You have a business, a product or important information that you want to provide to the public and now you need a website. That’s great, now it’s time to choose a web design firm but the landscape is littered with many choices when it comes to web design companies and all of them say they’re great. With so much technical jargon and mumbo jumbo to sort through, how are you the potential client able to make sense of it all? To you, all you care about is the big picture, getting a great website up and running that will stand as your best sales representative and nonstop advocate of your brand and your culture. How do you know what’s relevant and what’s not? How do you make the best choice for your specific needs? We’ve compiled a list of the main factors to consider when choosing a web design firm or web design freelancer to create your website.
Consider Your Budget
This may be a no-brainer, but budget is a big deal and you should research web design companies in relation to your budget, and if they’re an affordable option. There’s nothing worse than finding a great web design company that has designs that you love, then you learn they are just too far out of your price range and budget to hire.
Designs with SEO in Mind
You found a great web designer who created and launched a stunning website, but no one including potential customers are visiting your website. What’s happening, why am I not being found, and why isn’t my website generating any traffic? It’s most likely because your website was not designed with search engines like Google and Bing in mind, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) factors like clean code, website load time and design choices were ignored. You want to hire a web designer who considers SEO in everything they do, to ensure their well-designed website is found by your intended targeted visitors.
Content is King
If you’re familiar with the phrase “Content is King” by Bill Gates, then you probably know the importance of content and the effect it has in every aspect of our lives. Content is everywhere, and how you deliver it and who you deliver it to matters to the success of your website. Consistent high-quality content, whether in a social media update or a blog post is the single most crucial factor in the long-term success of you site, and must encourage visitors to engage with your brand whether consciously or not. With great content the visitor will stop to consume the content, connect with the brands message and even leave their comment, or like or share the content among their social network. If the content is bad and of poor quality, the visitor will simply continue scrolling by and the poor content will fade away into the abyss known as the internet. Serving up fresh high-quality content to your target audience is vital to the success of your website, and your web designer should understand this importance and design with delivering great content in mind.
When choosing a web design company you want to ensure they have a dedicated process to website designing. We understand every situation is unique and to a point it should be since it’s your specific website. However, a dedicated process means that they have a plan that has derived from experience and they have worked through most designing issues. This process guarantees your website design project will get off on the right foot and is headed towards success.
Finding Solutions & Project Management
Website development can get complex, and it’s the nature of the business. Equally as important as having a process is being able to overcome various problems which are sure to arise in designing your website. Since getting stuck is part of web design, a good designer needs to find solutions to problems not just alternatives or work-arounds. Hiring a web design company with this thought process ensures your website will be built well visually as well as technically, instead of just being visually appealing and held together with Band-Aids on the technical side.
Exercise Good Communication Skills
Great web designers are able to communicate effectively with their clients as well as their team. They are able to articulate their thoughts and ideas, and more importantly convey their concerns completely to the listener. They should also schedule weekly meetings with clients to review the process, get feedback and discuss any problems that may arise and solutions to solving them.
Understand Conversion Principles
You decided you need a website, and whether it’s selling your goods or services, or providing information or an opinion, you have a reason for needing to develop a website. You want visitors to find your website and take action while there. Make sure the web designer you hire has a strong understanding of conversion principles and implements them throughout your website. Common conversion principles like Visual Hierarchy, Divine Proportions, Hick’s and Fitt’s Laws, and other principles which drive user’s interaction with your website should be implemented.
UX and UI Design
The importance of the user experience and the user interface are obvious when developing a website. UX (user experience) is the technical back end of your website that makes it work well for the visitor, and UI (user interface) is the visual front-end aesthetics that makes it appealing for the visitor to use. A good web design firm knows how to implement the right code that produces the best experience for visitors to your website.
Know Your Market
Possibly the most determining factor when deciding on a web designer is their knowledge of your industry and understanding of the unique factors that drive it. A worthwhile designer knows this importance and does their homework on your industry and what drives it to conversion.
Now that your website is finished, you can sit back and let the money roll in right? Well, not exactly. Websites are living breathing things, and like other living things that need to be feed, nurtured, and loved, your website needs to be cared for as well. Websites can become stale and your content can become outdated, load times can slow, or search engine algorithms can change, or worst the great content your website links to can die off. To avoid this peril and the internet abyss, you want to hire a designer that offers add-on services on a retainer basis and performs scheduled maintenance on your website to avoid the fate of neglected websites. Hiring someone different after the fact who isn’t familiar with the design and development of your website can cause even more problems possibly resulting in your site slowing, or your site crashing altogether. To avoid this problem, hire designers who also offer ongoing maintenance to keep your website running at maximum optimization and converting customers.