Over the last 18 months or so, I have had a handful of potential customers come to me looking for a new website design because they weren’t happy with a website they JUST had built for them. Of course I have no problem having an initial conversation with anyone to see if we are the right fit to work together on designing a new website.
What I find most common is that they hire the first person they talk to without knowing what to look for. They spend upwards of $10,000 (sometimes even over $25,000) on something that turns out to be not what they originally wanted or not working for them. Then they call me (most of our clients are word of mouth, which should speak for itself on our quality of website design work) and say this
“We just had a website designed for us that we really aren’t happy with. It doesn’t do 5 things that we find important. Can you make a website that will do these things?”
Normally the answer is, of course we can accommodate their new website needs. Then they say “Ok great! Unfortunately we spent our entire budget on the site that doesn’t work, so can you make one that we really love for 1/20th the price?”
This obviously drives me crazy on two levels
These types of so-called “web designers,” are people that give the real, professional, website designers a bad reputation.
Here are some tips on how you can make sure you are hiring the right web designer the first time so you don’t need to experience this waste of money and time.
You want your site to be properly coded for multiple reasons.
Again, along the same “hit by a bus” reasoning. Will you need to call (and pay) them every time you need to make change to something on your website? What if you want to be constantly adding new pages to your website?
Most websites are built with Content Management Systems (CMS) nowadays and should be easily maintainable by anyone who is capable of sending an email or creating a Word document. There are a vast amount of different CMSes out there, but some common ones are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or HubSpot.
Do They Integrate Measurement Tools?
Do they monitor your site statistics and will you have access to those reports? This will help you see how people are getting to your website, your top performing pages, where they come in, where they leave and a whole slew of other useful information. Most importantly, it will help you learn down the road if you aren’t getting any business from your website if you have a traffic problem or a conversion problem. (Are people coming to the site? Are people coming to the site and not hiring you?)
Do they keep an open line of communication throughout the process? How often will you see progress as the site is built and when can you give feedback for adjustments?
How long after the site launches will they make adjustments and changes for you?
What do previous clients say about working with them? Don’t be afraid to ask for references and just give a quick call or short email to hear from someone else who has worked with them. Ask something as simple as how happy were you working with them? Or if you want to really learn more, remember that even if someone is a great website designer, you may not be a perfect fit for each other. Find out what kind of personality they have.
Sure you don’t need to ask all of these questions or maybe you’ll ask a few more. Either way, make sure you are going to be working with someone that you will be happy having a relationship with and the odds are likely that you will come out with a product that makes you happy.