Choose the right designer for your business website.
Can I get by without one? Why not just buy a cheap template or theme and use that instead? Well, there are hidden costs and pitfalls in trying to make do with a free or low-cost do-it-yourself WordPress theme or online template. After all, if you have no experience as a tailor, would you be confident that you can take a low-cost off-the-rack suit and do the alterations needed to make it fit you well? Most likely you will end up with an ill-fitting suit that becomes a source of mockery rather than compliments!
It is much the same with designing a website. You need a good web designer to choose and edit photos and graphics with skill. Photoshop editing skills are best exercised in the hands of an expert. You need someone with a trained eye to create layouts that are legible and well arranged. You need your content edited properly to ensure proper optimization for search engines. You will need customization to accommodate your logo and branding. You will need someone who can turn your website into an effective marketing tool that attracts new business prospects. All of this requires skills that only a seasoned web designer can bring to the table. So then, how do you choose a web designer?
If you are a small business, you can have a polished online image that is as professional and effective as the best Fortune 500 companies in the hands of the right web designer. Choosing a good freelance web designer is critical to your online marketing success.
How To Choose A Web Designer:
Be realistic about your budget. If you buy a very cheap used car for $500, how likely is that vehicle to serve you and your business reliably? Will its appearance enhance or detract from your business image? It is much the same with choosing a web designer. Good web design skills come with consistent experience. A reasonable budget increases the likelihood that you will find the right skills needed to create an online presentation that serves your business well. If your first consideration is to get the lowest price possible... well... you get what you pay for.
Does the web designer's online portfolio appeal to you? Why? Would you feel confident in making online purchases from this designer's web design portfolio? Does the web design trigger the right emotional responses? Is it well organized, easy to use? Your responses will be consistent with the responses of a potential customer that visits your website. Your website is your online storefront. If it is an appealing storefront, potential buyers will be encouraged to enter, browse, and purchase.
Interviewing a Freelance Web Designer
The next step is to call a web designer whose work impresses you. Here are a few things every good web designer will inquire about as you discuss your website needs.
What do you want to accomplish with your website? What business problems or goals do you want to address with your website? A good web designer is solution minded. They want to solve problems and create a website that serves your business goals. Otherwise, it will be nothing more than a pretty online paperweight.
Who is your target market or demographic? Good web design must appeal to the market you want to attract. A generic template or theme cannot do that. A thoughtful web designer strives to understand the values and needs of the market you serve.
Is search engine marketing important to your business? For most small businesses it is very important. A web designer with search engine optimization skills will have realistic suggestions for designing and maintaining a website that builds qualified online traffic that works for the long-term.
What feelings do you want your website to convey or avoid? Web design is a form of emotional communication. The first impression you make online will be emotional. What do you want that impression to be? Now, here are some other vital considerations you should ask yourself as you interview a web designer.
How does the web designer communicate?
Do they use technical jargon known only by coders and web experts, or do they explain things in plain English? Your ability to understand and be understood by your web designer is critical to good communication tSearchhroughout the design process. If you feel intimidated or confused by what your web designer tells you, it is an indication that the design process may not work out well. You will be frustrated and the end product (your website) may not be in line with your expectations. A web designer who explains things patiently in plain English is worth their weight in gold!
Who will you be working with? Who will you be your contact during the website development process? Will it be someone you communicate with well? You may be assigned to work with someone you just don't see eye-to-eye with. Ask. Good communication is essential to a successful web design process.
Food for thought...
In closing, these are a few of the key considerations that, hopefully, will help you to choose a web designer that meets (or exceeds) your expectations. Like a well-tailored suit, a good website design will serve you well for years to come! -Don Peterson