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More Than a Portfolio – Choosing the Right Web Designer

Unfortunately, many business owners make a fatal mistake when it comes to developing their website. They hire a friend, a nephew, or another amateur designer to build a site that represents their business. While many amateur designers are talented, you need to find a partner that not only understands design, but understands how to help you accomplish your goals. You need a professional web designer.

The search for the right web designer starts and ends with three simple words – return on investment. Choosing a web designer to build your online calling card is more than just looking through a portfolio to find someone that you like.  You need to find a partner who will work with you to accomplish your specific goals.  

How Do I Choose A Web Designer?

The first step that many of us take when searching for a web designer is to head to Google and type in, “Web Designer in Manchester.”  As you sift through their portfolios, you’ll find some designs you like, others that you don’t. While this is a good start, it’s important to realize a few things:

•    Google offers paid listing services. Many national or international web design firms will pay a significant amount of money to be listed at the top of a Google search. These large conglomerates have huge advertising budgets because they offer businesses easy-to-implement, cookie-cutter solutions.  
•    Many resellers will masquerade themselves as web designers. These types will outsource your design, usually to someone in a developing nation, pocketing the profits, and leaving you with a subpar design.

When you find a designer that you like, it’s important to ask some important questions to ensure that his or her design and development philosophy matches your business goals:

•    Has this designer completed projects similar in scope and functionality to my requirements?
•    Does the designer focus on the “coolest new tricks,” or does he or she focus on providing your visitors with an intuitive experience?
•    Do you have branding needs?  Does this designer have experience in branding?
•    Does this designer understand how to maximize conversion?
•    Can I talk to any of this designer’s clients to get a testimonial?

It’s important while asking these questions to remember that your website is a business tool, whether it be to sell a product or service, or inform. It’s more than just a pretty layout with your logo on it.  

Once you’ve found a few designers with philosophies that match yours, it comes down to your intuition. Check their references, and determine if you’re a good personality match. Proper design requires a good deal of communication, so it’s best to work with someone that you’re comfortable exchanging ideas with regularly.

Finding the right designer will allow you to make the most of your web presence, so that you can work on what you do best – growing your business and developing new revenue streams.