How to choose a Web Designer – Comparing Apples with Apples

When hiring anyone to do anything, remember to always compare apples with apples; this is especially true when it comes to hiring web designers, online strategists or setting up a maintenance plan.

Try to find out what their experience is – are they only a web designer or do they have online strategy and an user experience understanding. Do they offer responsive design? How long have they been in the business. Seeing the bigger picture will help them help you!

However, don’t let their picture be too big… If they are offering too many services, they may not be focused enough to give your site and business the attention that it needs. Also make sure you have good energy together. Not every good web designer will be good for every client. Meet with them first or call them to see whether you would be a good match.

It is important to find out exactly what they are offering you and compare that with other companies to find the best fit.

Lastly, remember, a cheaper plan now, may end up harming your business more than helping it! Make sure your web designer has the training and experience needed to get you to where you want to be!

Example 1

Recently, I was approached by an old client that had been with another company. They had set up a fixed, template-based, drag-and-drop (not a custom design) website with little flexibility and the more we go into the site, the more I realise how the little things they were doing were sometimes doing more harm then good.

For example, they had multiple blog posts with the same name. Having multiple blog posts with the exact same title can affect your site in 3 main ways.

It is missing out on an opportunity to test various approaches and monitor results.

It may negatively affect your Search Engine results resulting in less traffic to your site.

It may set it up for a confusing user-experience.

These were one of the many items identified but a good, short example of how the little things really do make a big difference!

Example 2

Finding the right company from the beginning can save you time, money and frustration.

Recently, I was referred a client who was ready to give up! After multiple designers with different advice, thousands of rands and wasted time; he wasn’t get the results he wanted.

You may say, “How do we know for sure?”. The reality is, even with doing your research and putting in the effort (Please note: You need to put in the effort with your designer. They can’t work with nothing. It’s a team effort); you may still feel you made a bad choice or feel that someone else would be better suited. The trick is to measure results. Make sure you have access to some feedback/stats/results and measure your success. If you are putting in the effort and not seeing the results, it may be time to move on!

Apples vs Pears

The number one issue I see over and over again is comparing Apples with Pears. People are promised so many things at a fraction of the cost and often don’t see the results they want.

Choose a web designer you can trust and then trust their advice. That doesn’t mean don’t ask questions but trust what they have to say and then measure the results.

Choose a good web designer and see what packages they offer. Often, a monthly package can offer a high level of service at a more affordable price.

Good luck!

Denise

About Denise van der Merwe

Online Strategist and Web Designer passionate about user-friendly design, responsive websites, small businesses, startups and her family.

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