10 Things You Should Know Before Hiring a Web Designer
Hiring a website designer can be a tough task but it’s something that is essential for your business or organisation.
You’re an established business or even a start up, you have your print design including your business cards and brochures designed. The last step is creating a new website or even redesigning a new website.
Your website is your front door of your business and your digital brand, it is how your customer perceives you and how you showcase yourself to the world. No pressure, right?
You want to create the best site for your business. So what’s the first step: do a quick Google search and see who pops up?
Here are the 10 things you should know before hiring a web designer.
1: Get Some Referrals
Use your professional network to ask around about what companies or freelancers they have used.
The most important thing about this is to get someone who comes highly recommended. There are 100s of web designers in Ireland who can help you create a website but you need to find one that comes with good skill and experience.
If you are finding it difficult to find a web designer locally then maybe you can resort to using Google Search. Simply type in ‘Web Designer Ireland’, ‘Web Designer Dublin’ or any variation of those keywords that suits your local search terms and what you are looking for.
Or as an alternative, find websites you like and look at the bottom of the website to see who built the site. Usually there is a link at the bottom of every web page that says ‘Designed by’ and it redirects to their website. You can reach out to them directly.
2: Know Your Website Goals
It is important before you go ahead with a web designer you understand what are the objectives of the new website. Are you selling products and/or services on your site or will it be it be there purely to host information about your business.
A web designer is the best person to help you answer any questions that you might have, but it is important to note that they will more than likely charge to have host a brainstorming session for your website.
Do some research for websites you like online and ones that would suit your brand image. Presenting websites to web designer will help them understand what it is you’re looking for when it comes to the final product.
3: Create A Vision
Vision boards can be used in many different ways and websites are no different. They can be used to help business directors and marketing managers create the best look and feel for their business.
You could create a digital / virtual board or actually have a physical board. It should include the graphics, types of images you want, font styles and colours you would like on your website.
4: You Need A Design Wish List
With the build, are we creating a brand new website or making some small changes to your existing website. Each are different and this needs to be clear at the start. One is focused on creating a new vision for a company, the other is about improvement.
If you are creating a new site as you don’t currently have one, work out the architecture of the site, the type of sections you need on each page. Examples include Home / About Us / Services / News/ Contact Us. Also think about what buttons you want on the site or other functionality that you think would be important.
If you have a brand book or brand elements that were created when you created the brand of business then be sure to include this. All these items are vital in helping a web designer create an estimate and timeframe for your website.
5: Build An Estimate
Building a website, just like building a house can sometimes cost more than originally anticipated.
But don’t let that put you off, just have a plan. It is so important to do your research and find out what the going rate is for web design in your city.
We suggest asking local businesses in your area who built their website and if you like the design, reach out to the company and get an idea of what it might cost you.
6: Give Each Page on the Website a Purpose
What sort of pages do you wnat on the website? What is the objective of each page? Do you need to write text for each page? What does the text need to say?
These are important questions that you need to ask yourself before you start the process of working with a web designer. A good web design company will probably charge you by the hour to answer these questions.
Like we discceed above, the best idea is to find websites in your industry you like and try to emulate (not copy) what you like about their site and transfer some of that to your new website.
If you’re struggling to start this process, start with the below:
- Product or Service Details
Your new website should be a fluid marketing platform for your business. This means that it should be kept update and content should change on a weekly / monthly basis.
It is important to understand that ongoing changes to the website will have additional costs. Some companies will work with you on a monthly basis in a support capacity to assist you with this. Others will be billedon a project basis, meaning it will be a once off project fee.
- ‘Have Your Text Content Ready’
It might come as a surprise but you should have the majority of your text content ready before you go to your web designer. It makes the process so much quicker and also makes it tens times easier for your designer to design each page when they know what text they have to design around.
Text content for a website is important. If you are struggling with it, some web designers have content writers that can assist you with this process.
7: Establish a Collab Design Process
There is a high probability that you are already using tools like Google Docs or Dropbox to manage your files.
Create a shared folder when you are working with a web designer. It can be used to gather ideas and store key pieces of information.
Here is a list of things you should store in the folder
7.1: Your Text Content
Sharing a text file works really well when multiple ppl are working on the project. You can use something like Google Docs and track changes on the page. It is a great way to speed up the process.
7.2: Fonts, Images, Brand Elements and Graphics
A folder for sharing the above items is so important. All items you want on the website should go into the folder. Beware any image you put into this folder, make sure you have the rights to use it as not every images on Google you can use free of use. We talk about this detail below.
7.3: Website Framework
A website framework is essentially the architecture of the website, the skeletal of the site some say. It is an outline of how the site will look.
Each subset of the framework should include the name of your page and the layout of each page.
7.4: Web Design Proposal and Agreement
A build works best when you and the website designer are on the same page regarding expectations.
As an example:
You and your team might think it takes only a week or two for the design process but in reality it can take a couple of months. The bigger the site, the longer it takes.
Before you start, agree a mutually-beneficial agreement that sets out the terms of your relationship. Include budget, timeline and expectations of communications.
How often do you need a progress check in? Daily or weekly? Text or email or phone you would like to communicate? Gm
7.5: Gather Images
You want to make your website look great with super images. These can include logos, graphics, images or even GIFs. You must be careful as copyright is an important issue when it comes to these. Any item of artwork either needs to be custom created by your web designer or bought through an stock image website.
Well how what shouldn’t I do? What you shouldn’t do is take images directly from Google without checking if they are free to use. Some images on Google may look as if they are free to use but they are not, they have a licence and you must purchase this licence in order to use it.
There are other ways in which you can acquire visual assets for your website.
- Go out and take your own images of whatever it is you need
- Purchase stock photos from Shutterstock, iStock or similar services that sell images for commercial use
- Hire a professional company / freelancer to take image of you and your team
In a modern day website, images play a huge role in making your website great. Don’t let poor images bring down the standard of your site and discount all the work you have put into it.
8:Create a Launch Plan
Once you have created your site and you’re ready to tell the world, what next?
As the site is being designed, think of ways you can create some noise about what your plan is and how you can tell your network. Some owners decide to create a launch of their website in order to create some buzz.
If you have social media, create some posts and write some text telling people about your new site. Encourage them to share this with their own network.
If your website is ready, before you sing and shout about it, don’t gorget these things:
Once your website is ready for public consumption, remember these three things:
9: Check spelling and grammar
Check, double check and check again. You can’t have spelling errors in the site. It looks unprofessional and gives a bad first impression for your user.
10: Test your links
Make sure all your links on your website work and go somewhere. Ask your family or friends to test to see if they can identify any errors. If you have an ecommerce site, create a test product of €1 and get ppl to buy the product to make sure everything is working correctly.
r new website, run several test orders through to check your system is working correctly.
What does it look like on mobile?
These days, mobile devices are very important and your site yoru read correctly on both mobile and tablet. You users should be able to scroll through the site with ease no matter what device they are searching on.
Once you have considered these ten points, you’re ready to hire a web designer.
If we can help in any way pls let us know by contacting us directly.