If you plan on hiring a website designer in the future, then I’m here to save you some money.

Over the last 18 years, we’ve had the privilege of building websites for many types of companies  However, not all of those clients chose to work with us initially.  Some companies originally hired a different web design company and were left with nothing to show for it.  Other clients paid a lot of money for their website, only to spend too much for what they received.  Each time the client shared their story, there were a few common factors which could have been prevented if the business had adopted these 8 rules when hiring a website designer.

(1) Find an experienced website designer. You would think that “experience” would be synonymous with “expensive”, but you’re wrong.   In fact, a more experienced designer will also be able to share with you more ideas of what is available to you and your business to enhance your online experience as well as your customer experience.   After all, do you really want to pay for the learning curve of a novice web designer? An experienced web design company will be able to complete your website quicker with fewer hassles.

(2) Look at their portfolio.  Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about their work, about their relationship with their clients, about their qualifications.  Find out if the web design company has worked on similar websites within your industry.  It’s very typical for a prospect to ask me to see other “e-commerce websites” or other industry type websites.

By looking at their past work, if you are pleased with the results that they have given to past clients then there is a great chance you will like the design they create for you.

(3) Look beyond the web design skills.  What skills does the website developer have? Do they only offer website design services or can they offer maintenance support after the website is developed? Can the website design company offer dynamic web development and database design? Be sure the website design company will be able to take your website from start to finish or will you need to look for other contractors to help finish the job. The total cost of the project will be less if you can work with one company.

Ensure your web design company does not focus mainly on print media.  Web design and print design are different ballparks  with different requirements.  

(4) Will the website design company offer references? If so CHECK THEM. If not, ASK.  Former clients will be able to tell you the true story. Here are few questions that you may want to ask when speaking to a reference:

  • Did they meet deadlines?
  • Were they flexible?
  • Did they set and meet realistic goals for your project?
  • Would they work with this firm again?

(5) Get a written proposal. Be sure to agree on costs that will be incurred for the creation of the website and get a detailed estimate. Too many website design firms have a low price to get you working with them and then double or worse TRIPLE their price at the end.  Get as much details as possible in the written proposal.

(6) Establish written goals for the website. It is important that your goals for the website are the same. Ensure that the website designer is aware of your objectives and target market. Remember, your website is an extension of your business and is a great sales and marketing tool if used correctly.

(7) Be involved along the way.  Understand how the development process is handled. Make certain that you will be able to see the progress of your website and offer approval at each stage of the process. You don’t want to start a project and then two months later be given the final website without ever seeing it along the way.

(8) Make sure your new website design company will be able to handle the Search Engine Optimization AFTER the website is completed.  Oh Oh, that just eliminated about 75% of the design firms out there.  SEO does not begin after a website is completed.  It is incorporated into the design as well as the page names, images, content and so much more.  By choosing a web design company that also offers SEO will save you money on the SEO.  Some of the on-page optimization will be completed during the design phase of the website.

BONUS TIP: Be Prepared!  Make a list of the type of information and the “pages” that you see on your website.Start creating content now if you haven’t done so already.  Most web design companies require that you submit all content.  However, some companies will also offer copywriting services.

Most reputable website design companies will have a client questionnaire.  Make sure to fill that out as completely as possible.  The more information you can provide, the better.

We understand hiring a website company is a necessity for your business.  However, it’s also possible to save money along the way.  The goal is to create a team you can enjoy for years to come.  Hopefully, these tips will help you choose a company with the experience and skill to take your business to the next level.

We welcome the opportunity to be of service.  Give us a call to chat about your next project.

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