How to choose a website designer, and a good one? And who should you prefer, a freelancer or a professional web design company? These questions are being asked by each business owner willing to create his online representation, more simply – a site.
And this is really a key question because finding a web design company of a high level is tricky, and you must know what to look for when selecting an expert. So in our article, we provide a detailed answer explaining how to hire website designers or an agency you need. Read and follow the instructions!
Where to find a website designer?
Searching for and selecting a web design company is, as we’ve already noticed, a difficult and responsible task taking a lot of your time and energy. But it’s an inevitable process in case if you’re not going to throw money down the drain. So carefully study all the offers and hire the best agency (or freelancer).
- Friends’ recommendations. Perhaps, someone you know has already ordered website design services and has experience of cooperation with a little design company. Say, if your colleagues are satisfied with the created online resource, they can advise you a tried and true website designer or a studio. And you’ll have real feedback on the finished project and their web design collaboration.
- Tender. Using special services and sites, you’re able to organize the selection of performers. This is the way large corporations and businessmen act – those who have no desire to waste time on prolonging searches and who want to be 100% sure of the quality result. Obviously, such a method is more suited to choosing a web development company, not a freelancer.
- Choice through search engines. You can view web design portfolios and fine examples of the work of studios located on the first pages of the search results. However, there will be fewer guarantees for the professional execution of the order. That’s why you have to read reviews and thoroughly examine the finished projects of the web design agency (or a freelancer).
- Related sites, paid job portals, publications in the network, etc. Another good option is to look through the forums and various related sites where you can find local web designers. And keep in mind that the network is full of web design company names – take your time to study a question from all sides, be in no haste.
- Competitive platforms. Visit your competitors’ sites maybe some of them are just what you need. In such a case, you may hire a web development company which created the resource you like.
Now then, how to choose a web design company, what are the options? We can suggest you the next ones:
No matter which way you find a website designer or studio. Whatever the case, be sure to correlate price and quality, time and money, and then select the best option. Undoubtedly it’ll be a good development company which meets your requirements and needs.
Freelance designer VS Studio
Before proceeding directly to the selection of the proper contractor, decide who you really need. In fact, there are only a few options:
- A single website designer, often a freelancer working on himself. It’s quite a budget option, and many people choose it only because of the affordable prices. Weâ€™ll explain below how to hire a web designer if the cost factor is of your concern.
- Website design agency. Of course, it’s more expensive but you must admit: several diverse specialists including marketers and managers are able to achieve the best results, so a single expert wonâ€™t stand a chance to outperform them.
Both options have their pros and cons which we â€˜ll detail next.
The works of talented designers are impressive and inspiring! Like this one.
Freelance website designer
Before you choose a website designer, you need to determine the pros and cons of cooperation with a freelancer.
Cons of cooperation with the freelancer:
- One person means one opinion. A couple of specialists working side by side in the studio all together have significantly more experience than a single designer. Besides, in the Internet design company, most of the decisions are being taken collectively.
- The lack of an office. Freelancers typically don’t have their own office which contains supporting material and different samples. In other words, they’re deprived of conditions for professional collaboration with a customer. Aside from an office space with the comfortable working environment, a studio has another advantage: in the process of discussing details with the client, the developer can always engage an expert who’ll help you hunt down a particular question.
- Insecurity. The main concern when working with a freelancer is that he can suddenly disappear. In practice, customers are faced with such a situation quite often. So it’s important to be careful and conduct an inquiry before making a decision.
- Force majeure. Sometimes, there is a need to change a developer when working on the project (we may list a lot of options for such a necessity). In this case, the studio is able to quickly pick another specialist who’ll bring the project to the end, so a customer won’t lose any time, money or nerves. But when it comes to freelance work, the site development usually stops, or the process is delayed. And it’s painfully perceived by the client, especially if we’re talking about a commercial object which is always tied to a specific launch date.
But let’s not rule out a freelancer immediately! There are also good reasons to hire a website designer who works alone. Let’s discuss them.
Pros of cooperation with the freelancer:
- Low price. The work of a freelancer, of course, is much cheaper than the services of a web company. So such an option is definitely your pick if you’re wondering how to hire a web designer of low cost.
