What to look for when hiring a web designer?

5-6 min read

Like most purchases, particularly large ticket purchases, you would do research, right? I know I do. I’m actually really bad at picking movies. They need to fit a certain criterion and must-have good reviews! It’s the first thing I do before I make a decision on whether I will watch a movie or not.

What else? Places to eat, places to holiday, phone plans, streaming services, a bed, a rental, a car, a house! The list goes on. So this should be no different for business purchasing decisions. In most circumstances more important.

When it comes to marketing for your business, it’s more or less a necessary outgoing cost that your business is going to incur. Research shows that you should be spending 5 – 10% of your business revenue on marketing and advertising. Some businesses spend up to 12 to 15%.

So when you decide that as a part of your marketing campaign you need a website. (Because it’s the cornerstone of any marketing plan). You want it to work for your business, so generally, it will ultimately get you more work and sales.

So this is a big deal right? It’s really important!

So picking the right web designer/developer is crucial because you want your website to help your business be more successful. So what should you be asking and looking for when you decide to outsource the skills of a web designer.

I’ve listed below in no particular order what to look for:

  • Experience
  • Portfolio of work
  • Social Proof (Reviews)
  • Processes
  • On-going Support
  • Character
  • Network

 


 

Experience
It’s a given, generally the more time a web designer has spent in the industry the more knowledge they can draw on. Like any professional, it takes years to master a skill.

That could be in the way of formal education and training, and online training, events, conferences, etc. The field of web design, IT, and marketing is very dynamic, more so than a lot of industries. So your web designer should be constantly keeping up to date with the latest technologies.

Portfolio of work
Probably the best and easiest way to see if your web designer produces good work. I have to say my mission is to help rid the world of crap websites! And you’d be surprised how many of them are out there still. Not only do they look crap, in-turn they generally perform badly.

I originally came from a graphic design background and then learnt to code. So your website aesthetically should look good. By good, I mean appeal to your target audience. Then it should be functional. Using the tools necessary to get the website achieving real and good results. Have a look at my portfolio here. 

Social Proof (Reviews)
As mentioned above, I don’t make any decisions until I’ve seen reviews or testimonials from other clients. These not only provide a level of trust, but they also provide great insight into all sorts of reasons why you could go with that web designer. Results, processes, nature, timeframes, overall success. See my reviews here.

Processes
This is something you may not understand completely. But to get the best ROI (Return on Investment) on your website requires a process of research, ideation, design and build.

There’s a lot of web designers out there, who say, just give me your content and I’ll build you site. They don’t listen! They don’t listen to your problems and pain points, and just produce something that is out of the box.

Each business is different and has different goals. The “out of the box” won’t yield you the best results. Have a look at my process in more detail on my web design service page

On – going Support
If you not already aware, to get the best out of your website, means you need to keep working on it. You can’t just build a website and leave it, hoping it will keep yielding good results for you.

As I’ve mentioned the internet is a dynamic industry that’s constantly changing. You should be doing regulars software updates to avoid your site being hacked. You should be getting monthly reports to see how it is tracking. You should be making strategic changes based on those reports to keep improving conversions. The list goes on.

If your web designer does not offer on-going support, then you might not be getting the best outcome for your business. Have a look at my website maintenance plans here.

Character
What is your web designer’s personality like? Do they care about your business success, or do they just want to make a quick buck? Are they reliable?

Reiterating the above point, you’re not just getting a website. You’re entering into an ongoing business relationship with this person.

Like any business relationship or an employer/employee relationship, you should have some mutual connection. Do you actually like or get on with this person? Do you have similar interests or values?

I’m going, to be honest. I don’t just work with anyone. If my potential client doesn’t see the value in my work. Doesn’t respect my time. Doesn’t take enough pride in their own business, then we would not make good business partners. And this should be the same for them considering a web designer. 

Network
If you’ve got this far then you know that building a website is one part of an overall marketing strategy. So you need to consider does your web designer offer digital marketing services? You’ll need these services to push more traffic to your site.

So whether they offer these services in house or do they have a good reliable network of professionals to help achieve your overall business goals. In my case the latter is true. I’m good at what I do, and that’s designing and building a website that will get you conversions.

That’s a specialised skill. But although I have a board knowledge which helps, when it comes to SEO, PPC, and social media marketing I leave that up to those experts. Same can go for content strategy. You may need a copywriter or professional photographer. Have a look at my digital marketing page for more information on these services.

Conclusion
So there’s a lot to consider here. But that’s what it takes to be successful online. Your competitors are doing this also! So it’s crucial you pick the right web designer for your project, otherwise, you could fall behind.

 

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