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Choosing a Web Designer: 10 Things to Keep in Mind

If you want to get a website designed for your business, you must identify a web design company that has the ability to satisfy your needs and requirements. Let’s look at 10 things you must keep in mind when choosing a web designer.

1. Background of the company

It’s really important to get the details of the people who will be working for you on the website and know how they started off. Most of this information is available on the ‘About Us’ page of their site. But you could tap into other sources of information as well, for e.g. business directories, discussion forums etc. This information should be enough to get a feel of the kind of services they can provide and whether they have the expertise needed to take care of your web design project.

2. Track record of the company

A track record is built by consistently doing good work over a period of time and as such any company which has a good track record can be entrusted with the job of designing your website; you are assured that it will maintain a certain level of quality vis-à-vis its work.

So how do you get an idea about its track record? Go through its portfolio page. Take a look at the web design projects it’s handled till date. Also, ask for client references and get in touch with them. Ask them whether they were happy with the work done by the firm. The answers you get will give a clear idea about the firm’s track record.

3. Core competency

Web design is a vast field and there are plenty of different activities that are a part the web design umbrella. Aspects like user experience design (consisting of interaction design, information architecture), usability engineering, front-end development, back-end development, content strategy, and visual design are just few of the things which make up the overall web design package. As a client, you need to be well aware of the core competencies of a company and whether these are aligned with your requirements.

4. Operations knowledge

The modus operandi of the company you are considering to hire for your work should be something you must consider as well.

Will they deliver the website on time? Have they been able to submit work within deadlines? The answers will be crucial in taking a decision about hiring the company.

Also, the staff strength, the number of clients handled at a given time and overall work load they have will affect the quality of work they will deliver. This is why you need operations knowledge.

5. Use of Web Design Standards

The W3C has a handy write up explaining why design standards are important and how they can affect the overall usability and experience of the website. The company you are choosing should ensure your website adheres to all standards underlined by W3C.

So ask whether their web design process sticks to W3C standards. If the answer is yes make sure that the contract you sign with this company, underlines this fact in some detail.

6. The team

The quality of website design is a reflection of the ability of the team in charge of the project. Every work we produce has a certain element of our personality and skill sets attached to it and this gets reflected in the end result. So it is really important to meet the real people who will be working on your website’s design and get a feel of their personalities or the kind of work they have produced in the last few years.

7. The strategy behind the design

Make sure the company you are working with, has a habit of clearly defining a web design strategy that is client specific. This strategy needs to keep the following questions in mind:

What is the goal to be achieved with the website?
Is it only giving information about the business or also selling products/services?
Who is the target audience of the website?
How can the website help accomplish the organization’s objectives?

8. The fees charged by the web designing company

You must have set aside a specific budget for website design. The right web design company is somebody who can deliver on your expectations within your budget. So, if you think you have identified a company that you believe can handle your web design project, get a quote. If the quote for your project is way off your budget, you can start looking for some other company.

It is important that the discussion regarding web designing fees is held at an early stage and finalized well in advance to save any disappointments later on.

9. Updating content and support

Website design is just the beginning because a business might need to update its website frequently with new content or redesign it to be in sync with the times and latest trends. It is always better to discuss these terms earlier on to avoid any confusions or issues later with the web design firm.

Who will be responsible for the updates? Will the website design be easier to self-update later on? What are the support terms available? These aspects need to be considered before you hire a web design company.

10. Hidden or additional charge

There are always some hidden charges which are not disclosed by the “too good to be true” offers or advertising gimmicks listed on the designing company’s website. Make sure you are very clear about the bifurcation of recurring and non-recurring charges and have no doubts about the costing of your web design project; this helps avoid any shock when the time comes to pay the bill.

These are not the only things to keep in mind while finding a web designing company perfectly suited for taking care of your requirements; but keeping this checklist in mind will set you in the right direction and help you zero in on a company that will design a profitable online presence.

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