Web Development

What to look for when choosing a web designer

Choosing a web designer to build your website can be a tedious task, since many individuals and companies claim to be able to build a website, and some at very cheap prices. Yes, they can build a website but not necessarily a good one with all the functionality you need to optimally promote your business. Today, instead of focusing on what a website should or should not have, I would like to focus on what to look for to find a good web designer or web design agency.

Here are 10 essential things you have to consider:

1. A good web designer listens to the client brief in detail and does not interrupt the client with his/her own ideas right away.

The golden rule here is to understand what the client wants from the website. What is the purpose and what should be the outcome? The only way is to listen, take notes (or use a digital recorder) and takes this information to prepare a thorough proposal.

2. A good web designer is not critical of the client’s current website – but uses it as a base of reference to tell the client what can be improved.

Many times, we are faced with a web designer trying to show his/her knowledge and expertise by breaking down or negatively referring to your current website. There is a thin line between advising changes and being negative, which is not a good professional trait.

3. A good web designer does not get defensive about his/her work if the client does not like it.

Web designers are creative, which means they are passionate about their work. Many times they can take negative feedback personally, instead of understanding that the client’s opinion is more important than personal feelings about their work.

4. A good web designer will be able to provide client references and be able to show proof of his work.

During the initial meeting with the web designer, ask for contactable references. Go to the trouble of calling these references, asking about charges, turn-around time on the project and service after the website has been completed.

5. Watch out for REALLY low prices – there might be a catch.

Really cheap websites might seem appealing, but what do they really offer, and what are the charges for extra features not offered? Remember to ask questions. If a web designer tells you he is the cheapest, ask him why … And listen to his answer attentively.

6. Be aware of not being over-charged.

On the other end of the scale, some web designers charge a fortune for websites that cannot really be justified. If you receive a hefty quote, ask in detail why the cost is so high. If there is not a good reason, find another option. The best designers are not always the most expensive.

7. A good web designer will always have a proper, well-detailed Service Level Agreement (SLA) in place.

It is very important that there is a written and signed agreement between the client and web designer, specifying what each party needs to do, must not do, can expect and should not expect. This may sound like excessive paperwork, but having an SLA in place protects you as the client and the web designer from misuse and inappropriate conduct.

8. A good web designer will always offer a little extra, since he is proud of his work.

This is an “off the record” trait – despite a clear agreement on what should be done, and what precisely is paid for, a good web designer will put in that little extra to ensure the website looks and performs optimally. Do not mistake this as being a tool to exploit more results, this is only a favour in kind.

9. Should the website run outside the initial scope, the web designer will not be afraid to discuss further costs within reason.

While this may seem to be a negative statement, you would expect open communication with your designer when the project is taking up more time and effort than initially expected. Firstly, you should ask why (ALWAYS ask why) and check your SLA for what was agreed upon… but remember that, as a business, you would also feel the need to charge an additional fee if you spend more hours than initially expected.

10. A good web designer wants to make your business benefit from his work

Yes, that is correct. While working on your website, the web designer should try to understand your business, and apply this knowledge to bring in innovation in order to generate more business. The designer should not just build a product, but try his best to personalise it to fit your business.

In conclusion:

Generally, the term “too good to be true” also applies to a web designer or web design agency. Look for a web designer that is not over-confident and promises you gold at the end of the rainbow. Just like you would not hire an employee you do not feel completely enthusiastic about, you should also follow the same selection process to choose a web designer you feel comfortable with and can prove his proficiency to be able to deliver the results you require.

We, at Preferred Solutions, aim to offer the best service and check all the boxes as described below. We invite you to leave comments and question below

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