There are various kinds of web designers, developers and marketers available today. So, you should first determine the kind of person you need for your business goals. Does your web design company possess all the following skills needed to make your business succeed online?
- Website Designer – Web Designers help you in determining the page layout, text location, graphics, content, and colours of your site, along with the navigation and cross-linking of pages with each other. They may also facilitate computer programming as well as graphic artwork for your website. A Website Designer is basically a Project Manager for the website.
- Website Programmer – Sometimes referred to as Web Developers, they take the design from your designer and create custom code for the site to run. They are also responsible for the technical things that happen in the background (back-end development) to ensure that the site works properly for all visitors on all devices.
- Graphic Designer – Website Graphic Designers create or select the graphics for your site, including colours, animation, page layout, logos, illustrations, fonts etc. Consider this person to be a “visual artist” that shapes the brand image of the website for your business.
- Internet Marketing Consultant – These people help you in determining ways to fit your website within the overall marketing strategy of your business, and to increase the sales and traffic for the website.
Once you are decided upon the kind of your designer and skill set needed for your web design project, you should keep in mind the below-mentioned factors to finalize this strategic decision.
Cost of Project
Small businesses don’t have a huge budget, so it is imperative to look for a designer that can meet your requirements and be pocket-friendly for your business. Hence, creating a separate budget for this project must be your top-most priority before you start searching for the designer.
Overall Web Design Project Duration
Deciding the timeline for your website to go live is also a very important factor, especially with emerging niche markets. A designer must know the duration of the project beforehand so that he can fix his schedule accordingly, and carry out the complete process on time.
Web Design Expertise, not Experience
While selecting a web designer, it is imperative to look for his expertise in the field rather than experience. This seems a touch counter-intuitive but sometimes experienced designers can lack a burning creativity. They can also have limited knowledge of the latest technology. Therefore, one must always look for designers that stay up to date with the latest trends. Their passion for your online success is a good indication as to how you will be treated as a client. To ensure this, you must always ask them to present you with a sample of their work or show their previous works.
Web Design Features
Your vision for your website must always align with your designer’s capabilities. For this, you must first understand the difference between a designer and a developer. A designer is a person who is proficient in customizing and installing the content management systems like WordPress, while a developer is a person who is skilled at coding the websites he designs. Often larger organisations employ both developers and designers to work together. As a small business owner, it is crucial to know whether you require both kinds of people on a team or not.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Integration
Most designers integrate SEO while designing the sites. However, it can be incorporated either from the beginning or in limited aspects of the website like navigation, technology, content, and linking. Selecting the SEO keywords is also very important as it is a major factor in increasing the ranking of the web pages and attracting more visitors. Your web design company must have mastered the art of meaningful and strategic keyword placement if need be.
Apart from all these technical traits, one must also look for certain soft skill traits while selecting a designer.
Lateral thinking plays a very important role in determining a person’s ability to think out of the box and solve a problem in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Website designs usually create a lot of problems which need to be looked at before the development begins. So, it is important to work your way around the bugs smartly, which a lateral thinker can do in the best way possible.
A good website designer should always be curious to know more about your business in order to optimise the web pages and the back-end. If you are discussing your requirements with a web designer or web design company and they don’t ask questions about your business, walk away. Speed is the essence of the Internet, which the website must cater to and it takes a curious mind to find new possibilities for improving the efficiency and adaptability of the website. Curiosity in this aspect can always be coupled with passion. Thus, a mind that is passionate about web development is also a mind that is curious to know more.
A good designer is not just someone who can finish his task but is also someone who can explain why the way he did it is the best possible way. Apart from this a good designer also will have to take help from the people around him. Not every bug can be solved by a single person, and not everytime can lateral thinking help. It is of paramount importance that the designer is able to convey the problem to the people around him, comprehend their responses and find an optimal solution by analysing all the responses.
Adaptability as a Web Designer
A good designer must not only be able to deliver the promised product, but also be open to improvising it as per changes in the requirement. Whilst we (as web designers) like to plan the project before any development begins, a certain degree of adaptability should be accounted for. Adaptability as a web designer plays a crucial role when they encounter new requirements during the course of development. Also, adaptability is not just restricted to the web designer as an individual, but also to their ability to gel with internal and external team members and with changes in team members.
In conclusion, it is important to find a website designer with most of these characteristics if not all.