Every small business needs a website. More importantly, it needs a great one. That means you need to find an exceptional web designer who can create a site worthy of your business. How do you make that final decision? Here are a few dos and don’ts on how to pick the right web designer for your small business.
1. Do Pay Attention to your First Impression
There’s obviously a lot of thinking that should go into selecting a web designer – budget, timeline, experience. But don’t underestimate the power of the first impression when you first visit their website. When you visit a designer’s site, you’re going to have an instinctive reaction. If it’s “Wow, this site looks amazing!” that’s a good sign. If they can make you feel that way with their site, that means they can do the same for yours.
2. Don’t Go Cheap
We have no doubt your aunt’s second cousin is a lovely person, but for $50 they’re not going to give you the site your small business needs. Nothing scares a potential customer away quicker than a bad website. A great website is worth paying for. And the honest truth? You should pay handsomely for it. Obviously, don’t bankrupt yourself, but this is not where you want to skimp. So when you’re looking for a web designer, look for one who charges healthy, professional rates. A designer can’t, for example, ask for $7000 if they’re not any good. Remember: you get what you pay for, and a great website is not only worth paying for, it pays for itself in no time.
3. Do Research a Designer’s Previous Work
This is probably self-explanatory, but don’t just rely on testimonials. Find out who a designer has worked with. Check out other sites they’ve created. Study them carefully (how they look, if they work properly). Ask for additional samples. You could even reach out to a designer’s previous clients to discuss what working with the designer was like. Hiring a web master for your site is a lot like hiring an employee for your company. You want to make sure they’re as good as they say they are and that they’ll be worth the money.
4. Don’t Forget to Make Sure Their Design Style Suits You
It’s not just important to ensure a web designer’s work is good, it’s valuable to find someone whose style suits what you imagine for your site. Chances are you already have an idea of what you want your site to look like. Yes, a good designer should be versatile, but it helps immensely if you they’ve already proven themselves at doing something that’s exactly what you want. It speeds up the process, and makes life easier for both parties. In short: a great way to ensure you get the site you want? Hire someone who has made it before.
5. Do Make Sure the Designer is a Good Personality Fit
You might be channeling The Godfather right now and thinking, “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.” Why should a web designer be a good personality fit? Your small business is your pride and joy. It’s an extension of you are. A website should be too. You need someone who gets that. What’s more, you need someone personable you can trust with all the hopes and ambitions you have for your company. It makes both the business and the personal easier. Plus, just like with any other employee, getting along always improves the experience. So when you talk to a designer – whether over coffee, phone, or Skype – don’t just ask yourself, “Are they qualified? Are they professional?” Ask: “Will I like working with this person?”
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