Choosing a web designer is one of the first tasks you tackle as a business owner wanting an online presence, or if you are looking to build a website for personal reasons. Regardless, it can feel a bit tricky when there are a myriad of options out there. You may be wondering where to start; would it be best to contact an agency, reach out to a freelancer, or ask for personal recommendations from friends or colleagues? In order to get started in your search for a web designer, there are really only a few things to keep in mind to simplify your research:
The first indicator that a certain web designer or agency may be perfect for your needs is that they’ve done a site like yours before! Look for a designer with experience in creating websites that are similar to what you need, and remember to point out those examples when you are speaking with them. If you need an e-commerce site, for example, look for a designer who has experience in creating e-commerce sites. You may be able to even Google specific search terms like “small business web designer” or “blog web designer”.
Similar to keeping experience in mind, one of the first things you should do when searching for a web designer is review the designer’s portfolio, either digitally on their website or call to ask if they can send you one. This will enable you to get an idea of not only the types of websites they have created in the past, but the quality of their work and whether you can imagine the website you need in the same style.
Once you have found some options for web designers that meet the criteria of experience and developed portfolio in your area, you’ll have to make sure you feel comfortable communicating with the designer and that they are first and foremost responsive to your questions and concerns. The designers may have the right style to suit your website, but that doesn’t mean much if they are slow to respond to calls and emails. If there are any indications that they have poor time management or project management, it is worth going back to your search for another web designer.
Cost and Timeframe
Ensure that the designer’s cost and timeframe for completing your project align with your budget and schedule. When you speak with the web designer, make sure that they are transparent about their pricing for the project you need and give you an estimate for completion that fits your demands. If it will simply take too much time or will be out of the budget you originally set for the creation of the website, it is going to be necessary for you to look elsewhere. Keep in mind that there are so many options for web designers out there; there is no need to get discouraged if you need to go back to your search when the cost and timeframe don’t match your needs because there certainly will be someone who can meet them.
Before making a final decision to move forward with a specific web designer, remember that you should feel confident in their abilities to meet your specific requirements. Has this web designer laid out the process in full for what you can expect, beyond just cost and timeframe? Do they have a system for collecting your requirements and showing you how they will meet them? If they can answer all your questions about how they will handle the ins and outs and minute details of your project during an initial interview, this is the best gauge to see that the web designer will create a website that satisfies all your wants.
These are just a few categories and signals that you can be looking for when it comes to choosing a web designer to suit your needs. Make sure you have questions that pertain to all of these topics when you give the designer a call or reach out over email. You can start your search by looking online for someone local, seeing what local design agencies are around you, as well as asking friends and family whether they have a personal recommendation for a web designer. Never forget that you can continually narrow down your search if one designer doesn’t meet your qualifications.