Choosing a good web designer can be a difficult choice especially if your Self Employed, a good website can bring you more visitors and business or a badly designed website could drive away your potential customers.
So, before you dive in to choosing a web designer here are some important things to think about:-
Types of Web Designers
Although many web designers may have their own strong points, a typical breakdown of tasks within web design are detailed below.
Web Designer – Helping you to choose layout, graphics, content locations and the colours of your new site, the navigation is also designed by the web designer and all of the internal linking structure. They may also do the graphics and coding of the site or outsource some of these specialist areas to freelancers. A website designer is basically a Project Manager of the overall design.
Web Developer – Taking the site design layout from the designer and coding it to work as a website, they are also responsible for all of the behind the scenes technical stuff and making sure everything works.
Graphic Designer – Responsible for all of the graphics of the new website including the page layout and colours etc. This is the person that makes the site look good and crisp.
Internet Marketing Consultant – Has the input of how your site will work as an overall marketing strategy, and more importantly how to get more traffic and sales from your website.
Your web designer may also arrange to create the content/text for your website or to hire the services of a professional copyrighter which could turn out to be very expensive. Consider a more inexpensive option and get advice from an Internet Marketing Consultant and write the text yourself and then let the Internet Marketer/SEO Consultant edit it to enable it to be found in the search engines.
Who is a good web designer and how much do they charge?
Whether you prefer to work with someone locally or remotely over the telephone/email you will need to have some basic understanding of what you want and what your expectations are, things to take in to account:
Take note of how much they take interest in your business. They need to learn about what you do, where you do it and what your goals are. The web designer needs to know your business inside out, how else can they design a website that reflects you and your business.
Look at their portfolio, are their design similar or are they bespoke to each type of business.
Ask them which parts of the site they will actually be doing or if they will be just doing a certain task and outsourcing the rest.
Also ask if they have a planning process that explains the design phases. Or if they have a planning guide that you will both work through together.
Ask them if they know about Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and if the site will be optimized for high rankings. A beautiful design is no good if it cannot be found by your potential customers.
Ask the designer for and estimated cost for the site you need. They may not be able to give you a price until you discuss content and features of the site. You could expect to pay between £30 – £70 per hour depending on skills and location. A high quality website with excellent graphic design and layout could cost between £1300 and £2000 for a 10 page website. If you need features such as a blog, newsletter, shopping cart, SEO or Logo Design the price would go up.
Find out about payment process, do they invoice you when milestones are reached or do they take a deposit upfront and the balance on completion.
Take note to see if they kee within your budget or if they suggest add ons and extras that will increase the cost above your budget, the only person in charge of your budget is you!
Ask them about website support and maintenance after your site is live and if they have any packages available for regular updates etc
If you are going to be maintaining the site yourself, ask them to design your site so it will be easily to maintain by thw website owner (yourself) They should be able to design your site on a CMS Platform which will allow you to edit the text and images yourself.
Make sure you own your domain name, even if your web designer registered it for you.
Tell your designer what your deadline is and ask if they can meet it. Many good web designers will be booked up for at least 6 to 8 weeks minimum, so you may need to wait.
Your new website can be crucial to the success of your business. Being thorough at your meeting with your web designer you are likely to get the designer you want and who is willing to listen to you and who can create a website that reflects you and your business and most importantly keeps within your budget and deadlines.