Whether planning a design project for a new small business start-up, a charity or political organization, or for personal reasons, the first item on your agenda should be to find a creative web design agency you can trust.
Web designers are not difficult to come by, but they all vary in how they handle projects, what they charge, which programming language they use, etc. So it’s no wonder many website owners spend months trying to find the right designer for their project! Here are some tips to help your search go a little easier.
1 – Interview Several Developers
Don’t hire the first web designer you find. Interview with several to make sure your goals and theirs are the same. You’ll find that some designers focus more on the “look and feel” of a site while others are more results-oriented in terms of what type of design will bring the most response from your visitors. If you need to make a profit or get favorable results from your site, then go with the latter!
Some designers understand both creative web design and marketing, and realize that the two go hand-in-hand. Others only understand the creative aspect of web design, and these types of designers might hinder you in reaching your goals. So be careful!
When interviewing, ask specific questions such as:
– What ideas do you have for my site based on the information I’ve provided?
– When do you expect to complete the initial design and setup?
– Do you have professional references I can contact personally?
– What programming language will be used to design my site?
– Will I be able to update the site on my own using an admin section?
– Do I need to provide photos or images, or do you have these available? *HINT: Be sure the images are legal to use as there are many lawsuits floating around regarding web image copyright laws at the time of this writing.
– Do you provide web hosting and domain name registration along with your services?
2 – Look at Web Page Samples
Once you’ve received answers to the questions above, ask to see samples of the designer’s work. Notice if creative web design techniques were used with other sites and how well the site flows with content, images, tables, etc. Does the site appear to reach its audience with ease, or is it confusing to the reader? Keep in mind that designers often don’t have complete control over how a site is designed. Sometimes the site’s owner opts for ineffective design despite the designer’s advice.
When viewing web design samples, notice how well the images and content flow. Click on various links to make sure the site’s navigation works well. If a shopping cart is present, try adding a few products to your cart to see how it works.
3 – Credentials, Pricing and Contacts
Other points of consideration when trying to find a creative web design agency include credentials, pricing and contacts. Are the credentials in line with the type of programming you’d like to use for your site? For instance, if you need a site designed in PHP, ask how much training the designer has received in this specific area of development. Did he attend a four-year college and get a degree or take an online course of some sort?
Also, consider the pricing for initial design and ongoing updates. Make sure you have the price in writing before committing to a project. You’ll want affordable design without sacrificing quality, so don’t only focus on price as your deciding factor.
Being able to contact your designer when needed is also important. Whether by e-mail, phone or live chat, make sure the designer will get back to you within a reasonable amount of time (24 hours or less generally). Nothing’s worse than needing a site update, with no way to get in touch with your designer!
Use these ideas to find the best possible creative web design agency for your needs. You won’t regret taking your time to shop around and interview several designers before making a decision.