Choosing the best website designer to build your business website is a very important business decision to make. This is because a good website can boost your business and a bad one can do the opposite.
But the process of choosing the right web designer can sometimes be overwhelming owing to the fact that there are a lot of web design companies.
Also, you need to have certain facts at your finger tips to be able to successfully select the right web designer for your business.
You need to know what questions to you ask, and the right answers to the questions you ask the website designer.
Having this information would help you not to get scammed or end up with a bad website designer.
Before we discuss what to look for in a website designer and the right questions to ask him, let us discuss the different professionals that may be involved in creating and promoting your website.
This will help you better understand which of them you may need for your website design project.
Types of Website Design Professionals
1. Website Designer – A Website Designer is the project manager for your website design project. He creates the page layout, graphics, text location and colors of your site, as well as the navigation and how pages will interlink to one another.He may also do the actual computer programming and graphic art work for the site, or may hire out that work to a web programmer.
2. Website Programmer – converts the design from the website designer into a functional website by writings codes that make the site run. He is also responsible for all the technical stuff that happens behind-the-scenes to ensure your website site works properly.
3. Graphic Designer/Artist – creates or choose the graphics for the site, including page layout, colors, logo, photos, illustrations, etc. Think of this person as the “visual artist” who creates the brand image for your site.
4. Internet Marketer – helps you to determine how your website fits into your overall marketing strategy, and how to get more traffic and sales from your website.
An understanding of the difference between these professionals is very important. People often think they should hire a website designer when they may actually need to hire a web developer or a combination of website designer, web developer and graphics designer.
Before you start searching, it’s important to decide exactly what services and skills are necessary for your website design project.
For example, let’s say you are opening a spa business and you need a website that will do the following:
-Tell people what my business offers
-Allow customers to schedule appointments
-Encourage people to sign up for my mailing list so I can send information (discounts, etc.) to pet owners in the area
-Allow people to contact me if they have questions
You could choose to work with either a website designer or a combination of a website designer and graphics designer to get the job done.
This is because a website designer can easily handle this project as there are lots of WordPress plugins that allow appointment scheduling, email opt-ins, and contact forms, so it’s unlikely that you need a super custom website.
Another example: You have set up your spa business, but you would like to start selling products (treatment oils, massage oils, etc.) on my website and taking registration for classes. You’ll need to add the following new features:
-Ecommerce and SSL with a payment gateway
-Inventory management that syncs between the physical store and the online store
-More advanced scheduling that allows for both (1) grooming appointments and (2) obedience classes with a limited number of registrations per class
-Different levels of access for employees or team members who may need to log into the website to process orders
In this case you’ll likely need the services of a web developer to either create a custom solution for you or help integrate the new functionality with your existing site’s design.
Let's now discuss some important facts to consider when selecting a website designer for your website design project.
What to Look for When Hiring a Website Designer
1. Observe how much information they ask you about YOUR BUSINESS. They ought to make effort to know you, your business, your audience, and your marketing goals intimately.Spending time to get to know you is the only way they can design a site that truly reflects you, your brand, and your business.
2. Take a glance at the websites they have designed to determine whether there is a certain feel to ALL their websites, or whether they are flexible in their designs. With this, you’ll know whether you like their style.
3. Find out whether they did the actual graphic and layout design of the websites they design, or if they just did the programming.
4. If they don’t do the graphic work themselves, can they recommend a graphic designer?
5. Do they have a structured, systematic planning process that leads you through the design phases, and if will they document all the discussions and decisions?If they have a Website Planning Guide that you’ll work through together, that’s helpful.
6. Find out what they know about internet marketing and search engine optimization.Be sure that they’re creating a site for you that meets your larger marketing and business goals. (A pretty site is useless to you unless it generates revenue and prospects.)
7. Ask the website designer for their fees and what is the estimated cost for the site you want. They may not be able to give you a good estimate until you discuss content and features of the site.
Depending on their skill and their location, a quality website with good graphic design and layout will cost around ₦50,000 – ₦100,000 for a simple business website.
If you add a blog, newsletter, shopping cart, autoresponders, email address setup, SEO, membership site, or logo design (or if you have many page on your site), expect the price to be higher.
8. Find out how they bill you. Will they invoice you monthly, or when certain milestones are reached? Do you have to make deposits?
9. Observe whether they’ll try to stick within your budget, or whether they will keep suggesting new features that increase the cost of your website.Remember, web designers aren’t responsible for your budget — you are. Also note that it’s your responsibility to stay within the agreed-upon scope, as well.
10. Talk to some of their previous clients to learn how smooth the process was. You want someone who has good project management skills AND good communication skills.
They have to listen to you, not just give advice. They need to accept when you decided to not take their advice and not get pushy about it. And they have to get back to you in a timely manner with phone calls and emails.
11. Ask them whether they will maintain your website after the initial design, and how much they’ll charge for that. Some designers want to create new sites but don’t want to maintain them.
Someone like a virtual assistant (VA) may be able to maintain your site for a lower fee, as long as the VA is skilled in website programming.
Find out what types of programming and platforms are used in your site, so you can find someone to help you update it.
12. Ask them whether they’ll design your website so that it is easily maintained in case you need to maintain your website by yourself.
You can have your site designed on a platform like WordPress, which will allow you to edit the text and some of the graphics.
13. Make sure that your contract states that you own the copyright to the entire website (except, of course, for stock photos and graphic…the original photographer/artist owns the copyright to stock images).
All content, including graphics that you hired someone to custom-create for you, and all the coding work, should be owned by you.
14. Make sure you own your domain name, even if the web designer registered it for you.
15. Ask your website designer for original, editable source files, website admin login credentials, and hosting panel login details.You need to be assured that you will be able to edit your website (or have another designer edit your website) with ease.
16. You have got to enjoy talking and working with them.
Do you LIKE the website designer?
Do you believe they’ll act ethically?
Did you enjoy speaking with them?
Were they stay focused to the task at hand, or did they ramble and waste your time?
Do you feel you “click” with their personality and values?
Do they offer you invaluable insight and advice about your site design?
17. Tell your prospective website designer what your deadline is and ask if he can meet it. Many good designers are already booked for the next 4-6 weeks, so you may have to wait for the designer of your choice.
If you don’t have a specific deadline, brainstorm with the designer to create a good working deadline that you can both meet, especially if you will be doing the job of writing the website text.
Your website is crucial to the success of your business. By doing extensive interview of potential website designers, you’re more likely to pick one that can do the work you want
You will also get a website designer that is willing to listen to you and create a site that reflects you and your business, and stays within your budget and time frame.
At Acken Technologies, we have highly skilled web professionals who listen to you. Our website designers will create a website that reflects you and your business, and most importantly, stay within your budget and time frame.
Also, we host your website on the best servers with 99.9% guaranteed uptime.
So if you are looking for a website designer in Abuja to build your business website, search no more.
See our recent website design projects.
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