How do you choose the right web designer?
I see this post a lot in forums and groups - and it normally results in a deluge of web designers touting their services rather than asking the question!!
Here are my top five considerations for choosing a web designer:
1. Style. Take a look at their previous work and see if it matches the style of website you are looking to achieve. The best web designers will have a variety of styles and designs - beware of designers whose websites all look the same because the likelihood that they use a limited number of templates is high.
2. Pricing. Web design prices vary from £99 to £10k+ - what causes the variance lies in how much bespoke coding will go into the site for functionality. The more affordable end will be designers using fixed platforms; the top end will be bespoke developed websites (not Wordpress, or Squarespace etc). Make sure you are clear on what platform your designer uses as not all platforms are good for SEO and functionality.
3. Ask what’s included for the price. Most designers do not include content or imagery so if you need help with these you may need a copy writer and either to organise a photo shoot or purchase stock images. You can either ask for a quote based on your exact requirements (I recommend this) or ask about packages but be clear on how many revisions are included, what ongoing support looks like and what training will be given if you are managing itself once it’s live.
4. SEO! Ask your designer for specifics around what they will do to configure your website for search engine optimisation. This includes but is not limited to - title tags, meta tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, schema. Ask about how they will incorporate your keywords and structure your content to give you a good start for ranking highly. (Don’t forget that SEO is much much more than this and you won’t go number 1 just because of good configuration)
5. Aftercare. Be sure to ask what aftercare looks like - what happens if errors are identified and if they are available fir questions and support. Ask about their customer retention rate - how many customers still work with them is a good indicator of how good they are!
Choosing a web designer can feel like finding a needle in a haystack but the most important consideration is who builds a relationship with you and that you feel you can trust to give you your digital shop window!
Pamela Rae-Welsh is the Director of Worsley Creative Services ltd