Hiring A Web Designer, How To?

At first, I thought this topic would be a bit outdated. But that was only until I discovered how many poor websites are actually still out there.  This article is meant to assist anyone who is looking for a way to increase the effectiveness of their current website. Actually, this article is for anyone who just wants to know the difference between the Pros and the “Cons” in our web world.

Yes, I said ““Cons”” - I truly believe that there are companies out there today that are taking advantage of the “Un-Web-Educated”. The worst part is, these ““Cons”” may not even know that they are ““Cons”” – I would bet that most of the “Cons” actually believe they are doing a good job because they’ve never stepped out their basement to find out how a real website is supposed to be built.

It still amazes me that even today with all the technology and information available that there are still “so-called” designers who aren’t using standards. Actually, they aren’t even using good judgment. Or maybe, these “Poor Websites”, as I’m calling them today, are just someone’s do-it-yourself attempt at saving a couple bucks. Whatever the reason, we felt it was imperative to get the word out and bring some light on what to look for when hiring a design team for a business site.

How to Find a Good Designer/Team

1. Don’t try to find the local guy. That’s almost always a bad way to go. You need to find someone or some company that understands you and your industry. With the technology we have today our firm successfully works with clients around the globe. It’s really not a big deal anymore.

Don’t limit yourself to your surroundings, go outside the box and get someone who has worked with your industry in multiple cities and states that can really give good advice on what works and what doesn’t. That being said, you have to trust your designer, so don’t let

2. Look at their portfolio. If they don’t’ have an online portfolio, ask for some sample of their work. But don’t just take their word for it. Visit the sites and even contact the owners and ask them how they liked working with “So and So”.

Certain design firms have a certain style and you need to find a company that matches your market or company goals.

Too many times we build sites (meaning business owners) that we like instead of sites that our customers can enjoy.

Often times what will work for your market and what you like are totally different things.

3. Ask them to explain it: Many times the words we use in web design and development are pretty confusing to the average person.

If the designer your looking at can’t explain what they do in simple language they are probably trying to smoke screen you into thinking they are smarter than you. A good designer will be able to explain why the design works and how it works in simple language.

4. Have a Budget: Without a budget in mind, your potential designer is just shooting in the dark. These days’ websites can go from $500 to $50K in a heartbeat. It depends on whether you need a custom design, personal consulting, application development, maybe a store, a blog, or any number of additional functions.

Having a proper budget is key to maximizing your success with a new website.

In order to set a proper budget, don’t look at what you spent on your last website. That’s s almost always a bad idea.

Since websites are part function and part art, the only way to tell a websites worth is how it performs.

5. Have a Goal: Ask yourself not only what it will cost, but what will it save! Many of the sites built by professional design teams today can save you on employee phone time, printing costs, and even customer satisfaction. What would be worth to have a customer go to your website, and then, when they do contact you it’s because they are ready to purchase from you?

Think about your site in long-term return rather than just an initial investment.

6. Be Reasonable: Have a reasonable goal in mind. I wouldn’t tell a designer that you want to create eBay or Amazon – Unless you are looking to invest at least 1 million dollars during the first year of development.

Often time we see things online and they look so simple that it’s easy to think that it couldn’t possibly be that hard. After all, it’s just text and graphics, right? WRONG! Usually the simpler it is, the more complicated it is to create. I’m not saying don’t shoot for the stars, but a realist expectation is crucial to a good business & designer relationship.

I hope you enjoyed this little post. Please visit us again for more tips and news. We’re glad you came by. Have a great day! 

Jonathan Hinshaw

Post Date:
Sunday, October 11, 2009

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