Our team at BMG Marketing have put together a list of their top tips to help you choose the right website designer.
Tip 1: Try to find someone who is local
When undertaking a project of this importance, there is no substitute for sitting face-to-face with someone. A local web developer or agency will be more likely to know your market. Avoid going with someone you cannot get on the phone during business hours.
Tip 2: Make sure you know your needs
Developing a website brief will get you thinking about what you want from a new website. There are just so many options, your best chance of success will be to walk into a meeting with a rough plan for what you want. A simple website brief will get you and a prospective web designer onto the same page. The brief does not need to complex or in a particular format, we just recommend outlining what you expect the site to achieve and perform. The web developer can then fill in the gaps.
Tip 3: Do a web search for “Web design (your town here)”
You don’t need to select the top entry, but chances are if a web developer or agency is shown on the first page of search results then they can probably build you a site that will get you the best possible visibility. Modern search engine optimisation is as much about good content as it is about proper technical requirements. So if the developer is showing up well in a search, you can rest assured they are not only technically proficient, but also able to advise on creating quality website content.
Tip 4: Look for a recommendation from someone you know
When it comes to an investment like a website, you want reassurance from people you can trust. You can’t overestimate the value of a good recommendation. If you can speak with someone who has already worked with your prospective web developer or agency, you’ll be well prepared. Ask about their experience in the development process, cost, time frame and ongoing website support.
Tip 5: Know your budget
You should be informed about the relative price ranges of websites. You can spend as much or as little as you want, as long as you know what kind of results to expect for that price. Low-cost websites will take less time to set up, but are less customisable and you will need to adapt to them, as opposed to the other way around. Try to understand which website features will bring you a return on your investment, either by providing measurable results, or by saving you time.
Tip 6: Look through portfolios
Get a good sense of the breadth of work the agency is capable of. If you are looking to build an e-commerce site, look for examples of online shops. Make an effort to visit some of these sites. Click through a few pages to get a feel for the quality. Attention to detail is the key.
Tip 7: Are they professional?
There is no accreditation required for calling yourself a web designer, so be on the lookout for any warning signs. A professional web designer or web design agency will be creative, must have good technical knowledge, sound marketing experience and be up to date on current best practices. A modern website can deliver measurable results in ways that weren’t possible, even just a few years ago. The actual technical “building” of a website is only one component of the project. The planning, design and training are all elements that will make a significant impact on the outcome.
Tip 8: There should be project timeframe
As web developers, we can tell you that adhering to an agreed time frame is often tricky for both sides. Developers are often left waiting for a client to deliver the words and images which will make up the final content of a site. In order to reach a launch deadline, you’ll need a clear understanding of time frames, with milestones along the way, to ensure that everything is on track.
Tip 9: Do they ask the right questions?
Your website should be a reflection of your brand and, to be most effective, your site should be built around your business. If you’ve decided to go with a professional web designer, they should also have a fairly broad understanding of how a successful website can help to drive sales, engage an audience and promote your business to the right markets. This understanding of your business comes through asking the right questions.
Tip 10: Find a good communicator
You’ll need someone responsive to emails and phone calls and who is open to having a conversation. The sound of silence when a launch deadline looms can be frightening and it’s something best to avoid. You should both be trying to cultivate a good rapport. An effective listener is as valuable as an effective speaker. The best websites are achieved through collaboration.
We hope you enjoyed our top tips, if you would like to know more about what we at BMG Marketing can achieve for your company today, please do not hesitate to give one of our friendly consultants a call today!