5 Tips on Choosing a Web Designer

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A good website is vital to your business. Having a dynamic online presence can boost your business, and attract more customers.

When selecting a Web Designer to create your website there are a number of factors to consider in order to find the right Web Designer. Castle Jackson has 5 tips on choosing a Web Designer which will help you to make your choice.

1. What Do You Want?

When engaging a web designer to create a website for your business, you should know what you want. Do you want a website that you can manage yourself? Or do you want someone else to manage the website for you?  Both options are valid, depending on how you want to operate your business.

If you want a website that you can manage yourself, there are many individual web designers who can provide this for an agreed one off fee.

If your business would benefit from more comprehensive approach, then a digital marketing agency may be the option for you. Digital marketing agencies not only provide the web design, but have a team of people who keep your website relevant on the internet, understand what you want for your business, regularly update the site for you and implement marketing strategies to connect with more customers and help your business grow

The relationship with a Digital Marketing Agency is generally ongoing, based around growth and benefit for your business. Naturally the fee structure is different from that of an individual web designer. Different agencies have different break-ups of the services that they offer, so you need to shop around to find what suits you best.

2. Do you like their work?

When you have narrowed down your list of web designers, look at the work that they have already produced to see if you like what they do. Take time to investigate the different sites they have produced to see if they have the correct style for what you want.

Look at their website portfolios and check out the ones with business is similar to yours. List the pros and cons to discuss with them, and see how flexible they are about changes and design.

Looking at the designer’s work will display their skill level, and how far they are willing to go to produce the website that you want for the money they are asking.

Are their designs mainly a re-hash of one theme, or do they have several different templates that they work with? Ask as many questions that you need before you commit to any contract with them.

3. What are the Costs?

One of your first questions be how much is it going to cost to create your website? Costs can vary wildly.

Whether you are contracting an independent web designer or engaging a digital marketing agency – the fees will vary. So decide what option suits you best, and then you can compare apples with apples. This will help you to determine value for money.

Individual Web Designers can charge by the hour or as a set fee. In either case you need to know how long it will take to create your website. As this contract is for one block of work, and not ongoing, you can expect to know what you will receive, how much that will cost and how long it will take. It’s just a matter of doing your research and comparison between web designers.

There is a similar approach for Digital Marketing Agencies, but the timeframe and costs are different. As the relationship with a Digital Marketing Agency is ongoing, you can expect an initial set-up fee, which can vary depending on how much of their services you want to take on. Then there may be a periodic or monthly fee for updates, monitoring the site, reviews and reports and other services. To compare agencies, you need to have a clear list of what you want before getting quotes.

4. References and Deadlines

In your research, check as many references as you can. You may have word of mouth references as well as the references from the designer, look up their own website and read any references that you may find there.

Any good designer or agency will very happy to provide a list of clients that you can contact, it is worth doing that. Ask if the service was value for money and what their time frames were like. It’s important to know what service you will receive and if they can stick to quoted or agreed deadlines. As a business owner, you can’t afford to have missed deadlines or contract schedules which are not respected or adhered to.

5. Are They the Right Fit?  

What is their customer service like? Do they listen to your brief, and are their communication skills friendly, knowledgeable, professional and respectful of your opinions? It is very important that whoever you engage, that their style fits with yours. This is a time when you can trust your instincts; how you are treated as a client is a good insight into how you will be treated when they are undergoing work for you.

Whether it’s a Web Designer or Digital Marketing Agency that suits your business best, it’s vital that they are a good fit for your business.

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