When it comes to hiring the best website designer for your project, we have some thoughts.
Get ready for it because we’re going to stand on our soap box for a quick second and then we’ll get right to these important tips.
Allen Wayne Design Studio has seen this industry change over the course of our 50 years in business. Some changes have been phenomenal and others have hurt small businesses.
To get specific, we love the fact that the Internet allows small business to reach their customers in so many new ways.
We love that there are website platforms that make it easier to build a website and integrate the specific features of each business.
The Biggest Small Business Scam Ever
On the negative side, companies have popped up that convince business owners that they can build a website themselves without any training whatsoever.
While this may be technically true if you find yourself with the time it will take to learn:
The intricacies of the website platform.
Proper web security protocols.
Privacy rules if you’re collecting customer data.
Search engine optimization—technical and content strategies.
User interface and user experience best practices.
These are just a few of the items you’ll need to get started with building a website that will properly represent your business, provide the right information and experience for customers, and maybe get you to show up in search results.
For the intrepid entrepreneurs and business decision makers that want to learn these skills and build one website for their company, the DIY tools on the market today can be fantastic.
However, for the vast majority of businesses, this is a complete waste of time and money. By the time you add up all of the small add-on costs for the DIY platforms and spend too many hours searching their “help” articles, you could have been on your way to working with a quality designer that already has all of the skills and experience needed to create a stunning website that can grow your business.
Okay, we’ve spent enough time on the soapbox and it’s time to get right to our tips for hiring the right website designer.
Hiring the Right Designer Tip #1: Experience, Portfolio, References
Honestly, this tip is a catchall starting place. For most businesses, we don’t recommend hiring your friend’s Niece or Nephew that just got out of school and is a “whiz” with websites. Let us hire them and train them for a few years!
Quality website designers and agencies will have a history of building a variety of websites that you can see and even talk to business owners about their experience with the designer.
Hiring the Right Designer Tip #2: Feedback and Flexibility
Designers should be customer-centric, be able to take feedback, and should adjust their designs accordingly.
As a company with a ton of experience in this space, we know that the best designs represent the company’s personality, mission, and values. It’s not about us. We don’t get so attached to a concept of design that we won’t change it. Our process is designed to learn everything we can about the business and team before starting so that we deliver a wireframe and website that is as close as possible to the final vision.
Great websites are always a result of teamwork and constructive iterations.
Hiring the Right Designer Tip #3: Communicative and Reliable
There is nothing worse than hiring a designer, getting excited about the project, and then having them disappear without scheduling the next touch point.
It is important for the designer or design team to set clear expectations and a timeline for the project. You should expect that the project could take weeks to months depending on the specific set of requirements.
The main point here is that you want to be sure that your designer is prepared to deliver what they promise and will communicate the important milestones along the way.
Hiring the Right Designer Tip #4: Reasonable Pricing
This is the tricky part of hiring anyone to do anything for your business. It is knowing if you are paying a fair price. We are going to help you with a few important parameters to help you with this part of the process.
We are asked all the time how much a website costs… how much a logo costs… how much graphic design for a set of annual reports costs.
To be fair to our customers and the whole industry, it isn’t possible to say off the bat.
It’s like asking how much it costs to build a house. It depends on how big the house is, how many stories there are, how many bathrooms are needed, and a ton of other factors.
The same is true of websites. Do you have content and a logo and scheme that works for you? Do you need new functionality? How many service pages will you need? Is your content static or dynamic?
The question to ask when all of these items have been settled is if that final pricing is reasonable for the amount of time and work that is going to go into the build. Is that price worth you not having to learn how to build a website and do it yourself? Will that team and that price solve your website problems and help grow your business?
Our Design Approach at Allen Wayne
With all the projects we take on at Allen Wayne, we partner with our clients. We’re not just a pair of hands to mindlessly build. We listen to our clients and solve the problem or fulfil the need of each client.
If we were going to have a 5th tip for hiring the right website designer, we would say to make sure that person or agency is a true professional that is as excited about your business as you.
Someone who will dive deep to get to the core of who you are and how to best represent your business is who you want to hire.
All of that said, this list is still far from complete, but we hope it will help you in your journey to find the right website designer. If you have additional recommendations for an upcoming post, please contact us here.
And if you would like to see some of our recent projects, you can view the full Allen Wayne portfolio here.
We’re Allen Wayne—a full-service creative agency with a diverse, talented team that works strategically and collaboratively with our clients to create phenomenal brands. We crave challenges. We solve problems. We develop solutions. Allen Wayne goes Beyond Design to craft an identity and personality for your entire operation. Contact us today and unleash our creativity on your business and brand.