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How to choose a website designer in 2021

How to choose a website designer in 2021

Whether you're refreshing your current site or need a new one designing from scratch, hiring a website designer is a smart move. A good website developer will help you design and build a website that can make your business a success... provided you choose the right one! So, here are some tips on how to choose a website designer in 2021.

1. Look at previous work

The first thing that you need to consider is whether the website designer has practical experience in building websites. Most website designers will have portfolios showcasing previous designs. If they aren’t client websites, they’re usually example or test websites created specifically for prospective clients to view. You can ask for specific types of website, such as eCommerce, portfolios, or blogs. Try to get examples of the type of website that you would like. Some website designers specialise in one style and you should find a match that fits your needs. What you’re looking for is whether the website looks good, functions without errors, and is easily navigable. You can run example websites through speed tests and SEO software to check for suitability.

2. Which platform does the website designer use?

Another question is to consider what platform a website designer uses. There are numerous platforms available, including Magento, Joomla and WordPress. You will need to have a website built for the environment you want. If you’ve got no experience in managing a website, look at the pros and cons of several different platforms. You can speak to several website designers to hear their points of view. They might also be able to give you tours of example websites; this will give you a feel for the platform and whether it's a good fit for you. Even if you plan for the website designer to manage the maintenance of your website in the long term, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the platform it will be hosted on.

3. The SEO skills of the website designer

While the main idea of website design is to create a website that attracts customers, it's fruitless having a site no one will find. About 70% of your traffic should come from organic search. These are often new users who are unaware of your brand. But to achieve this, you need to be found on Google and other search engines. Therefore, you need to ensure you choose a designer familiar with good SEO practices. For instance, the speed of the website is really important; the faster your site takes to load, the higher the page will rank, resulting in more organic visits. At the same time, they should be able to upload images that are optimised for both speed and mobile devices.

4. Do you get along with your website designer?

One of the key factors on how to choose a website designer is whether or not you like their attitude and personal approach. You will need to work with them closely for a few weeks, so your chosen website designer will need to listen to you, communicate specific issues, and develop solutions effectively. If you don’t get on with your website developer, this can make communications more challenging and the process of building your website much harder. In contrast, when you like your designer, the process is much smoother and it can actually speed up the process. You should speak to your potential developers at least a couple of times before selecting them. You can also ask for testimonials or contact details for existing clients to see what they have say about your chosen website designers.

5. What timescales are you looking at?

Another key aspect is what timescale you could face as your website is built. You probably want your website created quickly, but there aren’t many websites that can be built fast - not if you want them to be good and have good ranking potential, anyway. If you require a website built by a certain deadline, be sure to communicate this to the designer and see if this is a reasonable expectation. A good website developer might be able to give you specific dates when work will start, first drafts will be ready, and when you should expect completion.

6. What is part of the website design package?

Not all designers offer the same features within their packages. Some will include free minor alterations to your website throughout the design process; others will charge for changes if they’re not in the original brief. You might get support for six months after the website is built, or be left completely on your own after delivery. Some website packages only include a specific number of pages, with extra costs for additional ones. You might also have to supply all your own images, text, etc. Always check what the website designer is prepared to offer you before you choose them. There is no "better" package, rather, it is the package that is most suitable for your needs.

Conclusion: How to choose a website designer in 2021

When it comes to choosing a website designer, you’ve got a big decision to make. Not all website designers are equal - they come with different skill sets, preferences on how they work, package deals, and even workloads. You have to choose the website designer right for you. Note that we have not included cost as a factor. While it is always best to keep costs down when running a business, hiring a website designer that is too cheap without other benefits can harm your business’ prospects. Your website is like a shop floor. You want it to look good because the visual appeal will help generate you money online and offline. Put simply, a website is something worth investing in. If you want to know more about website design in Shropshire, contact us here.

 

FAQ's about how to choose a website design company 2021

The six million dollar question!

Well, hopefully not that much. 

The cost of a website will depend on several factors:

  • How large the Agency is and where they are located. (Central London agencies will charge more as their cost base will be much higher than a rural or suburban agency)
  • The complexity of the website that you need. (The more functionality you need to longer the work will take and more skills will be needed for the development) 
  • The platform that you choose to work with for example; WordPress, Joomla, Magento etc. (Some platforms are more difficult to work with and as such the development costs will be higher.)
  • Frankly how much profit the website design company wants for their business to succeed. (Let's face it, they need to make a profit to be able to support you for years to come.)

As a broad range prices could start at around £5k for a basic website, through £10k - £20k for a more complex one and well over £50k for something special, complex or very large.

Each project should be looked at as an investment by you in your business success.

Do NOT buy just on price.

If you feel that the website design company you have spoken to is a good fit and has the right experience then spend the money you need to ensure a good service and result for you.

That depends on several factors; Design, Development and Content.

Design - whether the design stage is complex.

For example if you are designing from scratch and not using any templates (which in our opinion should be avoided anyway) then that part of the process could take several weeks. But let's be honest, how your website looks can dictate its success in the long run. You will need to give a good brief to your agency about what websites you like and why, or have brand guidelines at hand ready to give to them.

Development - what the website does

If the functionality is complicated, i.e. eCommerce, then this will take longer. A simple site could take just a few weeks. But remember you will need to spend time on the project to ensure you get the result you want. 

Size - how many pages/products etc

If the website is large, it will take longer for the agency to build your pages. If you have staff who could make themselves available for training on updating the webpages or the products and services then they could assist on the build and therefore help keep the costs down.

As a rule of thumb we suggest that three months is a standard time for a simple website to be built through the design, development and content phases. Larger websites can take several months to complete. 

Always try and get a reasonably accurate time frame from your website design company and remember that you will need to allocate your own time to ensure the project is successfully completed.

In our opinion experience is one the most important things to look for when choosing your next website design company. Not necessarily in your sector, but certainly experience in designing websites for different markets can be very useful indeed.

The next thing to look at is what support does the website design company provide.

Support is often underrated but to be honest it is one of the most popular reasons clients come to Clickingmad as often new clients to us tell us that the level fo support they have received from others is one of the main reasons to choose to work with us.

Having a dedicated team of developers and designers on hand ready to help with alterations, technical help and of course SEO and SEM experience will prove extremely useful to you once the website has been made live.

Finally, and this is mentioned in the article above, but you REALLY need to get on well with your chosen company. Make sure the staff you deal with inspire confidence in you and that they are there for you afterwards, not just through the 'sale' process. Don't let yourself be bamboozled by tech speak. Ensure that the company understands your business and your personal goals for not just the website but also the business in general. 

Only by having a thorough understanding of your company and competitive marketplace will they be able to advise you properly.

 
 

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