You’ve tried the DIY approach when building your website, but constant headaches isn’t your thing. You’ve hired a family member to build your site, but they always seem to be busy.
And now you are scouring the internet looking for the right web designer. You’ve probably come to discover that web designers are not created equal. And, you’re right.
Anyone can be a web designer now; they just need to buy a theme, load a pre-designed layout and then add text and images – there you go, you have a website. Pretty simple enough. Lots of people do this.
Keyword lots. Meaning those that choose to go that route are fine with having no identity, no distinction, no voice of their own.
But you get what you pay for.
Though, if you’re in the market for a web designer to envision your dream, tell your story, create a digital presence for your brand then you’ll need to look for a web designer that possesses several of the characteristics I’ve listed below.
Web Designer Should Have
This short list will cover a few things to look for when hiring a web designer.
A Creative Website
You’ll find many talented web designers have unique, design-minded websites, with an intuitive user-interface and a refreshing user-experience. Their sites are responsive (looks good on all devices), streamlined, easily navigable and to the point (less words and more neat features). Their websites display their skill set. Simple is good, but overly simple is a telltale sign that the web designer may produce cookie-cutter products.
Web designers are detailed oriented. Before they begin the process of building a site, they establish the problems they need to overcome then proceed in answering them. Case studies show potential clients how and what they went about to achieve their previous clients’ goals.
Knowledgeable in many languages
Knowing that the client will eventually be more hands-on with their website, the web designer should use a CMS (content management system) that is user-friendly, so the owner or employee of the business can quickly learn on how to update, publish, and edit their website.
Web designers have tools to display images, words, forms, etc. But some web designers are limited in only knowing certain languages and applications. It’s best to hire a web designer that is knowledgeable in Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. This will help you launch a website faster, and not wait around for a graphic designer to finish a header or an image slide.
Web Designers Should Not Have
Another way to choose (or not choose) a web designer is to unearth their faults. If you are on a web designer’s website and encounter any of the below points…run!
No links to websites
Their portfolio displays only images to their prior work. This should ring warning bells. All web designers like to show-off their finished product. If they are proud of their work, why wouldn’t they? Unless they are hiding something.
Links directing to empty pages or 404 pages
Links to their finished work are being directed to absolutely nothing. This tells you that the website they built for this company did NOT help progress that company’s vision, business goals or digital presence. Also, this just shows how lazy the website designer is. If he/she is too lazy to remove websites that have gone dark from their portfolio, they’ll most likely be too lazy to update the site they are building/built for you (no passion in what they do).
Their website is not responsive (meaning it does not adapt to all device screen sizes). All web designers should know that having a responsive site is paramount; everyone is on their phones, everyone! Which means if everyone is on their phone, then your website should adapt to the screen size of that visitors phone. Your website has one job: to tell your company’s story – how can this be done if the reader has to pinch, zoom and scroll horizontally to read your message?
Designers name not at footer
If a web designer is showing off their work, simply go to that website and scroll down to the footer area. Most web designers sign their name on finished products. If the signature doesn’t match, you know the website they’ve completed has been updated and the original web designer was NOT rehired. Again, we come back to their slothful ways; the web designer doesn’t bother to update their portfolio, and, something more notable, they weren’t rehired – this rings volumes.
Something else to consider. Most web designers finish the product and then they’re gone. Now, it’s all up to you to update, edit, create content, optimize, upload images, etc.
I don’t go away. I stick with you.
I’ve created my pricing structure so small businesses are able to afford my services for years to come. I don’t ask for a lump sum after the finished product. I bill my clients monthly. I include hosting and email (which web designers typically don’t do). I also create content for marketing purposes (SEO), continuously optimize site, create automation workflows, and help create email-newsletters.
My success is your success. I scale with them.