Choosing a web designer for your business website can be a difficult task for a number of reasons. For one, most people not in the web design world don’t have any idea what goes into creating a healthy, conversion-focused website, and therefore don’t really know what to be looking for or what questions to be asking. On top of that, we are bombarded with ads for GoDaddy, Wix and Squarespace promoting their ‘fast and easy Do-It-Yourself’ website builders.
So where should you start? Well, that is the question this article seeks to answer. So with no further delay, here are our 7 tips for How to Choose a Web Designer for Your Business Website.
Here are the 7 steps that will help you make an informed decision with whom to choose as your web designer for your business.
- Understand how important your website is to your business as a revenue generator
- Decide on a budget
- Browse their portfolio
- Check their reviews
- Ask for details on how they build sites
- Do they provide hosting and maintenance plans?
- Are their websites SEO friendly?
1. How important is your website as a revenue generator for your business?
Before deciding on a web designer it is important to first consider a few key details about what your website actually needs. For instance, not every business website is an important revenue generator and may only require a single page brochure style site that provides basic contact information. While for some businesses their website IS their revenue generator, such as an online store.
What does your website need to accomplish your online goals? Do you need a large web design agency with high hourly rates to build you a basic one-page website? Likely not. Consider this information when determining the level of expertise you seek in a web designer or agency and use this information to come up with a realistic budget for your new website.
2. Gather information to help you come up with a realistic budget
Knowing the level of expertise your website design will require will allow you to effectively budget for your web design project. Now you have a good idea of the scope of your project and the level of expertise you require to accomplish your online goals. Armed with this information you can form a better idea of a budget and begin your search for a web designer that fits with your online goals and projected budget window.
3. Browse the portfolios of your prospective web designers
As you search for a web designer for your new business website, a great way to evaluate whether they are a good fit for you or not is to browse their portfolio. Every web designer should be displaying their work on their website. Browse through their portfolio and look for a project that was built with similar functionality to yours. Right away you can get a good feel for the designers personal style and past success with implementing certain functionalities.
4. Read online reviews and gather client testimonials
When you find a web designer with a portfolio you like, check their reviews on popular review platforms like Google or Yelp. See what their customers are saying about them and get a feel for the experiences they had working with that web designer. You could even go one step further and reach out to the owners of the companies websites you found in the web designers portfolio. Ask them specific questions about their experience, addressing areas where you may have concerns, such as turnaround time, pricing, communication, etc. Usually, business owners are happy to help fellow business owners.
5. Ask what tools they use to build websites
Once you have narrowed down the list of potential web designers for your website, it is time to get in touch with them and get some project details. By now you have a good idea of what your website requires and should ask the potential web designers about the tools they use to create websites. There are many, many different ways to build websites, the most popular being WordPress, a content management system used on close to 40% of websites worldwide. This platform, in our opinion, is the best choice for most websites and is the platform MarineView Media uses to build every website for our clients.
Be wary of designers that use restrictive platforms like Wix, GoDaddy or Squarespace. These platforms do not have the range of affordable functionality that WordPress delivers and are known to perform poorly for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you are entertaining the thought of building your own website, I suggest you proceed with caution. A large number of businesses that approach us for a new website have travelled down the do-it-yourself road, only to find that the website they created just wasn’t any good. Unless you have some previous experience with web design, or are keen to dive into learning more advanced design techniques, we advise to save your time and money and get it done right the first time.
6. Does your web designer provide ongoing support after the website is built?
When choosing a web designer, it is important to ask whether they offer Hosting & Maintenance plans to help you with keeping your website healthy and online for your customers. Technology changes quickly and websites need constant updates, security scans and performance optimizations. Many web designers offer this as an add-on service, so if you need help with this side of owning a website, make sure to ask your web design candidate if this is something they can handle for you.
7. What is your web designers proficiency with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Competition online for organic search traffic can be very aggressive. Nowadays it is VERY important to ensure your business website is optimized for search engines, most notably Google. Google scans websites and ranks them based on an algorithm of over 200 ranking signals. Signals such as page loading speed, keywords in the content, website structure, etc etc etc. If ranking high on Google Search is important for your business, it is a very wise investment to make sure your new website is set up for search success. Ask your potential web designer if they provide SEO services, and if so, make sure they know what they are talking about. SEO is not just a “set it and forget it” service; instead look for a designer that provides a service consisting of continuous strategy implementation year after year, as this method will be the one that will actually provide real SEO results.
And there you have it! We hope these 7 tips will help you with the difficult decision of how to choose a web designer for your business website. We tried our best to narrow down the list to just the most important factors in the decision, but we did leave out a number of things to also consider. If you would like to learn more about how best to make this decision, please reach out and connect with us!