Whatever your business and whatever your size, your website can be intrinsic to drawing business in or driving it away. Therefore, choosing the right web designer is a fundamental strategic decision that might be more difficult than it may first appear simply because there are so many designers to choose from.
However, the secret to choosing well is not to look for the ‘best’ web designer but to simply find the best web designer for you. To do this, you must understand your own needs first rather than trying to filter all of your options in one go.
In other words, choose a web designer through process of elimination based on your own needs and goals.
Below are steps you can follow to help you on your journey in finding the best web designer for your business needs.
Step 1 – Know what you need
This may seem difficult if you’re not a designer, but you will know the basics of what you want from your website.
You don’t need to go into specific detail, but it would be useful to note down the website functionality you would like. Are you simply wanting something to raise brand awareness and provide information about your business and/or services or do you need something more technical involving membership sign-ins or an online shop?
It would be worthwhile to research examples of what you do and do not like so that you can show them to any potential web designers, helping them to define the creative direction they should take to design the best website for your business.
Step 2 – Define your budget and scope
Before you begin your web designer search, you should define your budget and your timeframes. That way, when you approach any future web designers, they will be able to establish if your budget is workable in terms of your requirements.
Your website is an investment and shouldn’t be treated as merely another expense. If done correctly, it could drive business your way for years to come and pay for itself numerous times over. Doing it as cheaply as possible should not be an option.
Step 3 – Ask for recommendations
People love to recommend a good web designer and believe it or not, they love to talk about positive experiences they have had. So why not ask on social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook?
Or, if there is a particular website you like, get in touch and ask them who created it for them. If they received good service, they will be more than happy to recommend the web designer to you.
Step 4 – Do your homework
Have a look at the designers’ own websites. Are they attractive? Simple to use? Can you locate all the information you need easily as a user?
Then have a look at the businesses those designers have worked with. Are there any testimonials? Is there a portfolio to look through? Do they work with small businesses or are their clients usually larger companies (and which one are you?).
Step 5 – Define your maintenance and support needs
Another point you need to think about in order to find the right web designer for you is the level of support you will need longer term. Whilst most web designers will provide onward support with website functionality, it would still be prudent to establish what support is available as and when you may need it.
Step 6 – Talk to them
This is the most important step – it is the moment you know if you are going to work well with someone or if you are going to clash; it is the time they will answer all the questions you have formed over steps 1 – 5.
In turn, they should have numerous questions about your project, your business and your aims. If they do, it’s a great sign they care about the project and they will produce something that is useful and looks great.
It is by talking to them, you will know if they are the right web designer for you.
Cover image by Arek Socha from Pixabay