Making the decision to hire a professional website designer and getting the website of your dreams is exciting. It’s also a decision you can’t afford to rush. Here’s what you need to know before hiring a website designer.
The Goals of the Website
The first thing to know is the goals and purpose of the website. What do you need a website for? What kind of website is it? Some examples of the different kinds of websites are ecommerce sites, websites to offer advice and knowledge to others, websites where people can book and check appointments, and websites where you offer information about products and services.
Understanding the purpose of the website gives you an insight into the functionality you need for the site. For example, do you need to include a shopping cart and payment options? This is something a designer needs to know.
Do You Have a General Style in Mind?
Have you ever gone to a barber and shown them a picture of someone else with the hairstyle you want? You can do something similar when putting together a new website and hiring a designer. Are there websites that you like the look of and would like to pull elements from? You can use those sites as inspiration for your own.
Of course, you can’t exactly mimic a website like you can with a haircut. You still need to stand out and be unique. That’s why a great website designer will only use the source as an example rather than copying it completely.
Brainstorm Where You Want Photos to Come From
Every website needs images to go with the words. Pictures engage the audience and add extra details and information to what’s on screen. The problem is that these images must come from somewhere. Where do you plan on getting them from?
The easiest solution is stock images. There are plenty of websites where you can find all the images you want, such as Shutterstock. This does come with a risk of using the same pictures as everyone else. Another option is to use your own pictures. These are unique and better highlight your business, but they take time and effort to create. You might have to arrange a photoshoot with everyone to do it.
What’s Your Budget?
Budget is an important consideration for any project like this. How much money do you have to spend on the website? It might be more expensive than you expect, depending on the scope of your project. You should expect to pay upwards of $1,000 for a professionally designed and created website.
Websites are expensive to make because they take a lot of time to do properly. There are plenty of people willing to do it for cheaper, but the cheaper the site design service the more likely you’ll have to hire someone else to come in and fix it. It’s like hiring a cheap builder and then hiring a professional after. Another thing to consider is security. A professional website design company will know how to properly secure and backup your website, giving you peace of mind.
Not only does this waste a lot of time and money, but you could lose clients because of the initial bad impressions caused by misbranding and poor aesthetics. Everyone knows the importance of first impressions. Your website is likely the first thing most people will see connected to your business. It needs to stand out for all the right reasons.
What Pages Do You Need for the Site?
Websites are made up of a collection of pages. Think about what pages your website needs. This can also help you manage your budget. Do you need a checkout page for the site? You will if you plan on selling anything, but not if it’s just a blog with no products for people to buy. It’s important to think about what pages are needed to fulfill the goals of your site.
A “Testimonials” page is also something you could probably do without. Not many people open these pages because they don’t need to – and don’t want to – see a whole page of a business bragging. Save time, space, and money by including testimonials on product pages and home pages instead of having a dedicated corner of the website for them.
Think of the sitemap and how it all comes together to create a fully functioning website that has everything it needs and nothing more.
Consider the Tone of the Website
Design and tone go hand in hand. Design elements such as coloring, and branding evoke different emotional responses in visitors. Copy is another integral aspect of tone. What kind of copy do you want for the website? Are you looking for something cheesy and sarcastic or something more professional? Content is king so you need some high-quality copy ready for your website when it launches.
If you’re planning a redesign for your website rather than making a new one, now is your chance to go over the content and remove what you don’t like. Is there anything on the website that’s out of date and is dragging your website down? Now is the time to remove it and hire a copywriter to come up with something new to replace it.
When Do You Need the Website?
As mentioned before, it takes a lot of time and effort to make a high-quality website. Think about how long you have until the site needs to launch. If you need one fast, expect to pay more money for it. If you have time, then shop around and look for a perfect fit. If you need the website by a certain time, make sure the website design & development company knows and is confident they can complete the job on time. Communication is key, so make sure you’re upfront about what you need and expect.