Choosing a Website Designer
Whether you are a small business or large, a non-profit or for-profit, an individual or a corporation – if you want to be noticed, you need a website built by a professional website designer. Consumers routinely turn to the internet to find the product or service they need. The same can be said for people looking for charities, support groups or any other type of organization. Like it or not, the internet is now an integral part of our daily lives.
Having a professional looking website is almost a mandatory requirement today. So how does one go about getting a website done? If you have time, an artistic flare and strong technical knowledge of programming you could try it yourself. Or you can hire a professional website designer and have it done for you. This article will list some of the qualities you should look for in a web designer as well as some of the pitfalls to avoid.
Website Designer References
The best referral is word of mouth. If you know someone that has had a good experience with a particular web design company, follow up on that company first. If you don’t have any personal referrals to rely on, request a reference from one or more clients found on the service provider’s Portfolio page. You can get an idea of how easy or hard it was to work with that particular design company.
Review the prospective web design company’s Portfolio. Here are some items to consider:
- Are there any sites in the Portfolio that provide functionality similar to what you are looking for?
- Do you find the overall look and feel of the websites to be appealing?
- Do the sites have an easy to use navigational structure? Or do you get lost in the site?
Scheduling is a tricky part of any web design project. If you as a client keep modifying the requirements, it is reasonable to expect the schedule to slip. Also, a good web design company will typically be working on multiple projects at the same time adding time to the schedule. Your web designer should be forthcoming about the schedule, while you as a client should have reasonable expectations. For larger projects, ask for some project milestones as part of the quotation if scheduling is a priority.
Get quotes from as many web designers as you need. Keep in mind that to get an accurate quote you will need to provide some details about your project. You can expect to see a wide range of quotations from the various service providers. Some will low ball you on price to get the work, then charge you for many “extras”. Worse, if a design firm realizes they have underbid your project, you may be given lower priority or have your job outsourced overseas. Other “low ball” bids may come from web design firms that are relatively new and are looking to build their Portfolio. You may get a real bargain with such a firm, or you might have more problems than you bargained for.
A good web design company will charge you a fair amount to cover their labor plus some profit. They are typically in demand, so there is no need for them to “low ball”.