that’s right for you!
1. Know what you need from them
Web designers can have many different areas of expertise, so it’s important to know what you need.
Some will only offer design services, which means that you’ll also need to work with a website developer to turn the static design into a functioning site. Others can offer both design and development.
Will you also need a logo designer, a video editor or an e-commerce expert too?
If you have a written brief highlighting your requirements that you can send to each designer when you contact them, they will be able to let you know if they have the time and skills to do your project. Check out our blog post on how to write a brief for tips.
Thinking about your long-term plans for your online presence can help you identify the right person at the beginning of the project.
2. Check that they have the relevant skillsets and experience
Looking good is just one aspect of a high-quality website design.
It should also be user-friendly to encourage visitors to browse for longer. Information should flow in a logical, intuitive way to encourage visitors to take whatever action you want them to, whether that means making a purchase, subscribing or making an enquiry.
Websites designed with SEO principles will rank higher in search engines, and this is affected by the page loading speed and other design factors.
Not all designers will have this knowledge!
Finally, a UX (User Experience) expert will create a strategically thought-out website based on psychological theories and research, a skill that can take your online presence to a new level!
Make sure you pick a designer who can help you reach your business goals, within your budget.
3. Ask about their timeframes for working
Designing a website can be a lengthy process – it has to have the right functionality, aesthetic and be user-friendly.
It might sound obvious but check the timeframe that a designer can work to. Some may have a waiting list or require a longer timeframe than others.
4. Check out their portfolio
It’s always a good idea to check out the portfolio of a web designer before you start working with them… but remember that what you’re looking at is how they’ve brought someone else’s vision to life.
Don’t necessarily be put off if you don’t like the types of websites you see, but DO look at how they’re executed, for example:
– Does the information flow?
– Is there a good colour scheme?
– Is it easy to read and pick out information?
– Is the overall design visually appealing, uncluttered and clear?
You might see an overarching aesthetic that you like and feel that it’s a great fit for your website. In this case, you could have found the perfect match! But you still need to consider the next points.
5. Get to know them
Just like dating, a web designer could be someone you have a long-term working relationship with, so it’s important that you get along with them. It’s much easier when you work with someone who understands your business and your goals. Consider the following points:
– Do they share your ethics and values?
– Have they worked with other businesses in your industry?
– Are they excited and enthusiastic about your work?
A professional web designer will listen to your needs and ask lots of questions to get the detail they need to make the best possible solution for you. Follow your instincts!
6. Think about the future
If you think that you might need regular website updates, new graphics or other design work, then make this clear from the beginning and find out what sort of turnaround time there will be. Some designers will offer ongoing support as part of their package.
At Giant Peach, we love designing and building beautiful websites that are both on-brand and functionally brilliant. On the team we have designers and developers who specialise in areas like UX and SEO to create work that stands out and smashes goals.
Give us a shout if you’d like to discuss an upcoming project.
It could be the start of a beautiful relationship!