So you want to set up a website for yourself, or maybe revamp the old website that you started years back when the internet started growing? Awesome, but now what?
A good website is the ultimate balance of information and an aesthetical design. When put together, the two aspects can do wonders for your business’s online presence.
If you are reading this, let’s assume that you already know that you really do need to outsource to a web designer. You don’t have the time to take up the job yourself, research and master it with just the internet.
You might have questions such as;
- What do you want to have done?
- What are the right skills to look for?
- How much will it cost?
- How long will the process take?
- Where will I find a web designer?
However, first and foremost let’s try to understand if at all you do need a web designer.
Since a lot of websites keep talking about web designer, developers, graphic designers and user-experience designers almost interchangeably, it’s very important that you do not make the mistake of confusing these professions within the web industry as one.
What do web designers do?
Website designers take your creative vision for your website to shape and present it in the form of an actual website. They create space for your ideas and design the overall layout of how the website would effectively appear on your target audience’s devices.
Essentially, they hold in their hands the power to make your website as attractive and efficient as possible. Think of them as home decorators. Now would you just let anyone design and decorate your pretty little space or give it a good thought?
A note to remember is that not only does a web designer simply design the layout of the website, but they can also build it too. Therefore, it’s a common misconception that web designers and web developers are different.
However, if you’re looking for the design aspect of your website alone, you’d consult a graphic designer for this.
You need to get well acquainted with the options that are out there in order to assist you in the web designing process. There’s a lot of ways you can explore things by yourself in order to be prepared before consulting a web design company.
With that said, if you’re looking for a web designer, below are some considerations you should keep in mind.
Understanding what you want on your website
Understand Your Target Audience
In case you are starting right from scratch, it’ll be great if you take some time to map your target audience. You should identify your potential clients on the web because that’s who the most converting the clicks will come from.
Research on the demographic that you want to reach out to and then shape up your website’s design in a way that appeals to them.
It’s useful to incorporate the preferences of your target audience in the web designing process too, as it’ll help provide you with more insightful knowledge about your target audience.
Research and get inspiration
Find sites that you really like. It’s worth browsing websites that are in the same industry as yours, or websites that you already like and would love to take inspiration from.
For example, after speaking with this specific London property auctioneer, they have been inspired by competitors such as Zoopla and Rightmove, by including similar sections on their website which they’ve seen previously on their competitor’s websites. This is a good example of how you can pick and choose other competitor’s website functionalities and build them into your own.
What do you want to have done?
Knowing the scope of the work you want to get done, will help you map out your budget as well.
If you are a small business, you might want to create a simple portfolio of your business including a Homepage, About Us, Services, Contact, Testimonials and a few landing pages perhaps.
However, for example, to create a more complex e-commerce website for your business, your website will require a lot more layouts and therefore functionality too.
Whatever you want for your website, write it down. The more you know, the more a web designer will be able to design and build for you.
Figuring out the skills you require
DIY easy tasks
Here’s a stage where you can save a lot on your budget.
Knowing exactly what needs to be done on your website, you can easily filter out tasks that you can learn and perform yourself.
For example, if you don’t want to hire out a professional photographer for your website, why not consider taking the initial photographs yourself.
Equally, if you’re not ready to spend your money on a social media company, see how far you can get by doing it yourself.
Know where exactly you need help
But in case you have a very specific idea of your website, or frankly don’t have the time to create one yourself, it’s time to opt-in for professional help.
You need to ensure that the web designer you choose has a sound knowledge of designing and developing, in order to translate your vision into a reality.
- Look around the market yourself or contact businesses that outsource web designers.
- If there is a particular website that you really liked, try contacting that website and asking for the company or person who designed their website.
- Social media is also a great place to find web designers looking for designing gigs.
- If you’ve got the budget, big firms have a full-time web designer that can help do things at a more professional level too.
How much will it cost?
Web designers usually charge by the hour and their costs can vary by their experience and your project’s demands.
The hourly rates can vary from £15 (usually freelance) to over £100 per hour (usually companies).
Therefore, it all comes down as a trade-off and ultimately you have to choose the most optimal choice laid out to you.
Usually, the winner will pop up pretty quickly, as you always know who’s matching the criteria best — however, pick carefully, as there’s nothing worse than getting a website built then having to spend more time and money to get it rebuilt again.
Interacting with your web designer
Set clear expectations
Explain clearly (in writing) to your web designer what you are expecting from your future website. This process usually takes place in the form of a web design brief.
As mentioned in the points earlier, it can be helpful to layout other websites to point specific things or choose features from the web designer’s past projects.
You might need to ensure that your website is editing-friendly once set up (i.e. has a content management system built-in, such as WordPress), as your business may require you to regularly change your website’s content from time to time.
These expectations may seem like a lot, however, setting clear goals and expectations can significantly improve the web designing process for both you and your web designer.
See the results for yourself
Finally, once your website is complete and live, start tracking your website’s performance through tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Just make sure these are set up once going live — as it’ll help you track from the get-go.