Do you know how to choose the right website designer for you?
Your website is your shop front, your virtual office and a really important marketing tool. You need to get it right. Hiring the wrong designer can do a lot of damage not only to your website but also, to your business as well. You owe it to yourself, your mission and your dreams to set yourself up for success from the get go. Life’s too short to make these kind of mistakes. Here are some of the reasons why hiring the wrong website designer will be disastrous for you, your mission and your business:
- You’ll get the wrong website for your business
- Your website won’t connect with your ideal clients and customers and could cost you your business as a result
- You’ll waste your valuable time and money
- It’ll be a drain on your energy and be an all-round horrible experience which won’t help you show up in the world being the best possible you!
Now that you know why you don’t want to hire the wrong website designer, let’s have a look at how you can ensure you can choose the right website designer for you. Here are the things you’ll want to consider when you choose a website designer:
As we all know, sometimes we have clashes with certain personality types. It’s just inevitable. You’ll want to make sure you get on with (and hopefully really well with) your website designer. You might even find hiring the right person turn into a great relationship and friendship. I find this happens with a lot of my clients. We end up being great mates and don’t just talk business. I love to find out what my clients are into, what makes them tick and how they are going generally. For me, this isn’t just a client relationship but an opportunity to help a beautiful soul on their journey. I care about them and what’s going on in their world. I urge you to find that same connection. It will show you that the designer has a vested interest in your success and that of your business. A lot of time you can pick up on the type of person just from their website. Sometimes designers will list who they work best with on their website usually in an FAQ section or on their “work with me” page.
What they care about
Do they care for your website and have your best interests at heart? or are they just in this for money? Will you be treated as just another project in the door? Or are you someone they see as a great relationship and vested in your success? You’ll be able to gauge a sense of what they really care about through their website, how they structure their packages and offerings. A designer who cares about you and your project will probably state this in some form on their website or you’ll be able to “feel it” from their website.
Another way you can tell is their blog. What do they blog about? Who is it aimed at and what is it trying to achieve? For example, this blog aims to help you make the right choices for you, tries to provide clear information in a language you can understand and be a great resource you can use in your journey and to help you use your website and get the most out of it.
Can they design in different styles? It’s important that your designer doesn’t just do one style of website. Your needs are as unique as you are. A designer should be skilled enough to handle any style of website so they can do the right style for you, your needs and the people you are targeting.
One-style-designers tend to repeat the same type of design for multiple clients with different colours and images. Sure that may work if you have the same audience and a similar business but if that’s all they can do, you may find that your website won’t end up attracting and converting the types of client you’d love to work with. You may also find yourself being told that something can’t be done simply because the designer doesn’t have the skill when in actual fact it could be done.
What your gut tells you
When you look at a designer’s website, what’s your gut tell you? Intuition is a great thing and though some people try to ignore it, more often than not, it’s right. Do you feel a connection with the designer?
What their testimonials and past clients have to say
Have a read of the testimonials on their website. These are a great way to find out what it was like working with that designer and a good indicator of the results you may get. If they don’t have any testimonials on their website and have a bit of work in their portfolio, it’s probably a sign they weren’t that great to work with and their clients may have not been happy with their results. The work will probably also not be up to scratch in their portfolio either so it’ll point to someone who isn’t that great to work with.
One other thing you can do is contact their past clients and ask them direct. Most people will be more than happy and willing to provide some feedback on what it was like working with a particular designer and answer any questions you may have. It’s actually great to ask them as they will most likely have had the same hesitations as you and can help you with answers. It also makes sure the testimonials are real and not fake as anyone can add one. Most ethical designers will never add false testimonials but there are some unethical designers that do it so it’s good to be cautious.
Whether their packages and services contain everything you’ll need
Some designers list website packages on their website. You’ll want to check these out and make sure they cover everything you’ll need. Granted you won’t know everything you need and there may be things you don’t even know you’ll need but there are some staple items you’ll want. If it doesn’t include something you know you need, is the designer willing to customise the package? Do they provide a custom quote option for extras that aren’t included as standard that you may need? Some spell this out, others you may need to ask them.
There are also some designers that don’t offer packages but offer website design and development as a service. Don’t be frightened to ask the designer if they provide the things you are looking for or can do what you need if you choose them to provide a quote.
Do you feel you could approach the designer and ask them anything? Do they make you feel like you are an idiot and would make you feel stupid for asking? Is their door always open? Good designers will be willing to explain things, help you understand the inevitable technicalities that come with a website and be prepared to answer your questions. They won’t make you feel stupid for not knowing something and will let you know that you can ask them anything. You’ll be able to get a sense of their approach-ability from their website, the tone they use and in general, will just be able to tell. Egotistically designers and the “better-than-you” types are very easy to spot!
Do they know what they are doing? How many years have they been doing this? What did they do before? Is this their only job or is a part-time business? Is it a hobby? A designers experience will tell you a lot about a designer. You’ll want someone who has a proven track record and knows what they are doing so you know you won’t be getting something that will do more harm than good.
One really good way to tell a designers expertise is their blog. You can definitely tell who knows what.
How did they learn their skills? Are they self-taught, been to design school or have a tertiary level qualification? Anyone can say they are a website designer. There are website designers and then there are website designers. Do you know the difference? Some people will call themselves website designers, having done a few websites for family and friends in WordPress through trial and error and tutorial following. Then there are designers who know about the importance of strategic design, the key components of a website you need in today’s market place to set you and your business up for success and how to get a website reflect your personality and energy and still attract your ideal clients and customers. I bet I know who you’d rather work with!
Now I’d like to hear from you
I’ve shown you some of the key areas you’ll want to consider when you hire a designer. If/when you’ve looked for a designer in the past, what have you looked for? Did it work for you? If it didn’t go so great, what happened? For those just starting on this journey, what have you considered as key indicators for a designer in your search so far? How has that been working for you so far?
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