How To Choose A Web Designer

The digital age is in full swing and a web presence is expected by your potential customers. A website, no matter how small, can legitimize your business and create an important layer of trust between you and the public. In short, a website can bring in more business. 

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There are many routes to creating a web presence but if you don’t have the time, or care to learn, how to create your own website, your best option is to hire a web designer. 

We know, searching and interviewing web designers seems overwhelming, but the process of finding a web designer is fairly easy. This article will help you focus your needs and ask the right questions for a successful web design experience. 

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Is Hosting Included?  

Your website has to live somewhere, and if you don’t already have hosting, inquiring about hosting is an important question. Does the web designer offer hosting or will you have to acquire that service on your own? In addition, if they do offer hosting, does the annual pricing fit within your budget and does the server meet your needs? If you’re looking for a WordPress site, hosting it on WordPress optimized server would be your best option if the web designer offers that solution.

Is It a Team or an Individual?

There are benefits to both working with a team or an individual web designer. With a team, it’s likely you’ll have an account manager assigned specifically to your account who can help you through the entire process. It’s also likely you’ll also have a designer creating your custom design and a frontend developer who will build the site based on the approved design. You’ll have an entire team supporting your web design vision.

Working with an individual web designer gives you the benefits of working with a singular person. There is one person to communicate with on all aspects of the project and if both parties are fully aligned, this could be a great thing.

What Platform Are They Using? Will You Own The Website?

The content management system (CMS) they use is important for future planning. Are they using an open-source CMS like WordPress or a proprietary builder like Squarespace or Wix? If you want to change your hosting after the site is built and the web designer used a proprietary CMS, most likely you will need to rebuild the website on the new host server as you will not be able to move the site over. However, if they are using WordPress, you will be able to move your site to another host if you wish. 

How Long Is Their Process?

Especially if you’re on a deadline, knowing how long the process will take is an important question to ask. In addition to getting an estimated timeframe, ask how much responsibility you have in pushing the timeline forward. Many times, the overall timeframe can shift based on when you get back to them with needed materials or feedback per a recent iteration. If you take a week or more to get back to them, will they be able to immediately jump back into your project, or will it be scheduled out and around other clients?

How Are Revisions Handled?

Revisions are a natural, needed part of the web design process. Even if you do not love the first iteration presented to you, revisions allow for realignment and progress towards your final vision. However, revisions are also a highly collaborative process that requires your input and feedback for a successful project. Does the web designer require quick phone calls to discuss each iteration or will you? Will emails work? Will they need annotated screenshots or are they using a program that allows you to provide annotated screenshots? These are important questions that will prepare you for the rhythm of the project.

Will They Teach You How To Update The Site?

If you plan on updating the site yourself after it’s built, will they walk you through the backend and teach you general maintenance tasks? Will the training be included in the overall price or is it an add-on. What exactly will you learn? This is a great opportunity to inform the web designer what you would like to learn as well. Don’t assume they will cover what you’re expecting to learn. In addition, if your request is outside of normal training, they may charge extra. 

Do They Have Maintenance Plans?

In relation, if you do not want to update the site yourself, ask if they have maintenance plans. If it’s a monthly maintenance plan, ask if they perform automatic updates or if you will need to prompt them each month to run updates. If it’s hourly, can you buy a bulk of hours and will the hours expire? Also, when requesting a maintenance request, what will they need from you? Web design teams and individuals alike handle maintenance a bit different, but all will require some sort of participation from you. Be prepared to provide assistance or input if needed. 

Searching for and hiring a web designer should be a relatively stress-free process. Once you’ve decided on your goals and how you would like to work, ask questions that will achieve those goals. You can do it!

If you’re looking for a great team to create your website, check out our custom web design team! Comprised of web design experts and professionals, the team creates modern WordPress websites that will belong to you. You’ll also receive many rounds of revisions and a walkthrough to show you how to update your site!

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