Selecting a web designer for your project may seem like an easy task—it’s not. The fact is it can become a daunting undertaking, especially that there are several factors to consider. And when we say several, we mean the direct and indirect factors from costs to experience, expertise, and track record of the shortlisted web designers.
While at it, hiring a web designer who will tackle and complete your website project is not a trend but a must. This is more so nowadays that more and more people are becoming digital citizens, and that’s by millions to billions of monthly active users.
Your website is not just your company’s digital hub or marketing arm per se, serving as the 24-hour representative that makes businesses generate revenue. Instead, it reflects what your brand stands for—ideals, principles, values, advocacies, and more. You cannot let any mediocre web designer touch your website. Nope.
Why do you need to hire a web designer in 2021 and beyond
The coronavirus pandemic of 2020, for instance, fuels the necessity of having a digital presence when connecting with prospects, customers, and clients. As such, there is a clear explanation of why a professionally-designed website became more of a need nowadays than a luxury a few years ago.
Other reasons are below.
- Your website is not like the others.
Your website is a business, and it has a purpose. Of course, you want people to take it seriously. If users do not take your website seriously, you might consider your website to be made by well-experienced professional web designers.
A plain or simple-looking website might be sufficient for the visitors. However, a website that is professional-looking creates a better impact.
- You want a fully optimized website.
Surely, you would want your website to be found by a user since the Internet is an ocean overflowing with information. You might consider having your website developed by a web designer.
Optimization is a puzzle piece that completes online marketing. However, it can only be effective when done right.
- You want to keep abreast of the latest design trends and tools.
Web designs continuously change. What worked for your website a few years ago might not be effective today. You might want to consider updating or redesigning your website.
Web designers will help you stay in the competition of the latest trends in web design. This is more so when it comes to security, including strong passwords, biometers, and two-factor authentication.
The customers want to feel secure for them to stay on your site and use its services. Professional website designers and developers can make the site more secure by adding more security features. It takes more than upgrading your site from an HTTP to an HTTPS.
The users are most likely to find a site trustworthy to enter personal information once the site is encrypted and more secure.
Thus, if you want your business to work, finding a professional web designer who will design your site sounds like a better idea than creating your own from scratch.
The necessity of hiring a professional web designer
Skeptics would ask if hiring a web designer is necessary. Well, it is.
Designing a new or redesigning an existing website is not without difficulties. Because of such, many individuals and even small companies resort to outsourcing despite being a costly endeavor.
Know that outsourcing—or letting the web design professionals do the job for you—is always a worthy investment. Ask these questions.
- Are you a tech and design-savvy individual?
You must possess the know-how and the designing awareness and capability since this is the only way to make your site functional and aesthetically appealing.
Psyche yourself, and once you determine that you have both technical and design capabilities, consider doing your site.
- Do you have the budget?
After the skills, you also have to consider the budget. Of course, it must be realistic. The price of hiring professional web designers varies depending on the region and the professionals themselves.
Simple, static websites that contain five pages may cost up to $1,000. The more feature and the more interactive the site is, the higher the cost. On the other end, designing your own site using free apps may require little to no investment at all.
- How do you envision your website?
Websites can be static or dynamic, which means that your actual site and its functions and features may vary. If you envision a fully equipped site with built-in functionalities and social network features, you should rely on the services of a website design professional.
However, if you only want a simple site, then you may just consider customizing web design templates that you may find online.
- Do you have access to the right design tools?
Numerous tools are available today in designing websites, and many of these tools are free. If put in the right hands, many such tools might build websites that are not only beautiful but also functional.
These tools are indeed capable of building beautiful websites. However, this does not mean they will always create such.
Any work always depends upon the skill of the individual who is in control. For instance, pencils can create beautiful, lifelike sketches. Although, the one who holds the pencil still controls the result.
This is the same with tools in website development available to the masses and the different result when a web designer uses these tools. Indeed, even web designers utilize these free tools.
However, they keep a healthy number of web design tools in their arsenal. The difference is that they combine the free tools with industry-specific tools, using these at a much greater level than non-techy people like you.
A tool might provide a website with a fantastic framework. On the other hand, only professional web designers are knowledgeable in using an industry-specific tool and customizing it so that the site becomes totally unique.
