Guest post by Will Barraclough of Viable Design
As every business owner does on occasion, I recently hired a website designer to rebuild my website (www.boostly.co.uk). I needed the works: everything from basic functionality to the graphics that make a site look sleek.
There are so many website designers offering their services. How was I supposed to know which company would offer the best? So I sat down and had a think about what was most important to me. I made a checklist. I put every designer I considered up against that list!
Choosing a website designer: the checklist
1. How’s their portfolio?
First things first: does the designer have an extensive and easily accessible portfolio? It should be available online so that potential clients can see what their work looks like before even making first contact. If a designer doesn’t have an online portfolio, I take it as a very bad sign. When reviewing a design company’s portfolio, there are certain things to look out for:
- Is it on trend? Does the work look sleek and modern, rather than outdated?
- Is it representative? Do the logos and other graphics on the website make it clear what kind of company they want to work for?
- Is it consistently high quality? Does it look like the designer has put in the same amount of high effort for all of his clients’ websites?
For a good example, check out Viable Design.
2. Are the designers experienced?
Most web design sites will highlight at least one of their designers. Are you impressed with their credentials and experience? You want to work with someone who has a lasting interest in and excitement for website design.
3. Can they take on the WHOLE job?
Brand identity is incredibly important for any business, and consistency is paramount. Ideally, therefore, you want to hire a web designer who can take on all aspects of your website. This means a company that is as competent with web development as it is with design. Sticking a skin over a previously-built website will never look as good as something built from the ground up. Look out for websites, like this one, that offer services from developing to the finishing touches. They’re more likely to offer packages as well.
4. Do they seem efficient and professional?
Efficiency is very important when you’re looking for a designer. It’s awful to be two days away from a planned launch and still waiting on your website to go live. Does the company respond to emails quickly? Do they seem polite and friendly on the phone? Have their clients all got positive things to say about them? These are all good signs that a website designer is efficient.
5. Are YOU comfortable with them?
Importantly, do you get along with the designer? From the first meeting, most people have an idea of whether they’ll be happy working with somebody. If you personally dislike the designer you’re talking to, it will make working on a big project very unpleasant. Listen to your gut feeling and make sure you’re pleased to work alongside whoever you choose.
At the end of the day, it comes down to what is best for you. Eventually, I built my own website, as I wanted to master the skill. I had help from friends in the industry, which helped loads.
I’m very fortunate to know a lot of very good website designers both on the Yorkshire Coast and beyond. If you would like me to help you choose the right one for you, get in touch.
I have written loads about the modern pitfalls of hospitality websites and why whatever website design you go for you need to have it tested.
This blog was co-written with Will Barraclough of Viable Design. Go and say HI over on Facebook!
You can also check out my training videos here!