So your business is up and going and you’re ready to feel totally professional and legit by securing your online real estate with a website. Congrats! But now what? How do you decide who to hire to build and design your site? Well there are, of course, many factors to consider but I’m going to go over what I consider the top three considerations to base your decision on.
Consideration #1: A Designer Who Uses a User-Friendly BackEnd (I'm Talking To you All of My Technophobe Friends)
There’s absolutely nothing I hate more than to hear someone say that they can’t make simple edits, such as swapping out images and changing text, on their website. No one should ever be beholden to a web designer for edits such as this. Unfortunately I hear this story ALOT. When hiring a designer don’t be afraid to ask them what the backend set up is like and to even give you a preview of how easy they’ve made it (or haven’t made it) for you to edit your site.
The most important thing for me when I’m handing off a site to my clients is that they feel totally at ease about getting in the backend and confident in their ability to go in and make the simple edits that are always an ongoing thing on a business website which changes and shifts as the business grows.
Now if you WANT to totally rely on your designer to make changes and edits for you that’s perfectly fine but you shouldn’t have to do that if you don’t choose to!
Consideration #2: Does the website designer offer security maintenance plans or teach you the basics?
While you should be able to make simple edits on your website on your own, regular security maintenance is another matter depending upon the website platform being utilized. I work in WordPress and unless you live and breathe websites day in and day out this is not something you should try to DIY.
Websites can be hacked, themes and plugins need updating (at just the right time – not too soon and not too late – but that’s for another blog lesson) and taking back ups of your site should be a frequently done protocol.
Personally, I give my clients what I call my “Website Owners Survival Guide” that instructs them on how to keep their site safe and secure so the knowledge is in their hands but I also offer Security Maintenance Plans for a low monthly cost if they would prefer I take care of their website security.
Consideration #3: Is the website designer well versed in making not just a pretty site but a strategic one as well?
Websites should not be built to look pretty and flashy but sit there and gather dust. The point of your website is to make you money either by sales directly on your site or bringing in new clients who book calls with you. Your website should take your visitors on a strategic journey that leads to them buying or booking. Period.
Obviously you want your website to be attractive and professional looking but not at the expense of losing your visitors because of a poorly designed site that actually detracts from your message instead of highlighting it. Not to mention I’ve seen far too many websites that make it so difficult for the visitor to figure out what action to take that they give up and leave instead of taking the next step to buy or book with you!
Don’t be afraid to discuss this with your potential designer and get a feel for their knowledge of such things. And it’s always helpful to take a good look at their portfolio of previous work as this will definitely give you an idea as to how well they understand the design of a good client journey that leads to buying or booking.
In fact, most of the time it’s better to keep it simple!
Hiring a website designer shouldn’t be a scary or daunting process! Keep in mind the tips I’ve shared and you should be good to go. And, of course, if you’d like to discuss getting a beautifully crafted website designed in a week or less then let’s have a chat about it! BOOK HERE