Your website is the face of your company. It’s only natural that you would want to have a trusted professional in the front seat, steering your website. When you start to look for a web designer, you’ll quickly see that there are companies and individuals from all different price points and skill levels. How do you find the right professional to trust with your site?
This might seem like an obvious first step – but it is an important one. Browse through many portfolios and determine whether or not you like particular designs or designers. See how many websites in a designer’s portfolio are still using the design. If they’re not but it’s been a few years, there are a variety of reasons why that might be the case. If they’re not and it’s only been months – the designer may not be great with communication. The designer should have a link to the live site, but it may be a red flag for you if they don’t. Once you’ve narrowed down to a few professionals, you can start looking for more specific information within portfolios.
Start looking to see if the designers you’ve chosen have designed sites similar to yours. While you may love the extra creative touches one designer uses, they may not work well for your business website. For example, if you’re looking for a retail website, look at designers that have experience with those instead of designers who have built artist portfolios.
Again, this goes into looking at the portfolio. Are the navigation menus user-friendly? Some designers like to be creative with navigation menus because they’re a part of the site that nearly everyone looks at. However, if the navigation menu isn’t easy to use, you might be losing out on customers. It is important that your website looks great, but if no one can use it, it won’t help you.
You may have to talk to the designers you’re deciding between about your business goals, because it may not be obvious in her portfolio. You may want your website to generate leads or help build brand awareness. Are the designers you’re looking at familiar with designing for conversion? Do they know how to create strong, effective branding within a beautiful design? You may not be able to see this within a portfolio because some designers may not want, or have permission, to build and display these kinds of sites.
Once you’ve selected two or three designers, you can look in-depth at what services they provide. While you may only need a web design, some need help registering for a domain name, hosting the site and marketing it. Others may need content to put on their website such as written copy or graphics. Depending on what your goals are for the website, your designer may need to be able to do some coding and programming. Do the designers in question offer those services? If you’re not sure what services you need, talking to the professionals can help you make an informed decision.
Your budget and the services you need will determine how much you can afford to pay for your web design. Though cost is something to keep in mind during the process of selecting a designer, it may be difficult for you to get pricing information without talking with a designer about your wants and needs.
Throughout the process, from selection to designing, your designer must be open to communication. But you also have to be ready to communicate with your designer. Know what your goals are with your website and what kind of look and feel you want it to have. Your designer will make suggestions, but the final decisions are ultimately up to you.
Because your website is so important for your business, don’t leave it up to just anyone. Make sure you take the time to study the portfolios of candidates. Know your goals and website vision upfront so that you can select a professional with experience and abilities in those areas.