web design professional When you have made the decision to go online with your business, it is important to find the right web designer to work with. However, if you have no experience with web design yet, how do you go about locating a quality web designer? Here are some things to keep in mind while you begin your search.

Word of Mouth

If you are in business, it is safe to say that you have at least one person in your network of associates or friends that has a website online. You should touch base with friends and colleagues to get an idea of who you might get good service from. You can even ask your friends on Facebook, they may have used someone that they recommend. We are so lucky to have Dino as the head of our Web Design department. He keeps everything running smoothly and his designs are second to none.

Review Samples

When you have narrowed down your list of designers, you should review samples of the web designer’s work. No designer in the world should expect you to just take their word that they know what they are doing. They should expect to show samples of their work, the many sites they have created are their portfolio. If they refuse to show you any samples of their work, run far and fast away from them! Any quality web designer is proud of their work and willingly shares it with you.

Make a List of Features

Before you agree to anything with a designer, you need to determine what is important to you in a design. The internet isn’t new, so I’m sure that you have been around the net and have some favorite sites. Do you have any ideas on how you want your site to look, or features that you would like to have on your site? The best thing to do before hiring a web designer is to have a list of the things that you consider to be “must-have” items ready to discuss. Maybe even jot down some different site URL’s.

When you actually start working with a designer, they may suggest options that you may never have considered. This is the time to review your list and see if some of the suggestions the designer makes better fit your needs. Remember that designers work on websites all of the time and they know what is current and how to make things look and function professionally. Remember to go over the details and stay open to consider new ideas.

The Details

Once the web designer has an idea of what you want, and you have gone over the details with them, it is important to let them know which design elements are the most important to you. Either they will be telling you what they think is best, or you can tell them what specific details you would like on the site. Some of the details that you should cover might be:

  • Spacing or placement of items on the site. If you would like to have one element in a specific place, you need to express that early on. If different elements are too close together or close to the edges of the layout, the overall look and feel of the design may come across differently than you expected. A quality web designer can express their concerns if they see flaws in the design. And you are paying them for their expertise.
  • Images or graphics on the site. When using images, make sure they are crisp and clean. You will be able to tell if images are of lower quality just by looking at them. You may be required to purchase images in some cases, be sure that you check with the designer you are working with.
  • The type of fonts being used. Typography is very important, all of the fonts used on the site should relate well to each other. There should not be an overabundance of fonts used. Sometimes simple is better.
  • Your color preferences. Your site will be judged with just one look. The color scheme should work well for the overall theme of the site. Although the final say is yours, it would be wise to at least listen to what your designer has to say about the color scheme.

While these are only a few details, they can be a big deal if you want things a certain way. In any case, if the designer does something differently than what you were expecting, find out why they did it,there may be a logical reason for it.

Content

In some cases, the content is going to be the first thing the visitor sees. If that is how you want your site to come across, make sure the designer knows this in the beginning. They can create the site so that the emphasis is on the content rather than the design elements. This type of site is best used for blogs or informational type sites. However, there is nothing in stone that says you can’t be different.

Mobile Compatibility

Society is moving quickly toward a mobile existence. More people surf the web on their phones now than ever before in history. Making sure that your website comes across correctly in the many types of mobile devices on the market today is an important design element. If the designer takes the time to build the site so that it comes across in all types of devices, that is a good quality web designer. If you are not sure if that element is being addressed, ask. Some web designers may charge and extra fee for this service, check with them upfront so that you know what to expect.

Browser Compatibility

I know this may come as a shock to you, but there are more browsersin the world than just Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Your site should come across well in every browser. The web designer will know this. Hopefully they will have taken the time to check how the site looks in all of the most popular browsers. Make sure to check this out when the site is finished. If there is a problem, make sure to bring it to the designer’s attention.

The Big Picture

A quality web designer will design your website with your brand in mind. Once they know that you have a certain image that you are trying to maintain, they can design the site to match the rest of your business portfolio. If you have an existing Twitter account, Facebook account, logo, business cards and such, the web designer can use all of that to bring your website into the mix. If you don’t have any of that, you can request the logo being used, or graphics, be used for the accounts that you set up online as well as business cards.

It’s All About the Visitors

The reason you are hiring a quality web designer is for the visitors. You are looking to hypnotize them with your content and the design of the site so that they stick around. It doesn’t matter how many people land on your site if they immediately click away. Remember that you are designing the site for them. Make sure the site is visually appealing to them and they will stick around.  And we all know what more visitors means right?More customers. Isn’t this the entire reason that you are creating the site to begin with?

Invest Now to Spend Less in the Future

It pays to invest in your future. Keep in mind if you try to get a quality site built as cheaply as you can, you are going to end up paying for it in the long run. A quality web designer is going to take the time to build a solid foundation to your site, something that you can build on as your company grows. If you hire the cheapest web designer that you can find, you are going to end up with cheap work that you are going to have to pay someone to fix in the near future. Make the investment in your company to hire a quality web designer to begin with.

Relationships

Building a website takes a lot of cooperation between the business owner and the web designer. The relationship that you develop with the designer should be one with open communication and understanding. While you work together to create the perfect site, you should get to know each other so that when you want something added or changed on the site later on it’s not a problem. Your designer should be your go to person for all of your web design needs.

Time Frame

Depending on what kind of site you are looking for, the design of the site can take some time to create. Web designers are business people too, and as such they have schedules to keep just like the next person. If a design is taking longer than you expected, kindly communicate with the designer to get an estimated time frame for the review of the site. Every site requires many tweaks to perfect. It won’t be done in a few days, it will take some time to be done, so try to be patient.