Almost one in two customers in Northampton will judge a company’s credibility based on the design of its website. This is the main reason why your business needs to have a professional and engaging site.
There are some free website builders available that can prove useful for simple personal sites. However, using these tools can be time-consuming and challenging, especially if you want to build a complex site. Many business owners believe that working with a web designer is the best course of action to take.
Naturally, you may have some doubts about employing other people to create your website. Can they design it in such a way as to suit your business? Will it attract customers and bring in sales?
Fortunately, by following the guidance provided in this article, you can help ensure that your web developer will implement your vision and goals for your website.
1. Identify why you need a site and explain the purpose to your designer
What would you like your website to achieve? Do you want to sell products and services? Once you have an understanding of why you need an online platform, you will be able to collaborate with your designer to come up with an effective website.
When you meet with your designer, make sure you share your vision. Remember, a website is also a marketing platform so it should incorporate the following features:
- Company logo
- Preferred colours and fonts
- Visual imagery to present your message to your target audience
During the design stage, you may even discover that what you need is rebranding.
It is essential that you hire the ideal designer for your project. They should share your vision as otherwise you will be constantly clashing over the design elements. It is not advisable to simply choose the cheapest designer around as they may not have the necessary skills. In fact, before hiring a designer, you should:
- Conduct some research into local design agencies
- Check their reviews and testimonials
- Evaluate their previous projects
These are just some of the factors that can determine whether a designer will match your vision, requirements and style.
You can also accelerate the process by writing the site content first. Don’t worry if you don’t have the time or resources as most web design companies employ writers to draft relevant and engaging content.
Since the designer is probably familiar with search engine optimisation (SEO), they will be able to help you obtain a higher ranking on the search engine results pages.
2. What website style works for you?
If you don’t have a definite style in mind, ask the designer to present their portfolio. Arrange a meeting with them so you can evaluate their ability to turn your dream website into a reality. Communication will be the key to the success of your collaboration. Be detailed, specific and thorough when sharing information. Discuss how you would like to integrate your:
- Products and services
- Solutions to your customers’ problems
Bear in mind that although designers are experts in their chosen field, they cannot be expected to anticipate everything.
3. Set a budget and timeline for the project
When working with a web designer, it is essential that you set a budget and stick to it. If your ideal website is too expensive, settle for a fully functional but more affordable one. Then, once you have the resources, you can upgrade your site at a later date or alter it to fit your current business needs. Going over budget is not advisable, especially if you are only just starting out. However, skimping on costs is also not a good idea as the cheapest designer may not provide you with the quality you desire. You may even end up spending more in the long run.
The next step is to decide on a reasonable timeline to complete the project. Remember, the designer will need time to turn your vision into reality. Rushing them will only put them under pressure and the end result may not be what you had anticipated.
Another way of creating a site within budget and on time is to agree on the scope of work. In addition, make sure everything is in writing. If you need a complex website involving different systems, ask the designer to draft a design document that sets out the:
- Business rules
- Database designs
- Cost and projected completion date
4. Provide regular feedback and updates to your designer
As a client, you have the right to provide feedback about your website. However, this does not necessarily mean going over every minor detail as this would take up more of the developer’s time and effort. Instead, to save time, compile a list of queries and present it during your scheduled meeting.
During your discussions with the designer, set a timeline for both the partial and complete delivery of the project. Remember, you need to be reasonable and take account of any reasons for potential delays.
5. Maintain an ongoing professional relationship with your web developer
Completion of the project does not automatically mean that your business relationship with the developer has come to an end. Make sure you keep their contact details in case you need them at a later date for:
- Minor improvements or critical updates
- Design upgrades
- A complete redesign or a new website
Northampton businesses will almost certainly need the services of a web designer for their online platforms. Websites that sell products and services are usually complex and require the assistance of a professional expert who will be able to create an effective online presence. If you intend hiring a web designer, it is important to recognise how this collaboration can be successful. You first need to identify the purpose of creating your site. Once you have established your goals, you can work out the other details with the designer, including the site’s style and functionality.