- Availability. You’ll be able to deal with a freelancer during regular office hours, as well as on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening. On the other hand, you usually have to wait until Monday to share your new idea with the designer if you’re doing business with a studio.
- Pliability. If you need any changes not taken into account earlier, the freelancer is more likely to bring them to life. Undoubtedly, such loyalty shouldn’t be expected from a large web and app design company. However, the more experienced the freelancer, the better he understands that time means money, so this advantage doesn’t always work.
Website design company
The studio is a team of the websites’ developers including designers and webmasters needed at different stages of the process.
And if you want to find the best website design company, you should understand what you have to deal with. That is, it’s time to discuss the cons and pros of studios.
Cons of cooperation with a custom web design company:
- More expenses. The cost of creating a site by a studio is higher than if you find a website designer working as a freelancer.
- Long development process. The project implementation period is longer. But this is due to the fact that the web studios use more careful approach to the process of developing the site. They have several stages of interaction between the performers and also obligations to other clients.
Pros of cooperation with a custom web design company:
- Expertise. The main thing is professionalism supported by a systematic approach to the development process and extensive experience in the implementation of various projects.
- Legality. A significant advantage in collaboration with an e-commerce web design company is the contract conclusion. It means you protect yourself from fraud at the law level.
- Timeliness. As a rule, all the processes of site development are regulated and documented. Consequently, you’ll always know in advance the deadline for each development stage and its cost.
- More creativity. More designers lead to more ideas and, therefore, more creativity.
Good design is always responsive. The above concept is confirmation.
After all, what should it be?
You cannot claim with certainty that creating sites is best to be entrusted to the studios or that freelancers would manage the task more efficiently. It should be approached from the point of view of the project magnitude and complexity of implementation.
If you want to feel the comprehensive protection and be confident in the professionalism, hire a web development company. Thus, youâ€™re employing an experienced team that ensures quality results. Of course, your costs would be higher but sometimes you should pay more today to earn more in the future.
But if you don’t expect great results and are limited in your budget, make efforts to find the right website designer for your project. A freelancer will, in any case, be better than template solutions.
If weâ€™ve convinced you and now you’re wondering how to choose a website designer or studio, read the tips below.
General tips on selecting a web design company
An improper and hasty choice of a design company leads to building a site, which brings no profits and also causes the company money troubles. The amount of damage through the site’s fault can be comparable to the material losses of a number of failed deals.
A company website consisting of a few poorly constructed pages serves as an anti-advertising and grants benefits only to the competitors.
If you want to avoid such a pity fate, follow these simple tips when choosing a web development company:
- Draw up a budget. At the 1st stage, you may not have a clue about how much it would cost to hire a web designer and build your project. But you definitely can answer the question about the maximum budget youâ€™re willing to contribute to the site development. Itâ€™ll determine the list of suitable contractors.
- Find out the main factors:
- What sites does the studio specialize in? What type of web designers should you hire? If you plan to create an online store with enhanced functionality, you’ll undoubtedly need an eCommerce website design company (namely, the one which has repeatedly dealt with projects of the sort).
- Do web designers of the studio have enough breadth of vision to create a site related to your business? Say, if you’re going to work with WordPress designers, be prepared that they’ll be limited by the capabilities of this program. And what if they are not enough?
- Examine web design portfolio thoroughly. Note the design decisions. If the agency performs only template projects, you’re unlikely to get the individual and striking design. Review navigation: is it easy to navigate the site quickly, can you manage to find the necessary information? If the web studio fits these parameters, continue on.
- Read the reviews and comments. Perhaps the web design agency or a freelancer has a page in social media â€” read what other people write about them, whether there are negative reviews or recommendations.
- Be specific. Having selected the right web development company, specify the tasks and wishes clearly. It must be done as accurately as possible in order to avoid any misunderstandings. And remember: although the quality is not always dependent on price, a professional site cannot be cheap.
- Meet personally. After agreeing on the main points, itâ€™s advisable to arrange a personal meeting (or a video call using Skype or Viber). At the meeting, rate the professionalism of the designers in person and specify all the details left.
Hopefully, these tips will help you understand how to choose a website designer (or an agency) you need so much.
A list of questions you should ask
The following questions will come in handy to figure out whether the experts of a particular website design company are competent enough to accomplish tasks assigned to them.
Don’t hesitate to ask:
- Can we see your portfolio? Any respectable and professional web design company should be able to show you a selection of previously completed projects. Ask your possible contractors to demonstrate the three best sites they are proud of.
- Do you have another work which youâ€™d like to show us? Such a question is up to test potential partners forcing them to think in an unusual situation. The company refused to show anything more is automatically considered as a failed option.
- As you consider, which sites are most frequently visited by our target audience? The question allows assessing whether the agency is well prepared when keeping an appointment.
- Show us sites related to our sector which you really like. A good development company usually has in stock a few links to the interesting and cool websites of other organizations in your area. So youâ€™ll be able to see if your tastes coincide.
- Describe how (insert the desired feature) would work in terms of Adaptive Web Design. Modern people use a lot of devices. Your site needs to handle these tasks by adapting to the characteristics of any display (remember the design concept above in the article? That’s what good responsive design means!).
- Tell us about the most popular web design trends in the near future. There is no clear answer to this question. The design is an area that has been rapidly developing and constantly changing. So what is the answer you need to hear? The one which will blend sufficient share of intelligence, understanding current trends and common approaches to the modern Internet design. The detailed and smart answer would help you choose a web designer (freelancer or working on an agency) of really high qualifications.
- Do you ever use non-standard technical solutions, and when and why? Companies involved in the web industry should never be set at bay using only certain technical solutions. You ought to make sure that the website design agency has explored various schemes to successfully achieve project goals.
- How much time do you need to create a site? Ask what factors determine the duration of the site development. Let the designers sketch out all phases and stages of the process in a few words.
- Can people with disabilities (e.g., vision loss) use a company’s websites? You must know that every site can be built with hidden (invisible to others) capabilities making life easier for such people.
Another concept to inspire you
How to avoid mistakes in the process of finding a web design company? Prick up ears, if faced with one of the following situations when interacting with a potential contractor.
- A studio or a private designer discusses only site design not asking how your Internet resource should be associated with the company business, what tasks the site has to tackle, which target audience it needs to be oriented to.
- A business or e-commerce website should be aimed at making a profit, not at satisfying the aesthetic tastes of people who pay money for its creation.
- The website is built to meet the needs of site visitors in finding the information they want. And the tastes of visitors can be different from the tastes of the company owner ordering the online portal.
- Find out whether the designers of the studio are smart enough to study out your business and create a site, which will contribute to your company’s development.
- The web studio doesn’t stipulate any conditions to ensure your site’s operability.
- A web design agency finds difficulty in answering the question about the time of the website creation even after receiving all content and technical specifications. Representatives of worthy web design company names always indicate the deadlines of each development stage.
- A web Studio offers to host a site on its own hosting, ie on its server, without guaranteeing the work capacity of your online resource when moving it to another hosting.
- What would you do if there is a necessity to transfer the site to another hosting for any reason? Would the site work on the new hosting (server) or would you have to redesign it again?
- On the official website, there are no materials designed to familiarize you with the approach of the Internet design company to creating sites. By choosing such a studio, you buy a “pig in a poke”.
- A site of the studio consisting of only a few pages holds a high position in the ranking, but the number of site visitors and a number of viewed Internet pages are almost the same. Most likely, there was a cheat counter of site visitors.
Any of these points is a reason to reflect on the level of professionalism of the company. And maybe you should keep looking for the best option?
Now youâ€™re fully aware of how to hire a web designer or studio. But let’s briefly summarize!
- A firm interested in obtaining a competitive site, which brings a constant profit should discuss with developers not only site design, but also business matters (which are related to web design, of course).
- Donâ€™t forget that the quality of a cooperative website is a criterion of the level of the company itself and its business. So choose a website designer or studio wisely and without a rush.
- In any field, there are specialists with different skills: higher and lower. And this is true for web studios too. Pick the best website design company whose skill level is not lower than yours.
We hope we answered how to choose a web design company correctly. If you still have any questions, feel free to ask! Weâ€™re always ready to help.
And if you’d like to build or update your online resource, we’re happy to provide our website design services.
Contact us, and let’s start our successful web design collaboration!