What You Need to Know before Hiring a Website Designer
Paying too little or paying too much for your website should be avoided at any cost. Sometimes people try to save money by going for a cheap website but this can prove costly in the long run as you end up with a low end shoddy website which delivers no results. At the same time don't get fooled by the website designer’s talk on the complexities involved and pay a high price for getting your website made. Shopping around and understanding your options is important, if you are not technically minded then find someone that talks your language and happy to spend the time to going over your options in an easy to understand manner so that you can make and informed choice.
Check your website designer’s portfolio.
In most cases a website designer will promote some of their past projects, if not ask for previous samples and review their work. In most cases the examples won't directly relate directly to your business though it is important that you see a good working history and a good range of examples so that you can feel confident that the website designer has a good history in building websites for a wide range of industries. The samples should not reflect merely beautifully designed websites but also evoke the necessary reaction from the viewer. The necessary reaction here is that the viewer should feel the need for the product or service and rush to buy it.
Will your designer be working with a Content Management System?
If your website designer adopts commonly used Content Managed Systems (CMS) like Joomla, WordPress or Magento then it will be easier for you to update your website without having to depend on the designer to make the changes to your website.
Are you sure there are no hidden fees involved?
Sometimes designers offer an attractive rate to start with and then later on obtain additional amounts by way of extra fees or service up-sells. You should be sure that all of your needs and any on-going fees are included in the contract and if any point this is not clear you should ask the website designer to elaborate so that there is no confusion.
Are there any contracts or money back guarantees?
You should always ask your website designer if they are willing to write a contract that outlines all points discussed and include this with your quotation. Also ask if the designer includes a money-back guarantee. If you're not happy with the way the project is progressing along, you should have the option of terminating the project and asking for a refund on your deposit. If heading down this path you should think this through as you will want to be sure that you are terminating the contract due to poor performance on the website designers side as you might struggle to see a refund if you have not done your planning or been upfront with your needs to start with. Many website design projects start with a detailed list of features and functions, adding more to the list after the project has been quoted on will only add to the cost of project which is understandable so be clear about your reasons when terminating a contract.
Does your designer have a firm grasp over Social Media and SEO techniques?
There is no point in having a fancy website which is not visited by customers. Hence, it's important to note that your website designer is well versed in use of Social Media and SEO so that they can incorporate both while designing your website.
Finding a good website designer is hard so do your research, make sure that your website designer has a good 5+ years of experience and has a good understanding about your products or services. Be upfront with your objectives, budget and future goals and keep in mind that the website designer is in business to earn a living so holding back on certain aspects of the project will only tarnish your relationship. Be upfront and use written communication as the key to a successful relationship.