How to Choose the Perfect Designer to Build Your Website

  • April 30, 2024
  • 9 min read

No matter how you slice it, your website is your digital storefront: and it needs to make a stellar first impression. 

Research has continuously revealed that website design holds significant importance, influencing how up to 75% of buyers view your brand’s credibility. Visitors don’t just need to like your site’s colors and graphics – they need to appreciate your site’s value

That’s why it’s crucial to partner with a website designer who understands your goals, brand image, and functionality requirements. 

The thing is, figuring out how to choose a website designer can feel like searching for a diamond in the rough. 

To help you out, we’ve created a handy guide on choosing a website designer that meets your specific needs. Follow these steps and you’ll increase your odds of partnering with a trusted, compatible agency.

Step 1: Define Your Unique Business Needs

First things first: successfully hiring a website designer means understanding exactly what your business requires.

There are many different aspects to consider throughout the website design process, starting with your website’s purpose, target audience, and requested features. 

So, before you start interviewing web designers, iron out your requirements. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are the goals for my website design? (generating leads, improving awareness, etc.). 
  • Who is my target audience – and how do I reach them with my website? 
  • What specific features and functionalities does my website design need? 
  • What are my branding guidelines and aesthetic preferences? 
  • Do I also need content to accompany my website design?

If you can dictate clear answers to all of these questions, it will be much easier to communicate with web design agencies and determine if they can meet your expectations.

Step 2: Ask About Their Portfolio and Experience

Now that you know what you want and need, it’s time to swipe through your candidates’ web design portfolios. Think of this as the first step on a dating app – you want to sift through your options before moving on to that first get-to-know-each-other dinner. 

Web design companies come in many shapes and sizes, but they also have different styles. Perusing their portfolios will give you a taste of their work and show you websites they’ve developed for other real-world clients. 

Don’t just get hung up on the “aesthetic” design elements you see. Instead, pay close attention to the overall user experience and functionality of other websites they’ve designed. 

Perhaps more importantly, investigate their industry experience – have they created winning websites for brands like yours in the past?

This is also a good opportunity to make sure your candidates offer the precise services you’re seeking, including things like search engine optimization (SEO) or video production. Make a list of your non-negotiables, then narrow down your list of web designers based on how they meet your criteria.

Step 3: Assess Their Collaboration Style

Once you’ve got a list of potential designers, it’s time to start digging deeper into each candidate’s website design process. More specifically, you want to learn if they’ll communicate clearly and keep you involved throughout the project. 

Some web designers are better communicators than others. As you begin your assessment, pay attention to their response times and attitude. Are they articulating their ideas effectively? Are they listening to what you’re saying – or are they glossing over your comments and questions? 

You want your web design company to work seamlessly with your team, and that starts with strong communication. If any of your candidates are slow to answer, confusing, or vague, that’s a no-go.

Step 4: Look for the Right Technical Skills

Not every web designer comes equipped with the same set of skills. Therefore, you need to ask about specific qualifications and experience up front. 

Generally speaking, any web design agency should have a strong understanding of the latest design skills, as well as modern web development technologies and best practices. Your best bet is to take a balanced approach and find an agency that offers a bit of everything. 

If you’re not sure what to look for in the first place, here are some technical skills that any professional website designer should bring to the table: 

✓ Proficiency in HTML and CSS

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are the building blocks of web design. A proficient web designer will typically have a strong understanding of these languages.

✓ JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language used to add interactive and dynamic elements to websites. A web designer with JavaScript skills can enhance your site’s user experience by implementing features such as interactive forms, animations, and dynamic content.

✓ Knowledge of Design Software

Most web design agencies are highly familiar with design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Sketch. These are essential for creating visual assets like graphics, icons, and layouts.

✓ Understanding of UI/UX Principles

Your chosen web design partner should have a solid understanding of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design principles. This includes designing intuitive navigation, clear calls-to-action, and user-friendly layouts to enhance usability and overall UX.

