I came across a person this week who was offering web design services whilst asking how to build a website. Yup, seriously. While most cases aren’t that blatant it does happen far more often than it should.
A professional web designer is your partner in online success. They can help make or break your online venture. So with that in mind it’s vital you hire a professional that, as well as understanding web design, has knowledge about selling online, internet marketing and building brand and business credibility.
One of the hardest parts of selecting a professional web designer is knowing what to look for. So whilst this list is not exhaustive it should help arm you with the knowledge you need to make a wise choice.
As a starting point you want to make sure your potential website designer:
- Provides examples of previous sites they’ve designed.
- Offers testimonials from real people.
- Has an understanding not only of web design but usability, search engine optimisation, search friendly design, marketing, blogs etc, etc. They don’t have to be experts in each of these fields but some knowledge and the ability to partner with people who can offer these services is vital.
- Understands that a website not only has to look good but achieve your goals – such as lead generation, subscriptions, sign ups or sales.
The internet is a fast paced medium and keeping up to date with technology and trends is also important. You’re web designer should also:
- Keep up to date with design trends – as long as they fit a site’s goals.
- Move with technology – are they still designing using tables or CSS/XHTML?
- Follow online marketing trends.
Taking into account the tips above, spend some time researching potential web designers and either talk to them on the phone or in person. This will help you get a feel for them, their knowledge and how it would be to work with them. It should also help you determine whether you’re dealing with a professional or not.