With the revelation that 87 percent of buying decisions start with a search engine, a website is now an integral tool for the success of any business. Having a robust website makes it easy for prospects to find you and discover what your company offers. It also makes it easy for you to engage them and answer any questions they have about your products or services.
A lot goes into building a truly successful website than what most people think. A recent study by Google reveals 61 percent of users will not return to a site with trouble loading on mobile, while 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. Another 57 percent of internet users say they won’t recommend a company with a badly designed site on mobile. Essentially, the success of your website is determined by the choice of your web designer.
This article focuses on the things to consider when hiring a website designer.
Five Things to Keep In Mind When Hiring a Website Designer
Do Your Research
Finding the right designer for your website takes more than just a random Google search. Start by asking your professional network to recommend the best designers from within. If you can’t find someone local, consider tapping into the online webs designer pool to find a good match who works virtually. You can also research a list of the best-performing websites in your industry and contact their web designers directly using the “DESIGNED BY” link at the bottom of the site. It is good to pick 2 to 5 website designers and compare their services and the rates they charge.
Identify Tasks for the Website Designer
Before engaging a web designer, draft an outline of what you want your website to accomplish and the specific tasks for the designer. Determine the website goals and priorities, including whether the site will sell products, services or whether it will just provide information. Figuring out why you need a website in the first place helps create a solid starting point for your project
Make a Design Wish List
Whether you are building a website from scratch or looking to update an existing one, ensure you make a practical design wish list to guide your designer. The list should be based on your search and preferences and must cover elements such as the number of pages, buttons, headers, or menus. You should also include specific brand icons and social media buttons to help you promote your brand online.
Create a Budget
Building a website can always cost you more than you had anticipated. Researching the costs early will help you prepare adequately. You may need to ask other local business owners in your area about the total cost they paid for their websites. If you prefer a specific website that is not local, you can reach out to the owner and request the designer’s contact information. Factors that affect your budgeting include:
- The purpose of the website: The objectives of a website can include capturing leads, selling advertising spaces, brochure site, reducing volume calls. Ideally, the more the objectives, the higher the costs.
- Type of design: You should also determine whether you need a custom design or a theme-based design. A custom design may cost a little more than a preset design.
- The number of features: Your list of must-have features can determine the overall cost of your website. The rule of thumb is to reduce the “would be nice, but not necessary” features to keep the costs down.
Pro tip: It is advisable to be as flexible with your budget as possible to accommodate unexpected costs. However, discuss with your website designer the specific budget elements that you can’t cover.
Allocate Each Page a Purpose
Once you determine the number of pages for your website, give each page a specific goal. Establish the number of words on each page and the specific keywords to use. Some of the pages to start with include the home page, FAQ, product or service, and contact pages.
A good practice is to emulate the websites that perform well in your niche and which you admire. Tweak your structure to create something unique but with a similar offering. You should also ensure the structure you choose allows for constant updates that keep the site current. A good website is a fluid marketing tool that allows for the addition of pages, changes in formats, and designs.
Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Web Design Company
To get a functional and professional website, it is imperative that you hire reputable and reliable web design experts.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid during your onboarding process:
Cheap Web Designers
Cheap could always be expensive. A big mistake that most businesses make is to go for a web design company that offers very low rates compared to the competition. The main issue with cheap web designers is that they only cover the absolute minimum features of a web design. If you need more features than the barebones, you may need to pay steep rates, meaning you will eventually spend more money than the budgeted amount
You should not trust a web design company that requires full payment upfront before they do any work. Legitimate and trustworthy designers request a reasonable deposit. Ensure you agree on a clear payment plan that runs until your site is up and running.
A Lot of Design Jargon
Notably, most business owners don’t know a lot about web designs. Some crafty web design companies take advantage of their ignorance by presenting plans with a lot of technical speak but no value. The sad thing is that customers end up paying for something they don’t understand and which they may never use. If a potential design company is using tech mumbo jumbo to win you, look for a designer that speaks straight to you using plain and simple English.
Websites That Lack CMS
Any functional website should have a built-in Content Management System (CMS). A CMS-free site means that you will have to contact your web design company every time there is a content editing issue. Some popular web design companies that don’t provide CMS platforms include WordPress and SharePoint, or Shopify.
Get help from Reap and Sow Marketing Today
To avoid horror experiences stemming from failed projects, consider hiring professional and reliable web design companies like Reap and Sow Marketing. At Reap and Sow Marketing, we understand an excellent website tells a story about your products and values. Contact us today to discuss how we can get started with your project.