When shopping for a website designer, there are a number of factors to consider. You don’t want to entrust the creation of your space in the blogosphere to just anyone with a snazzy-looking ad and a sophisticated-sounding title. A well-designed website needs to not only look good, but function effectively and draw in your target audience. Finding a website designer who truly rocks takes a little homework and some time. If you really want to be sure that you’ve got the right person for the job, make sure you take these five important factors into consideration:
- References – Any web designer worth his salt will have some credible references that you can check out in order to see his handiwork in action. Look at some of his previous designs and consult with the corresponding website owners. Don’t just ask about the design, however. The best website designers will put as much work into making your website attractive to web traffic as it is to the naked eye. In addition, ask about timeliness of delivery. A great website that takes months to complete and go live may not be worth the loss of internet traffic in the meantime. If their past customers are thrilled with their results in all areas, then chances are you will be too.
- Credentials – Don’t be too shy to ask prospective designers what credentials they have for actually being website designers. With the explosion of the internet has come a corresponding boom in web design/SEO “experts”. Your designer of choice should have a strong resume and track record in order to earn your hire. Comparison of credentials between designers will be your best means of finding the designer that is most up to date on technology.
- Market Knowledge – A successful website needs to be geared toward the market for which it is intended. You should find someone who understands who it is you’re trying to attract in the first place. It’s far more likely that she will come up with a winning design if she’s familiar with the market you are targeting. If your clientele is sophisticated then your website should be designed with that same sophisticated style.
- Communication – You want a web designer that will work with you as part of a team, and with a shared vision. A website designer that rocks will be open and responsive to your input. There should be a healthy flow of ideas between both partners throughout the process. A rock star web designer will consider himself an artist in the digital realm. Since you are the one ‘commissioning’ his piece of art, clear communication between the two of you will be essential.
- Google – That is, check the page rankings of a website designer’s previous clients. See if the fruits of their labor are actually bearing fruit where it counts – in page views. If the websites that your prospective designer has already built are all drawing in healthy traffic, you’ve got a winner. On the other hand, if the sites aren’t getting much traffic and there is very little return from the search engines themselves, you may want to keep shopping.
A business’s website has become its virtual storefront and its electronic billboard. Spending the time necessary to select the right designer before you start is a much wiser investment of your time than seeking someone to fix or improve on a website design that doesn’t meet your needs.
[H/T: Longhorn Leads]