A well-designed website serves as an essential tool for any business. It helps you inform your customers and connect with them, and contributes to establishing you as an authority in your industry. You might think about hiring a web designer because you want your website to achieve maximum impact. Here are some things to consider before you settle on a particular designer.
What Are Your Goals?
You need to have a good, solid idea of what you want before a web designer can provide it for you. The ultimate goal is to grow your customer base and maintain a healthy relationship with the customers you already have. Set measurable goals and discuss these with any potential web designers. Remember to also establish deadlines for your goals; they’re vital in measuring your goals.
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One of the most important things you should communicate to your web designer is the specific actions that you want your customers to take. One article at vocus states, “You have to dig into this and create a path for each visitor at each stage of the sales funnel from brand new, to warm lead, to ready to buy.”
What is Your Budget?
Different designers offer different services and different levels of service. Hence, they also charge different prices. A website based on a template will set you back significantly less than a custom design. If your website won’t need a lot of pages and your business doesn’t hinge on having a reputation as being on the edge of the tech world, a template should serve you just fine.
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Also, take a look at the designer. If they offer a low bid but fail to take the time to ascertain your needs and wants, move on to another designer, even if the cost is higher. A designer should pepper you with questions about what you want. Keep in mind, too, that if you don’t like what is in a designer’s portfolio, anything you pay to that designer will turn into wasted money.
What Does the Design Package Include?
A post at bizeebee.com points out the bare minimum of what a designer should include in their offered package. The post lists six things, including:
- Project scope discussion. Outline a plan for the site, a timeline, and prices.
- Site design. What looks and feel do you want for the site? Base this on your target customers. What do they like? What do they value?
- Installation. A content management server or system is essential.
- Development of site.
- Site testing on different browsers and platforms. You want your site to appeal to all your customers, not just the ones who use Internet service on a tablet using Google Chrome, for example.
- Site maintenance plan. The designer should provide training on how you can update and maintain the site yourself. The designer should provide documentation on the website operation.
Ask if the designer includes other things in their package as well, such as a plan for search engine optimization; social media design and setup; e-newsletter design; development and maintenance; and web hosting.
There are some things that a web designer won’t do, and you shouldn’t expect them to. Your web hosting provider should take care of website up time and email deliver ability. As noted above, sometimes hosting is included in an overall package. Find a web hosting company that provides 24/7 support, so you know who to call, and you can call them anytime when an issue arises.
The article cited above at bizeebee.com aptly states, “Not all web designers are developers, and not all web developers are designers.” The difference between a designer and a developer is that a developer takes care of the underbelly of a site — the programs and scripts. A designer, however, makes the site look great and arranges the pages so the customer can navigate the site with ease. However, you’re not likely to find a designer who knows nothing about development or vice versa.
A dynamic, visually appealing website has the potential to boost your business, grow its reputation, and establish you as an authority in your industry. Entrust the task of designing your website to the right people, and your goals are within reach.
Author Bio: Joy Nelson is a professional freelance writer in the Seattle, WA area. She appreciates the value of good design.
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