It is a big job to select a web designer. You shouldn't just choose the first one that pops up in your area on a Google search. It is an important decision as you may need to maintain a relationship with this designer for many years.
Before employing a designer do some research and look at a number of companies. It is important to find the right fit for your site. There are literally thousands of website designers to choose from. You need a company that can create the visual design you need and also follow through with the technical side, at a price you can afford.
There are some basic questions you should ask a web designer before signing any contracts, even if you are not very technically minded. The list below is the minimum you should ask, there are many more in-depth questions you could try.
Can I see your portfolio? An established web designer should have a number of web sites under their belt to display. Do the websites look professional? Are they easy to use? Do all of the links work, the photos load and the features perform as expected? It is important to find a designer who has a history of producing work to the standard that you desire.
Do you have a history of improving traffic and getting business result for your clients? This questions is all about the numbers. You want to see actual statistics which show increased web content on redesigned sites and an increase in online sales. Legitimate web designers should be able to show you figures from past clients. If your web designer can not produce these then proceed at your on risk.
How much time do you spend on research? It takes time to identify the needs of a company, competitors, markets. Is your website designer expecting you to turn up with this information and lay it out for them or are they providing you with a full service. Do they look at your current web solutions and make improvements? It is important to know if your designer will be researching the best ways to reach your customers or are they just slapping together a template and expecting you to do all the work to provide content?
Will your design help me reach my goals? Firstly you need to know what your goals are. Do you want to increase your newsletter subscription by 20%? Are you looking to increase sales? Would you like to reach a larger donor base? You need to know what is the underlying reason for creation of your website. Once you have identified this ask your designer how employing them will help you to reach this goal.
Do you create visual representation of the website before designing the whole site? A visual repesenttation, sometimes called a wireframe, helps designers to plan where elements should go for maxium usability and impact. A wireframe helps the designers to make sure nothing is left out or thrown on the page at the last minute.
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