So, you tried our free suggestions, you got your business online for free but your ready for the next step? Just because you hire a web designer, doesn’t guarantee success, in fact it can jeopardize it and the success of your business. How do you know who to hire, how much to pay and what to ask for? How do you know what your should expect from the project and when a designer is attempting to run away with your dreams and your wallet?
Follow these easy steps to stay clear of shady designers and ensure a successful future for your business.
- Can they design? OK, a bit of an obvious question but you would be surprised! Just look at the designer’s website and compare it to other local and well known designers. You would not want to hire someone who doesn’t take pride in their own website and web presence because they won’t take pride in yours.
- Search Engines are an excellent judge of character! Google the designer to see what feedback you get from the search engine. Not only will important information about the designer pop up, you will see reviews if there are any, (good and bad), affiliations with social networks and communities as well as sites they have done. Be wary of designers that don’t appear on Google when you search for them directly but know that this can be one of several causes. The designer may not offer SEO services and for that reason, does not have the expertise to increase their own rankings which is very difficult. The designer may not focus on search engine traffic; but the most dangerous alternative is that the search engine doesn’t take them seriously which is a a totality of many factors. If these factors don’t add up, this designer may not be for you.
- Don’t be afraid to sign your life away! A lot of people are scared of contracts which go by many names, “agreements” “project terms” “terms and conditions” etc. But the truth is, if a web designer has one, it doesn’t mean you have to sign it, they should give you a choice. BUT, having said that, a true designer will have terms and lots of legal jargin written up to protect their clients. Designers look at contracts as a way to make their clients feel secure and safe when entering into a design project. Bottom line, if your prospective designer doesn’t have terms and conditions, think twice about doing business with them. If they do fair business, they should have one, and those who do shady business avoid contacts and terms at all costs! Remember that good designers should give you a choice to sign a contact if you feel comfortable but having one at all shows you (the client) that they are looking out for your best interests.
- Cadillac or Corolla? How do you know what features your business needs and what you should avoid paying extra for? Always get features like contact forms, slideshows and website backups but be wary of those who nickel and dime you for individual pictures and basic text. Ask how the designer makes their websites, although like any good magician, they never give up their prized secrets, we can tell you how we make our sites, there are no secrets there; just common knowledge. Ask! If they say Dreamweaver, HTML, or FrontPage, say No Thanks! These methods are great for making websites but they are outdated and outmatched in every way. With a 1000% markup on websites, never settle for anything less than a Content Management System. We made websites using those methods 16 years ago, and sites built with Dreamweaver can look just that outdated. Ask us to see an example of how different a CMS website is compared to a Dreamweaver or HTML site and you won’t believe it; even when we tell you that we do them for the same price! Get the better website that supports the newest features and get it for less! The biggest truth here is if you pay for a low-end design style page, you can make a higher quality page for free online, in just 1 afternoon! If you don’t believe that, contact me and I will tell you how to do just that.
- Showcase Me! Does your web designer have a portfolio or showcase? They should! If they do good work, they want people to see it. Look at their past work and compare to other sites to see if their methods are current and if they take pride in their work. Most of all, look for a well rounded designer. You will profit more from someone who has a design talent, they often can take on any industry and work magic. A designer that only does dog groomers might not be the one to do your corporate website!