Top 10 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Web Designer
Building or refreshing a website is an exciting and challenging process for plenty of business owners. The web designer you hire should be a partner in your business’s success.
Streamline your next web design project with our top 10 list of things to consider before hiring a web designer below.
1. What Are Your Website Objectives?
The first step in the web designer hiring process is determining your website’s objective. The most common objectives are to:
- Increase online conversions
- Sell more products
- Improve brand awareness
- Promote credibility
- Provide a platform for your customers to engage with your brand
In short, a website needs a clear objective for effective design.
We suggest creating a list of what would benefit your business—effective hiring, customer communication, product/service descriptions, or whatever else you can think of. Then, once you have a list, order it from most to least important. What you should have left are your website's core needs and structures. If you need more inspiration, check out our client portfolio!
Once you understand your website’s goals, you can research web designers based on experience and skillsets that fit your needs. eCommerce sites, for example, require complicated infrastructure and flexibility and marketing websites often have fewer web pages to encourage direct action.
2. Who Is Your Target Audience?We suggest that you start defining your target audience before hiring a web designer.
Your target audience is the audience for whom your website is designed—think customers, donors, vendors, etc. Design choices targeted at the wrong demographic can quickly alienate the audience you’re trying to reach.
Offering medical services often requires more subdued designs. If your web designer doesn’t know that your design must be subdued, they may create web design that makes an impact on the incorrect audience. A good website design company will work with you to nail down your target audience so they can take the best route to address your business's needs but a head start can really speed the process along.
If you’re not sure who your target audience is, JTech can help your business—reach out!
3. What's Your Budget for Web Design?
A professional website costs anywhere from a few thousand to many thousands of dollars.
The cost of your website will vary depending on the complexity of the design, the number of web pages, timing needs, API integrations, eCommerce, and automated features.
Going through an agency such as JTech offers more value for your money. We’re a team of web design professionals that can handle all aspects of building and maintaining a successful website for your business’s needs.
4. What Is Your Design Timeline?
Once you define your website’s objectives and budgeting, you need to determine when you want your website to launch. Typically, you should be reaching out to web designers 4 to 6 months before you need your website ready, but some designers need less or more lead time depending on their current production schedule. So, it's always a good idea to reach out as far in advance as possible of when you want your website up and running.
The initial design and planning process takes a substantial amount of time in addition to the physical construction of the website. Planning can take weeks or months and the typical design and development phase can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6+ months depending on the number of pages and the complexity of site features.
Defining a timeline early gives you more effective planning and cost estimations.
Not sure how complex your site needs to be or how long your site could take to develop? Reach out! We’ll help you nail down a reasonable timeline.
5. Where Should You Get Website Inspiration?
Not sure how to describe your ideal website? No problem.
Pulling inspiration from other sites can help you visualize the potential of your website’s design. There is no easier way to communicate what you are looking for than physically showing a web designer what you like. They will appreciate it, and you’ll ultimately be happier with the final product.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of our recently launched websites.
6. What’s on Your Web Design Wish-List?
Once you’ve found inspiration from existing sites—or your own imagination—create a design wish list. What aesthetic qualities would you prefer? Think drop-down menus, buttons, icons, colors, fonts, etc.
Look back at the website designs that you admire and list the elements you admire. Possible elements include:
- Modern design
- Image heavy layouts
- Bright vs muted colors
No matter your preferences, JTech's website design team is ready to help you design a website that looks gorgeous and performs well in search.
7. What Content Is Best for Your Site?
Website content can be text, blogs, videos, pictures, graphics, branding material, etc. To build a quality website, you need quality content. Having content ready—or at least an idea of what you want your content to do—offers insight into the best structure for your site.
Adding content-specific website features such as a blog can be a powerful tool to drive traffic and SEO benefits. However, creating a blog and then allowing it to fall by the wayside is a surefire way to drag the success of your new web design down. So, only commit yourself to content you’re willing and able to maintain.
If you don’t have the time or energy to develop a content strategy, JTech offers a content marketing team that will ensure your website has consistent, top-quality content.
8. What Are Your Expectations?
Expectations can make or break the relationship you’re establishing with your web designer. You need to clarify exactly what you expect so the designer has the opportunity to meet them—communication is key. A professional web design firm will help to establish what your expectations are, and what you can expect from them early on in the process.
Expectations usually fall into general categories such as deliverables, project scope, timeline/availability, and the revision process.
For example, in terms of deliverables, knowing exactly what you expect to receive from a web designer will save time and effort for both parties. Do you expect branding work like a logo? Feedback delivered in a specific format?
Clarifying exactly what you expect to receive will ensure the web design process is a positive experience for both parties.
9. What Level of Project Management Do You Need?
Developing a website for your business can be nerve-wracking. You need to seriously consider how involved you want to be throughout the process. Building an effective website is just as much an art as a science, and picking a web designer should consider that.
Do you want input on every step of the process? Or maybe you want to hand off the information and let the web designer deal with it? Either way, you need to make sure the web designer you’re considering has a similar workflow to your needs.
However, you should expect to provide feedback at some point—there is no such thing as fully hands-off website design.
10. How Do You Track Project Success?
The success of your project can mean different things depending on your end goal. All of JTech's website designs are performant, SEO optimized and aesthetically pleasing. What our team doesn't know inlude:
- The rigidity of your timeline
- The flexibility your design needs to have
- The exactness of your design requirements
- Your traffic goals after launch
Defining what you consider to be a successful project is central to us delivering a website design that you're happy with. At the end of the day, meeting your goals is our primary objective.
If your website design includes SEO, our team will also provide growth and traffic metrics in a detailed report once we've finished managing your SEO.
JTech’s Web Design Team Can Help!The right web designer should be your partner for success. A website is a major investment in your business and the web designer you choose should take it as seriously as you do.
The JTech team has spent over 25 years designing stunning websites for various industries across Montana. We want to use our expertise to help your business succeed and grow into the future with effective web design.
If your business is looking to hire a web designer, or for more information on the web design process, reach out to the JTech team today!