Whether you’re starting a new business with a new website or you’re looking to redesign your website for your existing business, you’ll want to choose your web designer carefully.
What are you looking for in a web designer?
It’s important to define exactly what sort of site you’re looking for. Are you just looking for a basic web presence with details of your business? Or are you looking to sell your product online? You should also have a realistic budget in mind.
Web designer listings
You will first want to create a long list of web designers in your area. A quick Google search of the word ‘web designer’ and your nearest city or town will bring up plenty of suggestions. You could also browse the listings at the UK Web Design Association.
Things to consider
If possible, you’ll want somebody who’s based nearby. If you have any urgent questions or changes that need to be made then you’ll find it much easier to get things done. Having said that, with technologies such as Instant Messaging and video calling, you could potentially work with a designer that’s hundreds of miles away. It’s definitely reassuring to be able to speak to someone face-to-face though, especially if it’s around something complex and technical.
Although price should obviously be a consideration, don’t just automatically choose the cheapest company. As with most tasks like this, you’ll want to get at least three quotes before you make your final decision. Also bear in mind that there will be ongoing costs like hosting, maintenance and support. Also consider payment methods and terms. Most web designers will ask for a deposit up front before beginning work. Most will accept debit card, credit card, cash and BACS/Faster Payments bank transfer. It’s worth examining any contract or proposal carefully to ensure that you both understand and agree to the payment terms.
Will you be able to contact the company when you need support? How is support provided? Are they able to support you by phone, E-Mail or chat?
Ask around your friends and colleagues to see if they’ve had a website built recently. If so, who did they use? Would they recommend them? Be sure to ask for their experiences to identify any pitfalls that you can subsequently avoid.
Don’t underestimate the importance of getting along with your web designer. This is something that’s really important to consider. Don’t think that you’ll just deal with your web designer for a week or two and then you’ll part ways. Chances are that you’ll stay in touch for years to come. For example, you may need changes made to your site such as having extra functionality added in.
Anyone can set a website up and start as a web designer with little to no effort. This can be a great thing – there are some really talented web developers out there who run their business as a hobby outside of their usual full time job. However, consider the problems that could crop up in the future, particularly if there’s an issue with your site and your web designer is unavailable due to other commitments. Finding a web designer whose full time focus is on their business could be very important, especially if you business is totally reliant on your website. Also consider that an established web design company has much less chance of disappearing into thin air than hobby designers.
Ownership of materials
It’s important to establish who owns the website once it has been created. You would think that this would be obvious and that the website belongs to you. However, this isn’t always the case. Ensure that your contract specifies that you retain ownership of the code, content and design. If there’s a dispute down the line between you and your web designer, this will ensure that you can take your materials to a different company and continue uninterrupted.
Be wary of offshoring your website design
If you’ve registered a domain name or added your business to online directories recently, you might find that you receive masses of E-Mails from companies based overseas offering to create a website for you very cheaply. This can be tempting, especially given the really competitive prices that are quoted. Consider that the companies have resorted to spamming businesses who have not requested any sort of marketing – do you really want to deal with this sort of company?
That’s not to say all offshoring is bad – however, if you’re chasing low prices only then you’re bound to be disappointed. It’s generally true that you get what you pay for.
Don’t be afraid to ask for quotes from several web designers at once. Most (ourselves included) will be only to happy to give you a free consultation and look at your needs. Beware any companies that try to rush you into signing there and then. Your website will be a key part of your business and will be your window on the world so you’ll want to take your time and get it right first time. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you find a designer is too pushy.
Web Designer in Liverpool
If you’re based in Liverpool and looking for a web designer, we can help. To get the ball rolling on your new website, drop us an E-Mail or give us a call and see what we can do.