Designing a website should be seen as important a technical project as developing your next big product. And like any mission critical project, you want to hire the best talent for the job, not try to rely on in-house talent that may go with the simplest, fastest solution available. Here are five key factors to consider when hiring a web designer for your business.
You need website designers who are familiar with responsive design. Websites with responsive design respond to the type of device they are on and still present the clean, attractive website you want them to see. It resizes the images and buttons to fit the screen. It resizes text to be readable and alters menus so that the user can still navigate your site. You don’t want the old solution of a redirect to a mobile-friendly website, since this doubles the amount of site maintenance you have to do, makes data analysis that much harder and costs you traffic because many mobile users will quit the site the moment it tries to redirect.
Yes, cost matters when you’re talking about hiring a web designer for your business’ website. Having an online presence is critical to being found even by local customers searching on their smart phone as they walk past your sign. You literally cannot afford to have the cheapest, simplest website set up via a template and submitted to search engines.
Conversely, you cannot afford to pay a fortune for a website either. You don’t have to compromise between affordability and quality. There are website design Malta firms that work for a fraction of the price British firms would charge while creating sites that are just as good.
You only want to work with website designers that take the time to understand your requirements before they start to work. They take the time to understand the key search terms your ideal customers use and then integrate it into the website’s design. They analyse the website that you have and determine how to migrate your existing ecommerce pages, content and maps rather than replace your site with a minimalist homepage and say they are done.
Good website designers don’t just meet with you to learn what you want at the start. They continue to keep in touch with you to let you know the status of the project.
They give you a key point of contact if issues arise during the testing of the website and let you know when the test site is ready for a test drive instead of putting the new site into production while putting your business’ cash flow at risk. You should check the references given by web designers to verify that they were responsive when someone ran into problems such as finding errors on the site weeks after the project was completed.
Does the website designer understand how to set up an account management system that doesn’t let others access the pay-wall without paying for it? Does the web designer know how to set up ecommerce sites that process payments quickly, securely and reliably? Does the web designer understand the importance of IT security emblems on your website like the “verified by McAfee” or Verisign logo? While you’re doing your research on the web designer, look at other websites the person has set up. If their websites lack HTTPS or have payment processing without the appropriate level of IT security, drop them from the list.
The ideal web designer understands new trends and is versatile enough to design all types of sites. They should also provide a clear line of communication and keep in touch through the entire design process and the setup of the website. And last, but not least, verify that the web designer understands the fundamentals of IT security and how to build it into your website, especially if your site is handling sensitive information.
Elena writes for elenatahora.com, a popular lifestyle and technology blog. She offers advice on everything from business to travel all the way up to fashion and fitness.