Building a website is a huge undertaking. You are creating the platform on which you will find your customers and meet their needs. Your website is often the first interaction a client will have with you and because of that, it needs to be easy-to-use, efficient, informative and sleek.
So before you start, outline for yourself your goals with this website. Set yourself a budget and deadline for the project. Gather the material you already have: copy, images, testimonials and contact details. This way, when you approach a web designer you already have a rough idea of what will appear on your website, and the designer can guide you as to how best to achieve your goals.
Now, you will need to approach a few developers. Whether you are working off your own search or recommendations from colleagues or friends, the process of hiring a web designer is key to ensuring the success of your website. So, what should you look for when you want to hire a web designer?
What to look for when hiring a web designer?
A good designer will have plenty of experience. You want to be able to trust that the designer you hire will be capable of handling the tasks you give them quickly, and also be clued up on the latest design trends and website functionalities.
Check their portfolio for evidence of previous work. Do their previous projects look like something you’d be proud to have as your own website? Do you like the look of the websites they have built? You should also try using these websites on your phone or a tablet to see that they are skilled at creating responsive websites.
Here you should also be checking for similarities in their work to aspects you want on your site. For example, if you are starting an online shop, check their previous projects to see that they have done this before and that the shop functions smoothly.
Although you can’t trust every review you read, you should be confident that the web designer you hire can handle the scope of your work. Check their Google reviews, reviews on social media, LinkedIn and testimonials they have gathered.
A happy client will be effusive in their gratitude to the designer. You should be looking out for mention of their time-keeping skills, professionalism and creativity. You want to make sure the web designer or agency you hire can perform the tasks you ask of them but also suggest creative and innovative ways to make your site stand out from the crowd.
Over the course of the project, you will have a lot of back and forth communication with your web developer. So, you need to make sure the designer you hire communicates clearly and professionally. You will be able to get a sense of their communication skills in your initial interactions by email and then later when you meet, whether face-to-face or in an online meeting. If they are late, unresponsive, unprepared or lack passion and interest you can assume they are not suited for your project.
Questions to ask the web design company before hiring
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential candidates, meet with a few of them. These days this is mostly done online, which luckily means you are not limited in who you can choose. During this meeting, come armed with a few basic questions to make sure you can make an informed choice.
Where is the team located?
We are no longer restricted to hiring service providers close-by, but hiring someone remotely does come with its own challenges. It might also be likely that the team itself is spread out all over the world. You’ll want to get a sense of the logistics of this, especially in terms of time zones and how that will affect communication. There is nothing worse than having every communication drag on because you’re all in vastly different time zones. If in your meeting you discover the team is spread out, simply ask how they handle this.
What is the web design process?
When discussing your project with a potential designer, ask them about their process. Ask your web designer if they have a workflow or project management plan that you can see. This will help you understand the work involved for them and what they will require of you.
Things you should look out for in their workflow include:
- Clear organisation - are tasks clearly labelled and assigned?
- Timelines - each section should have a timeline indicating expected date of delivery.
- Updates - are there points in the project at which you, the client, will receive official updates? This will ensure nothing is done out of budget and scope.
In this process or workflow, you can also get a sense of the web designer’s level and style of communication.
What is the cost?
You should already have a clear budget in your mind of what capital you have available to spend on your website. Most web designers and agencies worth their salt will have a basic breakdown of their costs available for you to see before you set up a meeting. This will rule out meeting with major design enterprises when you are a small business. It will also rule out an individual freelance designer if you are looking for a large, intricate design.
In your meeting, ask the designer what is included in the price. Check specifically for these items:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Hosting fees
- Maintenance fees
If, for example, copy is not included in the scope of the designer’s quote, you will need to factor that into your budget.
Who will be working on your project specifically?
In an agency space, you will often find they have more than one developer on their team. You want to make sure you have met with, and like, the developer who will be working on your project specifically. While you will likely be assigned a project or account manager, you must also ensure the developer suits your needs.
How busy are they?
You will have set yourself deadlines as to when you want your website to launch and start generating leads or sales. If the designer or agency appears overwhelmed with work, it is best you look elsewhere as they probably won’t be able to meet your deadlines.
Likewise, if your project is large and will require multiple sets of eyes for approval you must factor that into your deadlines.
Get In Touch With Us
If you’re in the market for a team of web development and design experts to take your business to the next level with a Webflow site, consider BOOST, a webflow agency.
We are a trusted web design and development agency, based in London specialising in creating eye-catching, functional websites using Webflow that are designed to attract and delight your ideal customers.
Contact us today for a quote.
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