✓ Experience with Content Management Systems (CMS)

Many websites are built on CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. Your web designer should be comfortable with these platforms and their customization capabilities to create and manage website content.

✓ SEO Basics

While not strictly a design skill, knowledge of basic SEO principles is valuable for designing websites optimized for search engines. This includes understanding factors like website structure, meta tags, and image optimization.

✓ Understanding of Web Accessibility Standards

Nowadays, every website builder should be familiar with web accessibility standards (e.g., WCAG) and know how to incorporate accessibility features into their designs.

Step 5: Iron Out Your Budget and Timeline

Steps one through four should have helped you widdle down your candidate list. Now, before you move into the decision process, it’s time to talk dollar signs.

Ask plenty of questions about the company’s pricing structures, payment schedules, and anything else money-related you need to know about the website design process. 

The average cost to design, build, and create content for a basic website often falls over the $6,000 mark. We’re not talking about chump change, and you need to know that your designer’s prices and payment structure align with your budget and timeline – so be upfront. 

Of course, you can only be upfront about your budget if you know what it is. 

If you haven’t already, here are some web design costs you need to make sure you’re considering:

✓ Design and Development Costs

This encompasses the expenses associated with the actual creation of the website, including graphic design, coding, and programming. These costs can vary significantly depending on the complexity of your design, the number of pages you need, and their desired functionality.

✓ Content Creation

You’ll likely need a price point for creating or sourcing content such as text, images, videos, and other multimedia elements to populate your website. This may involve hiring copywriters, photographers, and videographers or purchasing stock photos and videos.

✓ Website Hosting and Domain Fees

Don’t forget to account for the costs associated with purchasing a domain name (website address) and hosting services to make your website accessible on the internet. Prices vary depending on the domain registrar and hosting provider you select, as well as the hosting plan’s features and specifications.

✓ E-commerce Functionality

If your website needs to include e-commerce functionality for selling products or services online, you’ll want to budget for the development of a secure payment gateway, shopping cart integration, product catalog setup, and other related features.

✓ SEO and Marketing

What good is a beautiful website if no one sees it? Remember to allocate funds for search engine optimization (SEO) services to improve your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results. 

Additionally, most businesses budget for online marketing efforts such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, and other promotional activities to drive traffic to their websites.

✓ Website Maintenance and Support

Custom website design isn’t a one-and-done initiative. Be sure you’re factoring in ongoing maintenance and updates so your site remains secure, functional, and up-to-date with the latest website design trends, technology advancements, and security patches. 

Ultimately, you want to know that your web design agency can (and will) operate within your budget constraints and deliver your project within the desired timeframe – without cutting corners or compromising quality. 

Step 6: Read Plenty of Reviews and Testimonials

Lastly, before you sign any dotted lines, look for feedback from happy clients – and unhappy ones, too. What are other businesses saying about this web design company? 

Reading through testimonials will give you insight into the web designer’s reliability, professionalism, and the quality of their work. 

Positive reviews indicate a high level of customer satisfaction and serve as social proof of the company’s ability to deliver successful projects. These reviews also provide valuable insights into the company’s communication style, collaboration approach, problem-solving abilities, and overall professionalism. 

On the other hand, negative reviews may reveal worrisome red flags such as poor communication, missed deadlines, or low-quality work. Pay attention to those, and if necessary, ask the agency about them directly.

In Summary

Choosing a website designer might feel time-consuming, but it’s all about putting a process in place. The more thought you put into your initial evaluation, the stronger and more successful your relationship with the designer will be down the road. 

Having trouble finding a website designer that meets your unique needs? 

Our web design agency is here to help. 

Learn About Adella’s Web Design Services

Our professional web design company specializes in creating sites that impress, sell, and rank with search engines. It doesn’t matter if you’re revamping an outdated website or creating a new one from scratch – we’ll transform it into a beautiful representative of your business. 

To get started, reach out to our web design experts. They’ll set up a free consultation to discuss your needs and make honest recommendations for your next steps.

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