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Choosing a Web Designer

There are so many web designers and so-called web designers out there – how do you choose the best one? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Tip 1 - Arrange a face-to-face meeting.
Developing a website relies on open and professional communication between client and designer over weeks or months. Meeting them in person will give you a good indication of if you can work with them closely over a long period as well as provide an excellent opportunity to ask all of the questions you need. If you don’t like what you see or hear, better to walk away before you start than to be frustrated with a half completed project.

Tip 2 - Get a quote in writing.
A typical quote will include all the functionality you have discussed, often include an approval process or timeline for the project and payment schedule. Beware of quotes that are overly technical or overly vague. Make sure you understand it – if you don’t – ask them to explain the clause or term in plain English.

Tip 3 - Discuss who is responsible for ‘on page content’.
Many clients will expect that their chosen web developer will hand over a fully complete website with all of your content about what you do, your services, products etc in there already. This is often not the case and can be a major stumbling block for completing a website. Look for a designer who can help you with content. Some offer excellent web copywriting services, or at least editing services. So discuss who will be adding content and if your designer can help if you need it.

Tip 4 - Ask about the ease of administering their websites.
In fact get them to show you what the back end admin area of their site looks like and demonstrate how easy it is to update and make changes. In our experience if it looks too complex it probably is!  There are some wonderfully simple admin platforms available that are easier to learn and gain confidence on quickly. The better ones allow full customisation so we can use industry specific terms and jargon in the admin area instructions, rather than generic, ‘techy’ terms.

Tip 5 - Ask about the website software and hosting.
Does the software require regular updates? How scalable is the site for adding new functions or features over time? Will your site be backed up regularly by your host or do you have to do this yourself? Importantly – ask if something goes wrong with your website what is the process to fix it and how long does it normally take? Inexpensive hosting plans are fine as long as they spring into action when you need it most. Always ask about any ongoing costs with either maintenance or hosting.

Tip 6 - Be up front about your budget.
The cost of professional website development is almost entirely dependant on the time your designer spends on your website. A professional web designer will quickly be able to tell you what level of design or functionality they can achieve given the budget you have.

 

If you have any questions about our Tips or would like to discuss your own website requirements CONTACT US

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