The 5 Stages of Selecting a Web Designer

The 5 Stages of Selecting a Web Designer

5 stages for choosing a web designerI took time to write this article to help to educate people on the best way to choose a web designer. Below is a well thought-out process that you, as the client, should be going through to help find your perfect match.

Through education you can force change and through change you can find success. Let me give you some of my tips and suggestions for hiring a website designer that will deliver an outstanding result every time.

1. Do Your Research

do your researchWe like to meet our website development clients in person at their place of work; this gives us an insight into what they do. We sell nationally, so clients come from a variety of sources. The distance does not mean that the client cannot do his or her own research into us.

We hide behind nothing here at Cerebral; we encourage our clients to carry out extensive research on us and other web design companies. We would encourage them to:

  • Thoroughly review our website and blog posts so they can learn about us and the way we work
  • Check our online social media profiles for activity and customer interaction.
  • Review third party websites or community members of authority that speak to our work.

If you can't locate information on your website developer outside of their own website, be suspect. Be very suspect because there is a reason they are flying under the radar.

Know that web designers offering bargains or discounts are not really what they are saying. This is a big one because we often find the source of website design disasters started with a discount, bargain or sale.

Good website designers have full project calendars and they don't need to offer discounts. They set a fare rate that aligns with their qualifications and experience.

When you find a developer who is eager to throw discounts out, they are racing to the bottom in doing so because they have to reduce prices to survive. In the end, the discount will end up being paid to another developer who will clean up the code the first developer botched.

It happens all the time. No one wants to clean up someone else's mess of code. When we do, it takes us a long time to sort through the mess, which means the client pays a lot more than they would have if they simply started with a quality coder at the beginning and did their research.

2. Articulate Your Project and Define Your Expectations

Articulate Your Project and Define Your ExpectationsIf I have a client who cannot articulate their needs or provides short or vague answers, I have red flags going off in my head that cannot be quieted. This is because I need to understand your project to be able to quote it and deliver it to your level of satisfaction.

If the client cannot or is unwilling to define their needs, it makes it difficult for me to deliver what is required for project success. I'm happy to help define these needs together, but I need cooperation and an active participant.

Collaboration before and after the sale is what delivers results.

If you're talking to a web designer who will put together a proposal without a full brief of both aesthetic and functional requirements, it should ring alarm bells.

3. Expect a Lot of Questions and Embrace Them

Articulate Your Expect a Lot of Questions and Embrace ThemWe ask a lot of questions. This helps us to find out what you want and need from your website.

The more questions we ask, the clearer the expectations defined for my team on what steps are needed to deliver during design and development.

Without questions, we're forced to make assumptions. Assumptions are never good, because they can be incorrect. And when assumptions are incorrect, someone is left disappointed.

4. Stop Hiring Friends of Friends and Family

Stop Hiring Friends of Friends and FamilyJust because your nephew took one college class in HTML doesn't mean he can design and code a fully functional website that can support the sales funnel for a business. He may be cheap or even free, but you'll pay dearly for this relationship. And that pay will be financially and emotionally based.

Friends and family do not make good developers, designers, or webmasters.

Keep business as business and family as family.

5. Know What You're Being Given and Ask Questions Until You Are Confident on Final Deliverables

Know What You're Being Given and Ask QuestionsThere is a lot of confusion between a truly custom website designed by a professional graphic artist and a stock website theme that a coder is customizing.

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of WordPress implementers who customize off the shelf themes for clients and they create great, low cost websites. I'm thrilled these professionals exist, because they offer a great service at a lower cost point. We, in fact, do provide that service, should a client come to us with a limited budget.

The issue is when website owners are told they are receiving custom and they're really given someone else's website design that was simply tweaked a bit.

Know what you're being quoted and specifically ask if you are receiving a custom website or a stock theme. The difference is several hundred pounds, so it is important for you to know exactly what you are paying for and receiving.

The First Line of Defence Starts with You

If you're planning a website redesign or launching a brand new digital property, do your homework. Look around far and wide, and then validate your website developer and the project deliverables.

Educate yourself and ask lots of questions. If you're considering hiring a website developer that doesn't like questions, dump them quickly and move on to the next agency.

The trick is to take your time and find the best web designer, weed through the bottom feeders so you find the hidden gems.

Good luck in your search.

Written by Jay Cook, Social Media & Communications Director. 03-05-17

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