Hiring a web designer is not an easy task, especially when you don’t know where to start. Not all websites are built the same, and sometimes, just because someone has the title “Web Designer” on their resume does not qualify them to build their website.
If you are in the market for a Web Designer, here are 10 red flags you can look out for to know if your web designer is qualified or not.
1.Your Web Designer Does not educate you.
As much as you want your designer to do what you want. He should also have a voice of his own and be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t. He should help you make educated decisions in terms of what platforms would work for you and what features are necessary.While it’s important for your web designer to listen to you, and you may know your business, but your website needs to be designed by someone who understands web design standards. If a web designer/agency does nothing but nod their heads and produce an exact replica of what you say, then you aren’t getting your money’s worth. Your designer must be able to bring exciting ideas to the table.
2. Your Web Designer does not communicate frequently.
While building your website, you should be in contact with your web designer all through the process. Your web designer should be in contact with you weekly if not daily updates of the development. If they don’t, demand dates, milestones, and good communication.
3. They don’t ask enough questions
Your web designer should ask you lots of questions. They should fully understand your business by the time they start working on the website. They should know your vision ,target audience, competitors, marketing strategies etc… Questions should start during the initial kickoff meeting, and then continue throughout the strategy phase of your project.
At maison Interactive all our projects (big and small) start with a detailed questionnaire, sometimes 7 pages long. We also set aside time for as many kickoff meetings as possible. We want to know you, we want to understand your business. And we think it’s important to take that time to fully understand your goals before embarking on any project.
4. Your Web Designer has different goals.
Before starting any web design project, it’s a good idea to write down your main goal for the site. Is it to sell merchandise ? Then the E-commerce capability should work flawlessly , and everything else should be built around it. Is it to educate people, or raise awareness? Then the organization of the content for the website should be prepared first and then everything follows. Building websites is one of those areas where Form follows Function. And not the other way around.
5. Your Web Designer has no written agreement, no detailed and agreed on scope of work.
Before any project starts, your web developer should present you with a detailed scope of work. This will make sure that you are both on the same page as concerning what is expected from each party. That you both have the same goals. You should also receive a terms of agreement, that details what they will be able to do, payment terms and more importantly ownership of the created work.
6. Your Web Designer presents no frameworks.
Web Design is not one of those things that you can just start dig in and start coding. You need a proper framework to ensure that you meet all the goals before starting the build. Before designing any pages, your web designer/ team should map out and wireframe each page of your website and get your approval before designing and developing. This ensures that there are no major surprises towards the end of the project.
7. Your Website is not Responsive.
It’s 2016! If your web designer/agency isn’t well-versed in responsive design or suggests a separate mobile website is always better, then they’re probably not right for you.
A web designer needs to keep up with the latest technology and modern design trends. They need to be familiar with parallax scrolling, flat design, responsive, and dozens of other styles and elements. Of course, that doesn’t mean they should just push all the newest fads on your website There needs to be a balance between what’s modern and what works. A website has to do more than just have all the latest fads.
8. Your Web Designer, does not share the website credentials after the site is done.
You own the site after the project (unless earlier agreed on). Therefore you should receive all the login credentials. Some web designers are terrified of losing clients or setting them free to manage their own sites. So they make it impossible for clients to add or change content.
9. Your web designer is the cheapest in the market.
Well, we know this will ruffle some feathers. Websites, just like cars is one of those things where you get what you pay for. Your website is one of the most vital pieces of your business. This is not an area where you can afford to cut corners. Creating websites takes a lot of time, and when properly built it’s a team effort, with user experience designers and interaction designers and different developers involved. If you want awesome, be prepared to pay for awesome! As a rule of thumb a good website should not cost less than 100,000 ksh. If you still think your website should be under 100,000ksh, eventually you will come crawling back to the web designer that was too expensive.