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Friday, May 4, 2012

5 Important Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Web Designer

It’s not always easy to choose a web designer.  There is a lot for companies to consider and you want the process to run as smoothly as possible.  You can take some of the pressure off the decision by asking the right questions and searching for the right information.  To help you make the right choice for your web design project, consider these five important factors.   

1. Experience

Experience is among the best ways to gauge the potential of a web design company.  Web design has a steep learning curve so you always want to ensure a certain level of experience that minimizes the chances of making a mistake or under-delivering on objectives.  Start by checking to see if the web design company has experience building sites similar to yours.

Find out if the company works with raw HTML or prefers to use Joomla, Drupal or some other content management system.  Just think logically when approaching the company about their experience.  If you want to sell projects through your website with credit card transactions, make sure the web design company has experience with eCommerce hosting.  Do some homework and find the company with the right experience.

2. Portfolio

Any quality web design company will have a portfolio.  Ask the web design company for links to websites in their portfolio and review them carefully.  Web designers are versatile in their practice although many portray a similar style throughout their portfolio.  If you like the particular style of the designer, then you are one step closer to making a decision.

3. References

It helps to review a company portfolio, but don’t forget to review references, too.  You are a potential client and the best person to answer your questions about the web design company is a previous client.  Was the client happy with their experience with the company?  Would the client recommend the company for web design services?  You can also find out how much the client paid for the web design services and how long the project took from start to completion.  Also, find out what the client disliked about the company.  If the design company dropped the ball in a particular area of the web design project, chances are it will do the same for you.

4. Price

Before you enter into a deal with a web design company, always ensure that the prices are clearly outlined in writing.  A lot of different factors go into the overall cost of web design services and it is extremely important to put these costs on the table before starting the project.  You can help steer yourself away from trouble by asking the company about their payment management system.  While a professional, business-like response is a good sign, a simple “Don’t worry, we’ll manage” is a red flag.

5. Support

Reputable web design companies offer maintenance services to clients after launch.  Companies without an in-house webmaster should definitely look for a web designer that offers post-launch maintenance.  If the company fails to include maintenance as a part of their services, you might want to keep looking.

Akesh Gupta is President of Light Speed Solutions.  Akesh and his team strive to design, develop and deliver a plethora of web development and web design services to clients.

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