Creating your own website online is entirely possible by using amateur tools alone. But the website that will be created would not merely duplicate the depth, feel, functionality, and look of a website that a web design expert professionally created from scratch.
The cost advantages of hiring a web design expert
While at it, there are various cost-related benefits that you will realize when you chose to customize your site’s design. It may be easier to build your own site, but getting the people to visit and explore it is another thing.
Most of the time, you have to think strategically to enhance the earning power of your site. One solution is customizing the web design that only professional web designers can do.
Some business owners startle upon hearing the word customization because they know that it is relatively expensive.
Nevertheless, what they do not realize is that the benefits of customization actually outweigh the cost. There are specific ways by which the business may save costs than spend more.
- Training and manuals
One of the most rewarding financial benefits of customized web design is having in-built training sessions. Learning always comes as part of any customized service package.
Web designers will conduct lessons on how you should maintain your customized site. They will also provide easy-to-understand manuals and other learning materials.
Usually, a lesson takes only an hour or two, which means that it will disrupt the business’s operation that much.
Yet another rewarding financial benefit of customization is in terms of advertising. Web designers usually suggest ways on how the company may advertise the business in a more targeted manner.
Some web designers also include advertising in their package, while some offer an optional service at a low price. Some firms provide a hosting service as well.
Finally, another financial benefit of customization is there will be no need to redesign your site more often. Customized solutions often come with upgrade options.
In this way, the web designer will only have to improve the overall design, including the site’s features, without the need to start from scratch.
The factors to consider when selecting a web designer
There is a plethora of information on tips for selecting the right web designer on the Internet. However, most of these articles discuss only the obvious ones, such as project cost, package inclusions, references, and warranty, among others.
Below are some of the most commonly overlooked criteria in selecting the best web designer there is.
A web designer must definitely have a portfolio, and it should be accessible to would-be clients. This will speak volumes of the web designer’s experience and credibility.
The web designer should be able to provide you with links to his or her live web designs. These sites speak louder than references because you may gauge the prospect’s web designing skills by looking at his or her work.
You may want to check the portfolio for familiar logos. These logos lend credibility to web designers. You want to make sure of the robustness of the portfolio the web designer presents to you.
- Case study
Some web designers design for the sake of doing the job. However, very few are fully acquainted with persuasive web design principles, for instance.
Only a diligent web designer knows how to document his or her process and the results of these design processes. Speaking of which, a web designer must understand how clarity, visual appeal (visual hierarchy, visual interest, and first impression), attention conservation, and visitor anchoring work together to create a design that converts.
With case studies, you may gauge the proven results and metrics that the web designer adheres to based on previous successful projects.
- Industry-related experience
Portfolios and case studies are useful. However, you cannot expect to see the results you want if the web designer has not completed a project in your industry.
This will determine the quality of the website because of the added advantage. This is especially true because of the easiest time to understand your business needs and goals, customizing the site to suit those needs. This also means a shorter expected completion time. However, taking the risk can be worthwhile too.
If you trust the designer, which you should, this would not be a big problem. After all, the web designers themselves are willing and ready to learn new skills and experiences. For instance, in Optimind, our web designers are highly proficient in real estate design.
- Standards compliance
One should also check the compliance of the web designer to the standards such as CSS and W3C. Virtual documents are usually written with the use of markup languages like HTML and XHTML.
Also called validation, checking these virtual documents is critical to ensure that the documents contain readable formal vocabulary and grammar. That is, the web designer should be using a sort of markup validator.
There are many things to look for in selecting the web designer to cater to your website’s wants and needs. Nevertheless, you have to look beyond the basics.
If you want to work with a professional, committed, and reliable web designer, then include these factors in your list of criteria to look for.
The bottom line
The choice is yours. While the decision will depend on your skills, budget, and scalability of your site, your site’s quality must not be sacrificed.
If designing your own site appears to be more strategic, then do so. No one must take this against you, more so if you can consider yourself as an expert yourself.
But please know the limitations attached to using free or paid templates and customizing them to suit your needs or tackling website design’s learning curve if you wish to do it yourself.
If you are looking for a more user-friendly interface, more streamlined features and functionalities, and much cleaner interaction at the page level, then hiring a web designer is the way to go.
Web design is a substantial investment—you need to make it right right from the start. Such an investment may be a bit costly. However, these factors will guide you in selecting the right web designer, giving your business a boost worth the cost.