These days, web design can make or break your business. At the initial advent of the Internet, users were easily wowed. Over the last 25 years, though, so many technological advances have been made.
Impressing users isn’t easy anymore. In today’s flooded digital landscape, they have seen it all. If your site is neat and presentable with no glaring eyesores, that might not feel like enough.
After all, another company selling a similar product has eye-popping gifs and high-res imagery that mimics a nostalgic video game. How are you supposed to compare?
Luckily, most companies have something great in their back pocket. The answer is a talented, savvy web designer.
When hiring web design companies, though, remember the important thing. You are putting your brand into someone else’s hands. You will be paying them a lot of money to accurately evoke the feel, reputation, and look you want your company associated with.
This can come across as very intimidating, but no worries! We’ve assembled 8 tips to help you sift through web designer options.
1. Look At Their History
Everyone has a record of some sort, and web designers are no different. What web design experience do they have? In this case, it’s crucial to remember that you do get what you pay for.
You might be able to find a high school student looking to design websites. They might be brilliant but look at their work history. What sites have they designed? What do they look like? If it’s important to have an online shopping function, how does the transactions side of the site hold up?
That high school student might be quite cheap, but you’re getting limited experience and a beginner’s product that could haunt you later down the road.
Even if you’re looking at the portfolio of more experienced designers, stay wary. Keep an eye on the type of projects they tend to gravitate towards and do well with.
For instance, do they have experience with designing business websites? They might not be a great choice for your cute, playful kids’ toy site. A good designer could probably pull it off, but it would show if the project wasn’t their strong suit.
2. Investigate References and Reviews
If you’ve done the homework on the projects they’ve done in the past, it’s time to take on a more personal note. Just because someone has done great work in the past, doesn’t mean they aren’t a real pain to work with personally.
Take into account how you heard about them. If you reached out to contacts within your network and heard a certain designer’s name a few times, that’s a great reference to rely on. If you found out about them through Google, proceed with caution.
Take the time to read all the reviews you can find, too. This will give you a clear overview of their working style, commitment to projects, and ability to satisfy clients and execute their vision.
3. Find Out What Is Included
Web designer options are a dime a dozen these days. As a savvy shopper, it’s important to investigate what perks they are offering.
In many cases, you won’t need to settle for web design alone. Some companies offer SEO as a perk, others offer content support, and others provide backend support.
If you’re looking to bundle a few projects together and save money, this is a great way to spend time comparing designer fees and seeing what they really offer in exchange for your dollars.
4. Get A Quote
When hiring web design companies, it’s really important to allow yourself the opportunity to be courted. Allow the company or prospective designer the chance to give you as much information as you want or need.
A quote can be developed based on your description of the task, which often requires an initial conversation. When doing this, take the time to ask all the questions you want to!
5. Choose Wisely
There’s a big difference between design and website building. Design means that they will interact with visual elements. This could mean rearranging site flow to better draw visitors through the funnel, adding graphics, and rearranging page elements.
Website building means leveraging coding knowledge in order to build site pages from the ground up.
These are very different skill sets, which means you may want to pick a company that offers both options as a bundled package. At Inner Spark Creative web design, we know how much this means to you.
6. What Happens Now?
Imagine this: the perfect site has been designed for you. The designer passes it off to you, and it’s time to start making bank by drawing customers to the site.
But what happens when you add a new blog post and it isn’t publishing properly? Who will keep adding new graphics to the site so it looks fresh for each new season?
That’s why it’s important to look ahead to the future. Does the web designer offer ongoing support to all of their clients, and does it cost an extra fee?
7. What Do You Want?
It’s easy to have a fuzzy vision for your site. You might want to evoke a certain feeling or bring back nostalgia for a certain decade. But communicating that to a designer is very open to interpretation.
No matter how good a designer is, they can’t read your mind. You’ll want to map out a detailed vision of your wants and needs. That way, there’s no error when it comes to communicating.
8. What Are Their Priorities?
When crafting an experience for users, what does the designer prioritize? They might love creating jaw-dropping digital masterpieces. However, that doesn’t mean the user experience is great.
If users aren’t prioritized, this will drive them away and reduce revenue.
Hiring Web Design Companies
When hiring web design companies, it’s important to think about what really matters to you. By putting the time in when you’re doing hiring research, you’ll be able to feel confident in handing your brand over to someone else.
If you’re still worried, take a deep breath! This is an exciting time for your business, and we’re with you every step of the way.