Before you speak to a web designer
Just like hiring a tradesperson, it is well worth doing some research so you can equip yourself to choose the best web designer to get the results you want.
Ask yourself these questions listed below before you start choosing.
What is the Purpose of your Website Project?
Are you clear about what the purpose of your website project is? Why do you need a website? Or why are considering a redesign?
For example, do you want your website to act as a brochure site so people can learn more about your products and services before they contact you? Or do you need your website to generate new leads? Do you want people to call you? Is Search Engine Optimisation important? Have you done some competitor research?
When you meet with a potential Web Designer, do they try to understand your business? Are they listening to the reasons why you want this website project?
It is vital that they do.
The website needs to take your business strategy forward. If the website is to achieve a return on your investment it needs to align with the goals you have for your business.
Write down the main and secondary purposes for this project.
What are Your Essentials?
You have terrific ideas, very ambitious design plans and unique functionality concepts. Write them down. You may like to sketch some design concepts and note the links of your favourite website. Record your vision.
Then take some time to focus in on the purposes you had for your website project. What would be a Minimum Viable Website for you? What would you website need for it to be a success and to fulfil its primary purpose?
For example, if you are a preschool, it might be essential to you to have a professional photographer take photos rather than use stock images. Your primary purpose is to communicate your uniqueness, and you feel photos will do that well.
If this is your first website, be realistic. To get the best return on your investment, you need to focus on those essentials first.
In our preschool example, make sure you set aside the budget for professional photography photos. Perhaps using a template for the website rather than using a custom design might be a good solution to free up funds for the photographer. Or maybe there is someone in your preschool community who will be willing and sufficiently skilled.
Write down the list of your essentials, what is important to you and then make a list of what would be nice to have.
Who is going to be involved in the Website Project?
Consider who is going to be involved in the website project and who will be providing the different components.
Do you have your own graphic designer? Who will write the content?
Here are some areas to consider
- Business strategy. How does your website fit into your overall marketing strategy? Who are your competitors? What is your unique selling point?
- Project Management. Managing the project make sure everything is moving in the right direction. They will also need to pull together the content strategy, SEO, graphic design and website design.
- Website Designer - Will they create the sitemap, branding and design concepts?
- SEO consultant and content strategy.
- Content Creator - This is the person who creates the right words for each page.
Depending on the project, this may be you and the web designer or there may be a team of people.
Write down the list of the people who will be involved in the website project and what will be their role. Record the main tasks for each role.
What about Hosting and other matters?
Are you happy for your designer to host your website? I recommend that you have control of your hosting and your domain name by having them with separate companies. You can certainly ask a web designer to give recommendations for hosting. When you own your hosting, you keep control of your website. If you are unhappy at any time, you can move hosting companies or web designer more easily. It is more secure if your domain is at a company separate from your hosting than with the same one.
Make sure to check with your potential web designer that you own the website.
Does the web designer offer website care plans? How will be the website be maintained and updated? How will the site be backed up? How will you get future support? What will be the ongoing costs?
Do you want to learn how to update the website? Does the web designer offer documentation or tuition?
Write down your preferences and the questions you will need to ask.
4 Important Questions
If you are able to take the time and answer the 4 questions above you are ready to begin your journey chosing a web designer.
Why Hire A Web Designer
Learning how to build a website takes time, energy and even if you do everything yourself a little bit of money. However, with a little help from a professional web designer, you can gain access to a wealth of knowledge and experience.
I offer affordable small business website design: