Layered Website Designs
Choosing the proper web designer is an important process in creating your website. If mistakes are made prior to hiring a firm or individual it is much more difficult to fix those mistakes after the site has gone live. Regardless of whether you have a plumbing, salon or photography business, you need a website that is going to work and not have major errors in functionality and design. Most mistakes can affect the future of a company drastically when sales or clients are acquired from the website. A portfolio, reliability, and ownership are the areas that deserve the most attention when choosing an experienced and competent designer. Communication in all areas of the website and business agreement is essential and is the best way to gauge a good working relationship between a web designer and a client.

A portfolio includes sample sites or live sites that the web designer creates and showcases for potential clients to judge quality of work. The biggest mistake made when viewing a portfolio is ignoring how convenient the websites are for the general public. People who surf the web want to visit a site that is quick and works well with the equipment and necessary needs they have. A site in a web designer’s portfolio should work well in all browsers, have a font that is not fixed, and adjusts well with different resolutions and screen sizes. These aspects determine experience in the field. The sites should also have good content. While this is not the responsibility of a web designer it does show if an interest is taken in the follow through of a site. A good web designer will suggest or give tips on quality content and how to write and display it properly.

Making excuses for a lack of reliability is standard in web designing because projects can pile up and get out of control. This happens to everyone in business for the most part, but should be considered when a budget and/or deadline is important. To avoid future issues with the project a few phone appointments should be set prior to signing a contract. This allows the business owner to determine how reliable the designer is and if they are going to take important elements seriously. If they miss or blow off calls then it is a pretty good sign that they are not a reliable source.

A contract that is easy to understand is important when identifying who owns what parts of the website. Ownership is a good topic for discussion at the first meeting with a web designer. Many designers will own the rights to the design, while the client owns the website. This can cause complications in editing and changing the site at a later date. To avoid this mistake, a designer should be hired that is willing to sell the design. Other topics of discussion that need to be included in the contract are graphics and layout and who owns them or worked on them. Many designers like to contract out this work to other individuals. A good web designer should also provide source files that are easy to edit and information on what program was used to create the design. This information will help when the website needs quick changes at a later date.

Choosing an experienced, high quality, web designer takes preparation and the ability to communicate effectively. The relationship between web designer and client is one that can determine success or failure and should be weighted as such.

Derek Dirks’ passion is in local SEO, photography and building beautiful WordPress sites. He has been doing web design and internet marketing for the past 7 years and semi-professional photography for the past 5 years. Lately he has been helping photographers with their business.