These days, web designers are a dime a dozen. You can go on freelancer networks and immediately see them engage in a bidding war to try to earn your business in a race to the bottom between who can do the work the cheapest and the fastest.
In the end, the only one that suffers is your business, and that can have lasting repercussions on your brand and your growth.
So what can you do?
The truth is, it’s hard to evaluate expertise. Every web designer and developer has their own preferred method to help you get from where you are to where you want to be. Unless you’ve actually dabbled in the industry, it’s also hard to know if you’re working with a true professional.
So before you do, consider these points:
Your web designer needs to understand your business
Not in terms of knowing precisely how you do the job you do, but rather understanding your business in a competitive framework. What do you do better than anyone else? Why should people care? Who do you want to attract? Who are your competitors? Where do you fit in?
There are a lot of questions beyond simply creating a statement about what you do, showcasing your product and launching it out to a waiting world. The world isn’t waiting — they’re looking for solutions and you need to prove to them that you’re worth theirs.
To do this, your web designer (or team of web designers) needs to approach the design of your site not from an artistic or technical perspective (although these are important), but rather through the lens of how your website works as part of your overall strategy. And to that end…
Your web designer needs to know how your website will figure into your overall business plan
Your website isn’t a one-and-done project. It’s also not your end goal. Rather it’s a vehicle that’s going to be the first (and perhaps only) impression that users will have about you, your business, what you have to offer, and why it matters.
Your website has a lot of heavy lifting to do, but when it’s made right, it can handle all of these tasks and more. As such, your web designer should know how you plan to use your website as a tool to help you get you where you want to be.
In doing so, it’s also possible that you’ll discuss much more than just design and layout, but also things like copy, imagery, theme, e-commerce, search engine optimization and more.
Will you have a central point of contact?
One of the drawbacks of going through freelancer networks is that agencies will do blanket bids on any and every project that has the words “web design” in the title. They could be working on dozens and dozens of projects at any one time and as such, their ability to give you individualized attention and answer your questions is very limited.
What’s more, if you don’t have a central point of contact, it can be nearly impossible to connect with the person whose responsibility it is to ensure that your project is being completed according to your schedule, budget and needs.
Conversely, having a chat-based, on-demand channel available to contact your web design team when and where you need them helps ensure that not only will someone be available to help, but you’ll also be able to see ongoing progress, milestones and other updates as your site goes from wireframe to mockup to published.
How long does it take? / How much will it cost? / What’s included?
Most importantly, your website design needs to work with your timeframe, budget and more. Your design team wants to remove any hint of “scope creep” (where the scope of a project exceeds the initial deliverables), and you want to avoid hiring a firm that drags their feet when it comes to completing your site.
In addition, you have to make sure that your site’s cost fits within your budget, and that all of the features that you want are included. This includes things outside of the sphere of “design”, like copy, search engine optimization, social media marketing and more. Having a game plan regarding the timeframe, development costs and what’s included (as well as what isn’t), will help ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of understanding what will be delivered.
Ready to get started?
At Workdom, we uniquely understand the needs of business owners and the role that their website will play as part of their overall marketing, customer acquisition and retention strategy. As such, we provide a helpful, intuitive and user-friendly on-demand chat-based platform to help you get more done in less time while hiring competent professionals who are exceedingly skilled and experienced in their respective disciplines.
Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive marketing and web design services and how we can help your small business grow!