5 Questions For When You Want A Web Designer
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1. Why Do I Want a Web Designer?
You can get a fishing rod, get some bait, go to the lake, stand in your favorite spot, attach the lure, catch a fish, gut it, clean it, cook it up over a nice fire, add your favorite seasonings, and enjoy the results of all your hard work.
Or you can pay a premium for a high quality fish, prepared by professionals and set on the table before you.
Some people read these options and think “I love to fish! There’s nothing like getting in touch with nature and enjoying the fruits of your own labor.”
The others are thinking “No brainer! Buy the fish, spend all that time on something else.”
The question to ask when looking for a web designer is simple:
“Do I want to do all the work myself, or do I want to focus on something else?”
2. Who Am I?
The right answer really depends on who you are, your strengths, and what you have time for.
A lot of businesses start out bootstrapping it. DIY is the name of the game to keep things tight and simple. Some businesses start out as a very small team, and one of the members has an affinity for creating websites.
Great! Whip up a site, throw it online, and market away.
Some businesses don’t have the time to focus on web design. There’s a business to run! Employees to manage, clients to satisfy, and a million and one things to do at any given point.
If these businesses care about the way their brand is presented online, they will delegate their site to a web designer.
Whichever side of the coin you are on, understand this:
It takes time and care to represent yourself positively online.
Your digital marketing is the world’s window into your company, and you want to be sure they are seeing who you really are, and not a cheap misrepresentation.
3. How Do I Find A Good Fit?
If you don’t have the time to put into ensuring that your brand is noticeable and respectable online, a web designer is probably a good fit for you.
Note that we said “probably”. We should warn you that not all web designers are created equally. We could easily call ourselves web designers and charge $500 to create a site for you on a free website builder.
There’s nothing wrong with free website builders… unless you’re paying someone $500 to use one. They’re template based, drag and drop, and anyone could use one with little or no prior experience.
If you promise a premiere service to upscale clients, and your website says “come here to save a quick buck”, your web designer is failing you.
A good, experienced web designer should start with the end in mind.
“Why am I creating this website?” To attract visitors, and to convert those visitors into customers.
Plain and simple.
So how can you tell who’s going to bring you those results? You can often tell by the questions they ask.
Your web designer should know who your target market is, and should be optimizing your site for the best possible user experience (UX, to the tech savvy), delivering an accurate representation of who you are and why you exist, and making it easy for your visitors to become customers.
If they’re asking you for that information, it’s a good sign.
4. Why Doesn’t Everyone Hire A Good Web Designer?
A good web designer costs a good chunk of money.
You are paying for a valuable service. Good web designers take their work seriously, put a lot of time and energy into it, and expect to be compensated accordingly.
If you want a killer site that brings in traffic and converts, be prepared to pay for it.
Make no bones about it, though. This is an investment! The whole point of digital marketing is to bring a return on that investment, and if you’re not seeing results, you didn’t invest money, you just spent it.
When looking for a good web designer, a higher price is usually a good indicator that you’re looking at a pro, but don’t stop there! Look for examples of their work, reviews, and case studies.
5. What Should I Expect?
As mentioned above, expect to pay more. But expect to get your money’s worth! A good web designer should allow you to sit back and run your business in peace.
You shouldn’t have to worry about if your site is being found, if your visitors are confused about where to find information on your site, whether you’re sending the right message to your visitors, whether your site is mobile friendly, whether your framework and plugins are up to date, or whether your site is safe from hackers and malware.
Most of all, you should expect results. While it takes time for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to take effect, you should keep an eye on your site’s metrics (visitor statistics) to see if more people are visiting your site, if they’re spending more time on it, and if they’re converting (contacting you, buying from you, hiring you, etc).
If you don’t see any positive change at all within six to ten months, your web designer might not be doing enough.
It’s perfectly fine to create your own website. We have seen excellent sites created by business owners that put a lot of time and care into the way it looked and felt.
It can take a lot of time to build and manage a site effectively. If you don’t have that time, it’s not worth doing a shoddy job.
Your market uses the internet, if you want their attention, you’d better work for it.
If you want results, but don’t have the time or know-how to get them yourself, don’t pay your niece’s boyfriend $500 to put up a cookie cutter template. Do your research, and be prepared to shell out some money.
Most importantly, the value of a web designer is in the results.
If you pay thousands of dollars for a website (expect to), make sure the company you choose is working to bring you a return on your investment.
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