How to Find the Best Website Designer
Choosing a designer for your business website is a critical decision, a good website being a tool for attracting more customers and a bad one being just the exact opposite.
The following are the major considerations to make prior to making your choice:
> Do they ask a lot of questions and show interest in your business? This is important for how else can they build a successful website if they don’t even understand what you’re doing? Check out the sites they’ve designed to see if their style matches your preference.
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> Ask them if they would do the layout and graphics or only the programming. If they don’t do graphics themselves, will they be able to recommend an artist?
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> Do they follow a systematic planning process, starting with the design phase, and if so, do they normally document all discussions and decisions made? It would be great if they have a kind of website planning guide that you can work through as a team.
> Inquire if search engine optimization is part of their services. It must be. How can a pretty site if nobody knows it exists?
> Be clear on the fees.
Designers often receive $60 to $125 per hour, and a basic but high-quality website will likely set you back from $2,500 to $5,000. If you want to add more features such as a blog, shopping cart, email addresses or autoresponders, expect the price to climb.
> Find out not just how much you have to pay them, but how exactly you are expected to. Will it be monthly or with every milestone reached? Do you need to pay a deposit?
> Ask for references and call these people to know about their experiences with the designer. You need someone with exceptional project management and communication skills, and most importantly, tested and proven talent in web design.
> Be sure about who will maintain your site after the initial design; if they will, how much do you have to pay for it? If you must maintain your own site, have them design it on a CMS platform so that it’s easy to work on.
> In the contract, it must be clear that you own the copyright to the whole website, from photos to coding and even your domain name, even if it was registered by the designer. In line with this, they should give you all original and editable source files so that’s it’s easy for you to make changes on your website, with or without the original designer.
> Lastly, it’s important that you enjoy working with your web designer. Otherwise, you may never like the result they produce just because you’re already biased against them from the beginning. And that will be a problem.