Web design is an intricate part of your growing business. Your site must adapt to the needs of your clients whether that be through shopping cart integration, a portfolio of past work, smooth mobile transitions, or a variety of other requirements.
Having a dependable and reliable designer on your team is key to a successful customer experience. You may find that you require someone else to take care of this aspect of your growing business, but how do you determine what type will fit your needs?
Much like the SEO professionals mentioned in the previous article, there are three types of web designers: Independent Contractors, Design Firms, and Salary Employees.
Unless your site sees close to one million hits a month, it’s not cost effective to keep a web designer on the payroll.
Whether you go with an independent contractor or design firm, there are a few things you need to consider before choosing the web design guru that’s right for you.
- Know what you want before you begin your search. Would you tell a roofing contractor to do whatever design he wants? What about a building contractor on your new home? Do you give her license to do as she pleases and trust that she’ll see right into your mind for the perfect home? The answer to those questions are probably no, and yet many inexperienced individuals will approach a web designer with a ‘do what you want, I trust you’ type of attitude. Take some time to research the type of site you want, have examples, be prepared. Your web designer needs a place to start. Remember: a designer isn’t responsible for your vision…they’re responsible for implementing it.
- Know their expertise. Look at their portfolio (if they don’t have one, you should move on to another designer). How are the sites? Check on both your desktop and all mobile devices to ensure clear and concise viewing. Do they understand SEO? This is very important. A movie intro or flash-based splash page may seem really awesome, but it’s not tracked by search engines. Remember, this is for your business. Are there customer reviews? Not just on their site. Check Yelp, Angie’s List, LinkedIn, their Facebook page (or other social media), or your favorite review site to see how they actually operate.
- Most important of all, know exactly what work you will require of your web designer. When you design a contract (or sign theirs), ensure the following items, at a minimum, are spelled out: a) The exact work you will require of the designer and what they’ll require of you, b) cost per hour of work to include off hour pay (weekend panic, holidays, etc.) and payment options such as half up front/half upon delivery, and most important of all c) a break off clause in case your visions clash.
Keeping these three things in mind will go a long way toward finding a successful web designer for your growing team. I know some great web designers if you are looking for referrals or just advice on the best direction to head in. As always, I want you to be successful and #BeAwesome at what you do!
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.