Google for web designers or web design firms and you will get an incredible number of results for companies all promising virtually identical things: timely delivery, budget-friendly, se optimization and cross-browser compatibility, etc. Now if these were all so great, why is there so many crappy websites you might ask. Here are a few qualifications that will help you to weed out the good web-site designers from the bad ones.
A good portfolio displays creativity, style variety and above all has examples of real client work and not just spec work from school. Make sure that the web designer’s overall style in their portfolio matches that which you are looking for. Try out their previously launched websites to make sure that they’re user-friendly, error-free, ideal for their target market and fast-loading.
A good portfolio always trumps design experience or education. Web-site designers with too much experience could possibly be set within their ways and less ready to accept new ideas or trends. And simply because someone took a couple of classes for design does not mean they have an eye fixed for it. We have encountered many websites offering web design services with hideous websites webdesign.
No matter how stellar your designer or agency is, if they cannot respond to your calls or emails in an appropriate manner during business hours, they probably cannot meet your deadline. This could mean death to your business if your project is time sensitive because of something such as a product launch. Some freelance web site designers are moonlighters meaning that they have full-time jobs and they pick up the odd project here and there for extra cash. Be wary of those folks because they’ll likely not be around whenever your project goes awry forcing you to forfeit your deposit.
Whoever you choose should really be proficient with the web technologies your project requires. If you need Flash for an animated clip, ensure that your web developer is proficient in Flash Actionscripting 3.0. If you want to convert your website into a CMS, ensure they are well versed in your chosen CMS and the web technologies that support it. Most open-source CMS’are controlled by PHP. It is obviously more straightforward to hire an expert who can master the things you will need rather than a jack of trades who is just mediocre in everything. Usually, you should be able to judge this based on the online portfolio.
Their Timeline Fits your Timeline
All projects have a deadline or some preferred time range in that you want it to be completed. Inexperienced web-site designers often quote overly optimistic timelines. Irrespective of how simple your website design or redesign is, it is nearly impossible for the look process (from concept to completion) to take less than a couple of weeks because there will be revisions. I usually laugh each time a potential client emails me and estimates that their new website is quite basic and should take only 2 days. It is a great deal more professional to quote a longer timeline and deliver prior to when expected. However, if your online designer says it will take much more than their competitors, they could be moonlighting.
Full-service is generally provided by design firms because it takes a group of developers, designers and marketing experts. Full-service means that they feature all-encompassing web solutions like SEO, ecommerce, branding, mobile compatibility and social media marketing all in one place. Rarely will you find a website designer who is a specialist in most of these categories, which explains why some companies hire design firms if they’ve the budget.
Communication skills are just as important as design and programming skills because if your web designer communicates with bad grammar or spelling mistakes so will your website. Do they articulate issues well? Would they translate complicated technical jargon into laymen terms? It is simple to evaluate their communication skills throughout your initial calls, emails and project proposal.