Your website is otherwise known as your online storefront. It’s how you’ll present yourself to the world and how your online community and potential clients will perceive your brand and you. So, it’s a big deal.
So, as a business owner, if you have decided that you want to go ahead and invest in a web designer to do the job for you rather than going down the DIY route, then where on earth do you start in making this important decision? How should you choose your web designer?
There are a number of things to consider before hiring a web designer. Here are a few which should help you make a decision you can be confident in.
Find a like-minded designer
Find a designer who is on the same page as you. What does this mean exactly? Well, rather than just going out there and searching in the minefield that is Google and aimlessly searching through social media for a designer you know nothing about, it can be a good idea to reach out to your network either on or offline to find a web designer. Chances are that if your network can recommend someone to you then they may be more suited to you, your business and what you’re looking for. It’s also likely that they’ll come highly recommended if they helped someone you know.
Remember in this day and age that the designer you work with doesn’t need to be local. It’s increasingly likely that you might never actually meet your designer face to face. This isn’t necessary. The clients I work with are based all over the world and in different timezones. It’s more about finding someone that aligns with your values and can help you solve the problems you have currently through designing a website for you.
A lot of web designers are also branding designers and will offer you the whole package of branding and web design in one which can work better for you and your business keeping things more consistent, but also can work out more cost effective for you in the long run.
Get clear on your goals
It’s important to remember that working with a website designer will be a collaborative process. Your web designer will need a lot of input from you and will need to get to know you, your business and your industry well to be able to create your website strategically. Without a plan or without clear aims and objectives for your site it’ll be trickier for your designer to create a site that converts visitors into customers therefore growing your business.
During the onboarding process your web designer should take your through a process and part of this should be to look at what the goals and objectives are for your site. What do you want visitors to do when they land on your site? When they’re on your home page, where do you want them to go next? What is the ultimate aim of getting visitors to your site? Is it for them to read your blog, sign up to your email list or buy your latest product? It’s important that both you and your designer are clear on these goals.
Have your website copy ready
Website copy is part of the process that can get hugely overlooked. It’s something a lot of business owners don’t consider or simply gets written as an afterthought, rather than looked at as a core component of a website.
Website copy is extremely important for a number of reasons. It’s considered to be just as important as the actual design and user experience of a website so shouldn’t get forgotten about or left until the last minute.
Most web designers work together with copywriters they recommend. I certainly recommend to all my clients that they get a copywriter involved to help them with their website copy. Not only is copy an important part of your website to help communicate your message to your ideal clients and help you stand out in your niche. It’s also extremely important for SEO. Website copy written using your brand keywords works for you to help your website get found on search engines like Google.
Your designer will need to have the words to use on your website ready before they design it as the copy and design should work together to create a highly-converting website. Either that or your designer will help you in the process of finding a copywriter to work with.
Have your images ready
Just like your website copy, the images you use on your website must also not be an afterthought. As I mentioned before, working with a website designer is a collaborative process and they’ll need a lot of input from you. This will include the images used on your website which will help the design and usability of the site.
Stock images are always an option if you don’t yet have any suitable branded photography. I always highly recommend that you have at least a few images of you or your team to use not just on your website, but across your social media platforms too. This will help your website visitors and audience identify with who you are as a person. You can find out more in this blog post about why personal branding is so important for your business.
Consider your budget
Not all web designers work the same and offer the same service, therefore, they won’t all charge the same rates either.
Rather than having a random number in your head for how much you want to pay, or just considering how much other business owners you know might have paid, consider how much work will need to go into your website and what the overall goals and objectives are of your site. It’s likely that these will be very different to other businesses. I personally believe that all businesses are completely unique and have different objectives, different personalities and will also be at different stages in their business journeys. This means their websites will be different too.
I’d recommend doing your research and rather than picking a number out of the air, consider what value you will get from the service your web designer is providing. Are they simply offering to create a site for you, or are they also offering ongoing support and maintenance of your site? What’s included and what isn’t. If in doubt, ask them and remember that choosing a website designer that really gets you, your business and your audience can be a lot more valuable than choosing a cheaper one who doesn’t.
Hopefully, now that you’ve read the above you’ll know what to look for when choosing your website designer. Before you jump in to hiring a website designer, get in touch to see how I might be able to help you with yours.