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You may find a web designer if you don’t have an in-house web designer to build a website. Your organization’s website represents your brand, products, and professionalism on the web. Alternatively, you may use a website builder to do it yourself.
Today, we want to share with you some tips for determining if you need a website designer. If so, what are the best practices to find the best web designer based on your needs and budget.
Should I Find a Web Designer?
If you have no budget but time, you may be better off doing it yourself with a website builder. Deciding on which web builder or content management system (CMS) to use is the very first and yet the most critical step. However, there are tons of options available. Below is a summary of the most popular CMS you may use to create your own website.
- Hosted platforms like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and WordPress.com
- Self-hosted platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal
You can find many industry-specific templates on those platforms. Since WordPress is the world’s leading content management system (CMS) trusted by over 37% of all the website users worldwide, it has all the bells and whistles as well as a huge support community you need. WordPress may be your best bet.
If you have a tight budget but don’t have time and energy, you may turn to those web designers that offer low-budget all-in-one website solutions. First, these low-budget website solutions may include a website, hosting, a domain, and web security. These are all you need to get your site up and running. Secondly, chances are these agencies will use WordPress or one of the above leading CMS to build your website. This allows you to make future updates yourself like a breeze without hiring a web designer.
If you set aside a bit more money to improve your website user experience, you should go for a custom website that looks professional and has all your desirable features. For instance, if your website is not mobile-friendly responsive, you may consider having it revamped as soon as possible. Find out why a mobile-friendly responsive website is a must. If part of your or entire site is still using Adobe Flash, you should find a web designer to get rid of Adobe Flash immediately. Find out why a Flash website is already dead.
If your website needs more features and elements, you should do it right from the get-go by hiring a web designer than sailing in uncharted waters with a DIY website builder on your own. For example, you can hardly use a website builder to build a real estate website that showcases property listings with advanced search, property comparison, floor plans, listing of agents, etc.
A website that draws traffic requires planning and promotion. For example, if you want SEO to promote your website, you should hire a web designer who builds your SEO strategy into the web design process. This ensures that you get the best web design that impacts your business. You simply can’t pull this off all by yourself using a website builder.
If you want your site to stand out, it is imperative to have a unique website to create a memorable experience for your audience. Website builder templates can’t do the job because you will be in a sea of websites using the same templates. A web agency can help you create a fully-customized, unique website for your business.
If you rely heavily on web presence to promote your business, a website that stands out from your competition becomes critical. A well-designed website is crucial for big brands. You should hire a high-end creative agency e.g. Huge who can design a website that not only looks stunning to your audience but also drives traffic and conversions. This requires knowledge, expertise, experience, and many labor hours so you should budget for higher expenses.
How Do I Find a Web Designer?
If you decide to hire a web designer, you should then find a web designer best suited to your business. Here are some tips.
Define Project Scope
You should first determine and document your website project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs and deadlines. When you try to find a web designer, you want to see if they offer the services you are looking for to complete your project all in one place. For example, if your website project requires web design, maintenance, hosting, domains, SEO, and content writing, you may be better off looking for an all-round digital agency.
Budget & Prices
As mentioned in the previous section, the amount of money earmarked for your web design project determines the complexity and difficulty of the project and hence the type of web designers you should be looking for.
Once you set your budget, you should find a web designer whose quotes match your budget based on your project scope.
Compare Web Designers
Web designers come in all shapes and sizes. You should compare as many as your time permits. Most web designers offer free quotes or consultation. This will give you a full picture of what is needed to meet your goals, and its price of getting everything done.
- Freelancers are generally the cheapest option except world-class designers who prefer to work for themselves. Their capabilities vary. There are freelance websites e.g. Upwork, Toptal, Guru, Freelancer.com, 99designs, Fiverr, etc. where you can find your ideal freelance web designer.
- Web agencies provide different web services. Some specialize in web design while others provide a wide range of digital services such as web design, web development, and digital marketing like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), and digital advertising. Generally, they charge more than freelancers because they have more resources and offer quicker turnaround times.
Web Design Portfolio
Look at the web designers’ portfolio. Find out if they have experience working with your industry or if their design style matches your business needs. Their portfolio may have business websites, online stores, portfolio websites, creative websites, one-page websites, blogging and news websites, online learning management websites, real estate websites, and many more.
To find your best web designer, you need to get client testimonials from them. Good testimonials tell you if a web designer will provide you with good services and the user experience you expect.
What Questions to Ask Your Web Designer?
Although every business is unique and every website project is different, you should ask your web designer the following standard questions.
- How much does it cost for each service?
- What are your payment terms?
- What is your web design portfolio?
- Can you send me some testimonials?
- What other services do you also provide?
- How will your service help me meet my goals?
- What is the timeline to complete my project?
- How many revisions are included in the quote?
- What (e.g. content) will you need from me and how?
- Do you offer maintenance, support, and updates? How much does it cost?
Whether you should hire a web designer or do it yourself depends on how much budget and time you have. You can always find various options for different budgets. For instance, you may pick WordPress for no budget. Low-budget website solutions may be good for people with a tight budget. You may try a professional web designer if you have a small budget. Companies having a big budget on digital marketing should turn to a high-end web agency.
If you decide hiring a web designer is the way to go, you should define your project scope, compare web designers, set a budget, get quotes, request testimonials, see portfolio, and ask questions.
The look and feel, speed and performance of your website can make or break your business. If you want to draw audience to your website and keep them engaged, you should find a web designer who can build a visually appealing website that can also draw traffic and conversions to increase your ROI.