Step 1. Planning
While searching for the right web designer it is important to have a clear idea of what the role your new website will fill. Will it provide information to your customers? Will it serve the needs of your employees? Or will it include an online shopping ability for selling purposes?
The key information I would want to know from you would be:
– The role of your new website.
– The intended market or audience of your Website.
– Your budget.
With this information I would have a clear understanding of your requirements. Take time to consider what you expect from your website and the type of information you want to get across to your potential clients before you approach your website designer. This will save you and the designer a considerable amount of time and effort.
Step 2. Compile a list of designers
Creating a list of web designers will allow you to view a range of different designs and find the styles you like. Here are some techniques to help you in your search:
1. Search for website designers on the Internet – browse through websites specifically devoted to website design. Choose and compare at least three website designers to get an overall picture of what is available.
2. Check out a range of industry related websites – spend some time looking at other websites that may be related or is similar to your industry, choose a few different websites that you admire and look for the web design firm in the list of credits or contact the organization and ask for information about the designer. You could also find out if that organization is happy with the level of service they received.
3. Referrals – Ask friends, family and co-workers who they used to design their website. Ask them if they were satisfied with the service they received and if the completed designs were what they expected. Ask if they feel they received value for money.
Step 3. Create a shortlist
From your initial list determine which web design service is best suited to your requirements and your project. The following guide will help you to choose 3-6 website designers:
a. Examine their websites
– Survey the projects in the portfolio and check for consistent quality.
– Ask who is responsible for the portfolio pieces you like the most, and check that these designers are still available.
– Ask if the web design service has created solutions for businesses similar to yours.
– Find out which country the design service operates from.
b. Find out their design process
– Find out if the web design service offers a standard process for developing web sites.
– Do they take the time to understand your web site goals and offer a solid planning proposal.
c. Determine what other products/services the firm can offer
– Look for added-value products or extra services the design service can offer.
– Make contact with the web design services that are on your shortlist
Step 4. Secure quotes from each design service
Obtain quotes from the remaining design services so you can compare the quality of design and service to make an informed decision.
– Select the web designers you feel offer the best web design options and services.
– Supply the same information to each web design service and ask for a quote to create your web site.
– Make sure their quote includes an overview of your requirements, a description of their development process and their web solutions for your business – you can determine if they understand your requirements.
– Ask for a breakdown of costs so you can compare cost against other web design services.
Step 5. Evaluate the proposals
Time spent reviewing and comparing each proposal will help you decide which website design service is best suited to your business requirements.
– Examine each proposal individually.
– Check out how well the web design service presented their web design proposal.
– Keep a checklist for each proposal; look for strengths and weaknesses.
– Compare each proposal – compare the presentation, the content and check if they satisfy your business needs and goals.
– Once you have made your decision, advise the design services that did not succeed and let them know why you decided not to choose their proposal.
– Finally contact the successful design service and tell them the good news.