Hiring a web designer can be tricky. Everyone and their Aunt Jojo has built a website and claim to be “the best”. Platforms like Wix and Weebly promise easy DIY solutions… but as we tell our clients in both Tampa and the Florida Keys – a safe, secure, responsive, SEO-optimized, lead-converting website is a SPECIALTY that can’t be achieved with drag-and-drop programs.
Not only will hiring a web designer ensure your website exudes a professional look and feel – it will allow you the time you need to focus on growing your business.
“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” – Steve Jobs
But how do you choose the right designer for you when there are so many out there? This is the tough part!
We’re constantly hearing stories of web designers who promise the world, take your money, and then jump ship. While this is always a concern when hiring someone on a contract basis, it’s especially worrisome if you’re working with someone you’ve never met or who lives abroad.
Since hiring a web designer is such an important (and risky) part of growing your business, we’ve compiled a list of the top five things to look for to help guide you in your search:
1. Do they listen?
Ernest Hemingway said it best…
“Most people never listen”
So when they do – take note! If you hop on a call with a web designer and they ask you questions like, “where do you see your business five years from now?” or “who is your ideal customer?” or “shall we brainstorm over rum?”, you found yourself someone who passes our first test! Asking questions and listening to your answers shows that they’re eager to learn about your business, your wants, your needs and will provide you with what you want, rather than what they want.
2. Do they have a portfolio of live websites?
You wouldn’t buy a new mattress without seeing it or testing it for firmness first, right? So you definitely shouldn’t move forward with hiring a website designer without testing one of their live sites. When you’re going through a web designer’s portfolio, check for functionality and ease-of-use. Also, ensure their designs match your business’s aesthetic brand standards, and ask them for examples of metrics. The purpose of having a website is to attract new customers – so they must know how to design a site that converts leads into clients.
3. Do they know responsive design?
Always check a web designer’s live website on your desktop, tablet, and mobile device to ensure their sites are responsive. 52% of all website traffic worldwide is generated through mobile devices. With such a large percentage of your audience viewing your page on mobile, it’s critical to ensure the design has a MOBILE-FIRST design to provide the best user experience. This is not important just for usability, but also for SEO purposes. Google prefers mobile-first design!
4. Do they follow-up and show initiative?
If you have to follow-up with a web designer after your initial conversation, that’s a big, fat red flag. Ideally, they follow-up with you within 24 hours, recapping your discussion and initiating the next steps. If you find yourself chasing them down to get a quote or a contract, imagine how difficult it will be to create a timeline, make changes, and get your website live.
Never chase people – whether it’s a love interest or a web designer – just don’t do it.
5. Are they fairly priced?
Finally, and very importantly, how much are they quoting you for your website build? Anything too high ($100,000) or too low ($1,000) is a red flag and should be a deal-breaker. We recommend researching the specific type of website you’ll need, and the average price per page. If you own a large e-commerce brand, you’ll receive a much different quote compared to if you own a local daycare facility. One requires multiple product pages and more complex functionality, and the other can be simplified into a few informational pages. We recommend getting between three to five quotes before making a final decision.
Are you feeling ready to start the conversation with a web-designer? At Pirate Marketing, we specialize in helping companies grow their business with beautiful, user-friendly, secure, and SEO-optimized web design. If you’d like to meet up to have some rum and chat through some ideas, we’re happy to listen! Call or email today to schedule a 30-minute consultation at no cost to you. You can reach us at (813) 499-1088!