Like in any profession, there is always the good, the bad and the ugly. The website design industry is no different. There are website designers that are incredible at what they do and have a long list of happy clients and there are those… that don’t.
Chances are if you want a website that helps you grow your business and attract new clients you will need to hire a professional website designer to help you achieve this. This of course will require an investment and so choosing the right website designer for your business is an important decision. Not only do you want a great website for your business you also want a good ongoing relationship with your chosen website design agency.
So, what makes a good website designer? What separates the best from the rest?
Here are 7 things that are an absolute must from your website designer of choice…
1. The ability to communicate
One of the negatives we hear most often about website design companies is that their communication skills are poor. Such feedback is all too common:
“They just never answer the phone”
“We have been waiting a week for a reply to our email”
“They talk in jargon we just don’t understand:
It’s important that you have clear and high-quality lines of communication with your website partner. A good website design company should:
- Answer the phone in a timely manner and call you back quickly
- Reply to your emails (ideally within 24 hours)
- Offer a technical support system where you can register faults or problems and deal with these issues quickly and effectively
- Ensure that they simplify the complicated, so you understand what you are getting
- For new website builds use project management software
If any of the above do not happen then it certainly is a red flag.
2. Not driven by personal preference
Everyone has an opinion and website designers are no different. They have an opinion about your website and the work they are doing for you, whether they share that with you or not is a different matter.
One of the challenges with any sort of design is people look with different preferences and opinions. Take one design and show it to ten different people and you will get ten different perspectives. Who is right and who is wrong?
The skill of a website designer is to not be driven by their own opinion but to deliver what you as the client require. Too many website designers become obsessed with what they like and try and drive you in their direction. This is not good!
It’s also important that they are not solely driven by the client’s preference either. We have all heard “the customer is always right’ but are they? Yes, we all want to please our clients and give them a website they love, but at what cost? It’s easy to give the client what they want but then twelve months later the same client comes back saying their website is not delivering.
There is a balancing act in play with every single website designer and it is the skill of the website design agency to navigate that and deliver a website that everyone loves.
3. A balanced approach
There are many factors in play when it comes to building a website and balancing these is vital to the overall success of the project. The 4 key elements to any successful website is:
- The design: it needs to look good
- The searchability: it needs to be found on Google
- The conversion: it needs to convert visitors into customers
- The navigation: it needs to be easy to use
A common mistake that we see is a focus on one or two of the above areas and not a balance of them all.
Yes, we want a beautiful looking website but not at the expense of people not being able to find what they want on the site. Yes, we want a website to be found on Google, but we don’t want it to be ugly, so people are put off when they do arrive. It’s all about balance and it’s important that when a new website is built these 4 factors are always considered.
4. A focus on what is really important
At the end of the day the priority of 90% of websites is to get results. You want more leads and more enquiries. It’s very rare that a website doesn’t want to achieve this objective.
For a website to be achieving these results it will generally require professional input. There are so many different factors that come into play to ensure the website will work for you. You cannot just pull a website together, put it on the internet and expect results. Those days are gone!
You must ensure that your website designer is driven by results and nothing else. If that is what you want, make it the priority. This is especially true when you are having a new website built but even when it comes to making small changes to the website ensure that results are considered.
At the end of the day it’s not about having a website for the sake of it, it’s about having a lead generation machine that helps you grow your business. These are two very different things and results have to be the most important thing.
5. Plenty of opportunity to feedback
Feedback and clear communications line between designer and client is important when it comes to running a successful website project.
If the project if a full website design and build, then there should be a number of stages for feedback. Firstly, a mock-up should be created before the website build even starts. This is where the client is provided with a flat design so feedback can be given before the actual build commences. This is a vital stage in ensuring the design style is going to be what the client requires.
There also needs to be other set stages where the client can feedback on the design, functionality and overall site before the website is sent live. An open discussion and approval process is vital to the success of any website.
6. A professional opinion
When hiring a website designer, you are not just hiring them to do a job you are hiring their knowledge, professionality and experience. Even if you have a clear vision of what you want it would be foolish to ignore the professional opinion of your website designer. Don’t be afraid to lean on their knowledge and experience when making key decisions for your website.
Every client is different, and some know exactly what they want whilst others need help, feedback and hand holding. No matter where you find yourself it’s important that a website designer can accommodate both ends of the scale. If you need lots of input, they need to be able to provide this but alternatively if you know exactly what you want, they need to be facilitate this whilst also giving valuable feedback.
Remember most website designers have produced hundreds of websites so gaining their feedback and knowledge is important.
7. Positive reviews and feedback
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but before choosing your preferred website designer always ensure you research them first. Have a look at their portfolio or case studies. Have a look at the work they have done for other clients. Also, take a look at their online reviews and testimonials so you can get a handle on how good they are.
The more research you can do upfront the more chance there is of a productive and fruitful relationship with your designer.
Here at Choose Purple we work with businesses across the UK creating stand out websites that get results. You can see our portfolio here, our Facebook reviews here and our Google reviews here. If you are in need of a new website designer or are looking for a quote on a new website, then you can get this from our team here.