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Advice on choosing a web designer

28 Aug 2015

Choosing a web designerPick us. The End.

Only kidding, there's more to this article than that.

Below are some hints and tips on what to do if you want to choose someone to make your website and don't know where to start.

    1. Always contact more than one to begin with, at least three is advisable, otherwise you have no idea of your options.

 

    1. Check out their previous work. In our opinion they should have a wide range of examples of websites they've made on their website for you to view without asking. However, if they don't offer it right away and you do decide to ask, they shouldn't have any problem providing you with a list. If a web design company can only show you one or two websites they've made, you've got to wonder why.

 

    1. Check out their previous work thoroughly. More than just look at it, use the websites. Are they easy to navigate, do they load fast enough? If they don't, chances are yours won't either. Try AT LEAST three.

 

    1. Look at their website. A website is a showcase for all businesses, but for a website design company it's absolutely critical. If their website doesn't work it's an extremely bad sign. If their website is 'under construction' I would be extremely wary. If they aren't organised enough to complete their own showcase, how can they organise client sites?

 

    1. Look for testimonials and recommendations. You could even contact their clients (you know who they are, you've seen their websites) and politely ask how they found the web design service. Most people will be happy to tell you if they've had good service, and even more keen if it was awful.

 

    1. If there are any terms they use that you don't understand, don't be afraid to ask exactly what they mean. They should be able to explain in a suitable manner, taking into account the fact you're not a techie. If your designer can't explain it to you, there may be communication barriers later down the line, or they may just be trying to baffle you with meaningless jargon.

 

    1. Make sure they can provide you with a clear breakdown of what is included in the contract and terms and conditions of the project. It's in both your interests to have it in writing to avoid disputes (often simply due to misunderstanding) after the project is underway.

 

    1. They should be able to provide you with reports on your website's performance, so you can see how many visitors you're getting once the site is live. Ask if they are going to do this.

 

  1. Check that they provide ongoing support, NOT on premium rate numbers or only via email or a list of FAQs, and not at extortionate rates.

Tech spec crib sheet for dummies (or just non geeks):


What browsers do you support?

  • Ideal answer: The latest version of Internet Explorer, Mozilla firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera (these are the most common).
  • Bad answer: Cross-browser compatibility? What's that then?

Do you keep up-to-date with the latest coding methods?

  • Ideal answer: Yes, we use the most elegant script and cascading style sheets to keep the back ends of our websites light and Search Engine friendly.
  • Bad answer: We use tables to structure our websites.

What SEO methods do you use?

  • Ideal answer: We use only honest, 'white hat' methods, including keywords, titles, descriptions, search engine submission, and Google Sitemaps & verification.
  • Bad answer #1 We don't do SEO.
  • Bad answer #2. We guarantee you top positions in Google for all of your keywords, using all the methods that are available.
Like what you see? Excited to get your project started? Call us on 0113 8800 388 or click here