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When it comes to your business, you wear all the hats. You’re not just the owner, you’re responsible for sales, marketing, HR, logistics, customer support, and even janitorial duties. At some point, enough is enough. Without help, you are sure to drown.
When it comes to your website, finding a website designer can be daunting. You can choose to give it a go yourself or hire a professional. If you go the professional designer route, choosing the right designer is an important decision that can have a big impact on the success of your online presence. But with so many options out there, it can be easy to make mistakes.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Finding a Website Designer
Not Doing Your Homework
Before you hire someone to design your website, make sure you do your homework. First and foremost, call around and get several quotes. You will notice that prices can vary greatly between freelancers and agencies.
Each quote carries a Price-to-Risk ratio you will need to evaluate and have to accept before you pull the trigger. Be sure to look at their portfolios/past work and read online reviews from past clients to get a sense of their experience and style to see if it aligns with your goals for the project.
FREELANCERS from sites like Fiverr and Upwork generally carry the lowest price, but you are forced to carry all of the risks of the project being completed properly and on time. Their lack of experience, resources, professional tools, and ongoing support can often come into play, causing headaches when something goes wrong (and it always does). Many busy freelancers are jack-of-all-trades and are often overwhelmed with work, which makes them slow to respond and slow to deliver your project. On the flip side of the coin, not-so-busy freelancers may decide this isn’t for them and quit the industry, resulting in the non-delivery of your project.
AGENCIES (be it digital or brick-and-mortar) will be more expensive, but they eliminate all the risk. They have the experience, people, tools, and resources to ensure your project is completed to your satisfaction. They are usually well-established and are not at risk of shutting down their doors anytime soon. They offer monthly maintenance plans that extend for as long as you like past your website launch, offering updates and support when you need it.
Focusing Too Much on Price
Finding a website designer who offers the cheapest option might save you money upfront, but it could end up costing you more in the long run if you end up with a poorly designed business website. I cover this in detail in my article, 12 Hidden Costs Of Cheap Websites: Why Investing In A Quality Business Website Actually Saves Money.
Not Clearly Defining Your Goals
Many freelancers are known as “Pixel-Pushers”. You ask for a website, so they simply build you a website and send you on your way. They don’t have the expertise or experience to know that your website is simply a single piece in a puzzle, known as your business.
When finding a website designer, be sure to define what you want your business website to accomplish and communicate these goals clearly. Do they ask more questions or just listen and tell you what you want to hear? Based on their responses, your intuition should kick in and help you get a feeling for how this person operates.
Opting-Out of Ongoing Support
Websites are living, breathing things that require constant maintenance and updates. Not only to make sure all is running well and optimized but to keep it safe and secure from attacks. Your website has software and plugins that require updates for security patches and to keep up with emerging technology. Making sure you have someone who can perform these properly, and make sure your site is backed up regularly, is paramount.
You will also need to keep your website content fresh and updated. Search engines regularly index your site, scanning all content and keeping a copy of it for the next scan. Each new scan is compared to the previous one, looking for changes in words, images, etc. As more and more scans go unchanged, search engines assume your site is stale and irrelevant, so it pushes your listing down in the ranks.
Disregarding Experience and Expertise
Expanding on the point above, with experience comes expertise. Each project under their belt and each year logged in the web design industry, makes them that much more valuable. I personally have been a web designer since 1995, and I can safely say that I learn something new every week in this industry.
It also helps finding a website designer that has experience designing websites for your particular industry. While not a deal-breaker, finding a website designer who doesn’t know a thing about your industry will put more pressure on you to be more involved in the project. You will need to educate them on various aspects of your industry, as well as supply them with properly written content for the website. These things take additional time and money, which everyone tries to avoid.
As a business owner, it can be a little daunting finding a website designer who meets all of your business needs. But, like anything worth doing, it’s important to take your time and choose wisely.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I offer free design and marketing advice and am happy will help you to avoid the most common pitfalls associated with identifying the right designer for your business.
Thank you for reading and best of luck on your business journey!