As with every business, there are trade secrets of which the general public is unaware. Whether its overcharging for time or materials or having the work done by unqualified workers, every business sector has ways of winning projects and attaining higher margins. The web design business is no exception. Here are three secrets your web designer doesn’t want you to know. Knowing these tricks of the trade can save you a lot of time, stress and money.
Your Web Designer’s “Portfolio” May Be Highly Misleading
If you look at your web designer’s portfolio and you see projects that seem well above the skill level of the designer, be very suspicious. For example, if your web designer’s portfolio has examples of websites for large corporations or contains sophisticated order/reservation processing systems, ask your web designer to clarify exactly he did on the project. Likewise, a web designer who has a very impressive client list might be using this list to exaggerate what she actually did for those businesses. Such code words as “consulting” or “design work” are often generously used by designers when all she really did was talk with her friend who works for the company and give a few color suggestions. A professional web designer will welcome your questions and never hesitate to answer questions about her skills or portfolio.
Your Web Designer Might Not Have Even Made His Website
A designer needs to have a compelling website to attract new customers. Unfortunately, many individual web designers, especially those who do design work part-time, often use a template for their own website. Flash websites-many of those that have nifty moving graphics and audio-are often a signal that the website of your designer might actually be a template. They look great, of course, but a true, fully-functional Flash website is beyond the skills of most individual web designers.
What’s the harm? Well, if your web designer can’t even make her own website from the bottom-up, how can she have the skills to make your website? How can you as a prospective client know? Ask! Also look for parts of the website that seem out-of-date or not fully functional. Look for text that isn’t styled correctly and graphics which don’t seem to fit the overall design of the website.
Your Web Designer Might Not Even Make Your Website
It’s not uncommon for a web design and web programming work to be subcontracted. For a large, complicated website, it can almost be expected.
The problem with your web developer not making your small to medium-size website is that you are unlikely going to be have long-term support for your website. That is, if your web designer is unable to make your website in-house, it is very unlikely he will be able or unwilling to make changes and updates to your website in the future.
Using templates for your web design can also be problematic. Again, if your webmaster does not have the skills or time to make your website from the ground up, how much ability or desire will he have to make changes and updates to your website in the future? Besides, why would you want a website that will look like a dull, unoriginal template design?
Choosing a web designer requires much more than looking for the lowest price. Like most industries, there are tricks of the trade that can have a big impact on your ability to have a great result. Be sure to ask a lot of questions. Namely: 1) Can you tell me what you actually did on each website in your portfolio?, 2) Did you build your own website from the bottom-up?, and 3) Do you subcontract work on websites or intend to use a template on my website? The answers to these three questions can go a long way to ensuring that your web design process results in a great website.