Finding the right web designer for you and your business can be a very daunting task. It’s a shame that about 60% of my clients were previously duped by dishonest website designers that are interested in one thing.. your hard earned money.
I have put together a list of important things to consider when looking for an honest web designer.
Phase 1 – The Research
- Word of mouth
Ask your family / friends if they can recommend a web designer [ note, recommend not just know a web designer ]
- Internet Search
Do a local search to find webdesigners near you.. It goes without saying that a web designer can design websites from anywhere in the world, however finding a “local” web designer has huge benefits, such as being in the same timezone, knowledge of the area etc..
- Other websites
Find out who designed the websites YOU like, there is usually a “designed by” link at the bottom of [usually] [at least] the “Home Page”
** hopefully at this point you will have a nice list of potential web designers.
Phase 2 – The Elimination
- Their website
Remember these are people trying to sell YOU a website, so they better make sure that their own website looks “professional” “clean” and “clear”
Their site must be easy to read and navigate, the info offered on the website should be easy to understand in laymen’s terms. Are the images used on their website “sharp” and well formatted? [ so many web designers “stretch” their images, making the site look very un-professional ]
- Responsive Web Site
It’s 2016, designers have had almost 5 years to make their own website “Responsive” to adjust to all device sizes. If their own site is not yet responsive, then personally I would eliminate them at this stage.
Your potential designer should be showing of their work, making it easy for you to view and experience the website in real time – Their clients websites should look professional, it should load quick [ nothing worse than a website that takes ages to load ] and again, the images used should be sharp [ a great image tells a 1000 words ]
Does your potential web designer understand “websites” Let me explain… there is a LOT more to a website than just the looks, for example, what is the point of having a website that no one can find? – SEO or Search Engine Optimization is just as important as the look of a website.
How can you tell if the SEO is how it should be ?? – To be honest, for someone not knowing much about web design it could be tricky.. however there is one very easy way to see if the designer takes SEO serious, and that is to check if he uses the VERY IMPORTANT “sitemap” The “sitemap” is used by all the search engines to easily map your site
To find out of the designer uses sitemaps on his CLIENTS sites, visit one of the sites from his Portfolio page, and add /sitemap.xml to the web address – for example my sitemap at www.dordognedesign.com is www.dordognedesign.com/sitemap.xml
If the designer is not using a “sitemap” on his clients sites, I would think twice about using their services.
- Contact the Designer
Any professional web designer should have a quick response time to both existing and new clients. I personally guarantee a response, within 12 hours however 98% of my response is within 60 min.
Does your potential designer make it easy to contact? – and how long does it take to respond to your email / phone call.
Remember, if it takes ages to receive a response BEFORE you have handed over any payment, it will probably not get any better after the payment.
Ask the designer to call you, so you can get an idea of who you could be working with, ask all the questions you have. You should NEVER feel rushed by the designer, and the designer should be asking you questions about your ideas and design needs – Chances are, that after the phone call you will have a very good idea if the designer is right for you..
Phase 3 – Your final choice
This is a VERY important section..
Make sure both yourself and your designer know EXACTLY what you are both agreeing to, here is a list of very important points.
- Price and Payment structure
- What the full price includes
- Will the site be Responsive
- Who supplies what, for example text and images
- A time estimation of the project, from start to launching.
- Who is responsable for the domain name and hosting
- Does the designer offer any guarantees AFTER the site is delivered, if so, for how long?.
- Hourly price [ for an existing client ] of the Designer if ever needed
- Can the client manage their own site [ web based vs local ]
- Does the Designer offer a FREE tutorial to the client to make any changes if needed
- Does the Designer offer the option to maintain the site, if so what is the YEARLY price to do so.
- NEVER pay the FULL ammount upfront, usually a designer will break the payment down into either 2 or 3 stages, the final stage AFTER the site is live and working
- NEVER use anyone that GUARANTEES you 1st page listings on Google or any other search engines.
- NEVER give your designer / anyone a PASSWORD you use for personal day to day things – Create a password specially for the Designer.
- NEVER give your designer / anyone your Credit Card details or PayPal details [ to your account ]
- A lot of web designers offer pre-priced “Packages” be very careful with these packages, you will either not get enough, or you will be paying for stuff you really don’t need. Some [ not all ] websites lure you in with for example 300 Euro websites!! – do yourself a favor and give that 300 Euro to a good charity, ‘cos otherwise you will be wasting it.
A good and honest web designer will discuss your needs with you and will quote you on a website that offers exactly what you need.
My personal advice as a designer
There are a LOT of excellent and honest designers out there, but I’m afraid there are more “scam designers” out there, that just want your money.
A good designer will do everything both before and after designing your site, to make your site and business a big success. The designer will be genuinely interested in your ideas and wishes, but at the same time advise you on what would be best for your site. Remember a good designer is good because he / she understands what it takes to not just design a nice looking site, but a site that will actually WORK.
A good designer will think of your site as being his / her site, and should be there to advise / help the client for the duration of that site.
And finally a good designer KNOWS that word of mouth is by far the BEST promotion, and he / she will make sure you are happy with them.
GOOD Luck if you are looking for a web designer, if you have any questions just let me know, if you have numerous questions contact me with your phone number and I will gladly get back to you, wit absolutely no strings attached.. Guaranteed!