If you’re looking for a web designer for your business, don’t settle for the first business you find. There are a lot of options out there.
A quick search on Google for the term “web designer” returns over 363,000,000 results. That is an over whelming number of options! So how do you pick the right web designer for your business?
Here are some tips, tricks, and questions to ask before writing and handing over a check.
A web designer that knows what he is doing, will have a portfolio, or at least a list of websites he has created in the past. Ask for it, look over it, and see if the websites are in a style that you find applicable to your business type, business character, and your personal taste.
PHP/MySQL, JQuery, HTML5, CSS3, these are all technologies that are used on a website. If the web designer simply says “Wordpress”, or “Joomla”, run the other way.
Smart phones are a part of everyone’s lives now. Your website will need to be optimized to display correctly on smaller screens such as the ones found on the IPhone, Android, and other mobile devices. If they don’t know what a “Responsive Design” is, then run the other way. This is common knowledge to any web design company who is on top of the latest technology and web trends.
It’s not uncommon for a web designer to design your website, and then when you ask for a link to be added to your companies Facebook page, they charge you an extra $25 or more. A web designer that has been in the business for a long time knows that there will be additional feature request after the website is complete. As an example, Shuford Technology allows for up to five revisions to the website design after completion, free of charge.
Often times, a web designer will disappear off the face of the earth after your website is complete and you have turned over a check to them. Don’t hire a company who won’t be around for support after your website is completed. A good web designer will stick around for 90 days or more after the completion of your website to help answer any questions you may have.
Websites get hacked, it happens to the best of us. There are things that can be done to prevent this from happening though. Does the web designer have knowledge about the latest exploits and security patches being released? A good web designer will be up-to-date and stay on top of all of the latest breaking news regarding web security vulnerabilities.
If you don’t already have website hosting, than this is an especially important question. Although the company may be willing to design a website for you for only $450, they may require an additional $100 or more per year to host your website for you, and they may not even offer up an alternative hosting option. At Shuford Technology we can host your business website for you, or we can show you how to host it yourself. These lessons are free of charge.
There are a lot of content management options out there, both free, and paid for. If you’re a tech savvy individual you may want a content management system that grants you more control over your website than some of the other options. If you’re not as technically savvy, you may want an easy to manage content system in place. Be sure to ask your proposed web designer what content management systems they offer. If they only give you one option, for example “Wordpress”; walk away. A good web designer and website developer company will offer you multiple solutions to choose from, to insure that you are comfortable managing your website.
As with the last question asked, managing your website should be an easy task for you to handle. Even if you hire the web developer to manage it for you, you may at some point wish to log in to the back end of your website and add content yourself, perhaps a sale you’re having, or maybe some breaking news about an event your business is hosting. Be sure that the system your web designer sets up isn’t some rocket scientist degree needing system, which only a trained professional can handle.
If your web designer disappears after your website is up and running, you could find yourself stuck with a never updating website. Make sure your web designer stays in touch with you, and that you are able to call or email him at any point that you may need his help.
You can build a website, and never get any traffic to that website. Search Engine Optimization is one option to potentially rank your website in Google, Bing, and yahoos search engines for your target keywords. A good web designer will do market research on your customer demographics to find what common keywords your customers are using in these search engines to find products or services like the ones your business offers, and he or she will than begin to optimize your website design and content to help it rank in popular search engines for these keyword phrases.
Without analytical tracking, there is no way to tell if your website is generating traffic or simply collecting dust in the vast internet. If your web designer can’t add analytical tracking for your business website, walk away. This is a very important addition to any website that appears online, especially one that aids your business in gaining new customers.