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How to pick a good website designer

If you’re looking for a reliable and professional webdesigner to work with then there are literally thousands of options online.

Whether it’s on Fiverr, Freelancer or Gumtree – you can easily find someone to build a website for you.

The trick however is to find a website designer who suits you and your business requirements.

Many people will base their decision strictly on pricing, but we will explain here why that’s not always a good idea.

Whether you are a startup or a growing company, you should always aim to find a webdesigner who understands your business and its specific needs.

Look at their previous work

One of the very first things you should do is look at their portfolio.

By looking at examples of their previous work you can get a good idea of how creative they are and whether their style matches what you’re looking for.

Things you might want to check are:

  • Do they use good spacing and clean designs
  • Is their work mobile and tablet friendly?
  • Do their websites have good messaging and content?
  • Have they optimised images and layouts?
  • Are the websites fast loading?

Beware of companies who have outdated and incomplete portfolios because it shows lack of care and attention.

Look out for those who show their work professionally and take pride in their work.

Read customer reviews

Customer reviews on Google, social media or other sites are a great indicator of a webdesigners skills.

If other people have had a good experience with this company, chances are you will too.

See if you can discover what people like about the company, and maybe what they don’t.

Finally, make sure reviews are real and current.

There’s no point judging someone on reviews from 5 years ago.

Can they give you a reference?

If you really want to delve into a company’s customer satisfaction then ask for a recent customer reference.

It’s absolutely fine to ask for a quick call with a real client.

Beware of companies who can’t do this for whatever reason – they either aren’t confident of the response, or they don’t have anyone suitable to refer to.

If someone has left the company a good review there shouldn’t be any issue for you to call them and confirm it.

What technologies do they work with?

A large majority of webdesign companies work with WordPress.

However, how deep is their actual knowledge?

Most people, with adequate time can figure out how to install a theme and change a few pictures and text.

If you’re looking for a more experienced webdesigner/developer then they should be able to customise themes, edit templates, fix plugin conflicts and have solid coding knowledge.

If you’re looking at building bespoke apps and plugins or working with other platforms like Shopify then you must ensure they can show examples of this.

For things like ecommerce websites you want to ask whether the company in question knows about integrating payment methods, setting up email marketing, discount codes and social media integration.

Examples of things to ask are:

  • Can you help with the frontend and backend of the website?
  • What languages do you code in?
  • Do you know about website hosting and server setup?
  • Can you customise themes or templates for me?

What is their team like?

Some people prefer to work with large companies who have project managers and teams for each job.

Others prefer to work with smaller teams who may be more flexible and amenable to their demands.

Work out what you prefer and then look for that from your webdeveloper.

Larger groups may have more resource but that doesn’t always mean better quality.

Smaller teams can often offer a more hands-on service for you.

The main skillsets you want to look for in a team are project manager, webdesigner or developer, graphic designer and maybe a content creator.

How easy is it to contact them?

In today’s business environment there are countless ways to connect such as sms, WhatsApp, Slack, Discord, email and other services.

Choose a webdesigner who can communicate with you in the simplest way for your needs.

If you’re mostly on your phone and always on the go then WhatsApp or phone may be best.

If you are always in the office then email may be sufficient.

For larger projects you may want to use a project management tool such as Trello, Asana or Jira.

Be wary of companies who can’t commit to your hours or who force you to communicate with them in one way only.

What are their payment terms like?

The majority of webdesigners and service providers will require a deposit before starting work.

Some may be happy to start work before taking any payment, but you should be mindful that if you haven’t spent any money you can’t expect too much from them.

For more intricate projects you may want to consider milestones and staged payments.

You also want to work with a company who can take payment through different means such as BACS, credit card or direct debit.

If a company does require money upfront then you should make sure you are aware of their refund policy in case things go wrong.

Another important consideration for business use is to make sure the company can give you a proper invoice – this way you can put the website cost as a business expense.

What kind of ongoing support do they offer?

One of the key questions you should ask is about ongoing support.

Making and building a website is only one part of the journey – the ongoing development of it is as crucial as getting it live.

It entirely depends on you, but if you are new to the world of websites or you are busy, then you may want to work with a company who can do it all for you.

Look for a webdesign company who can help with managing your website, adding content, and scaling up your site as your business grows.

Working with the right webdesigner can really make a big difference to having a static, boring website, and a dynamic, interesting one.

If you want a webdesign company who you can trust and are reliable and flexible speak to StudioRav.