One of the main reasons why I started this blog and build my business was to try and help as many small businesses transition online without being too caught up in the jargon and/or be ripped off by inexperienced web professionals. Ok, so I may be a little bias with this post but my aim here is to ultimately save you (business owners) time and money.
A little while ago I spoke to a business owner while getting some work done. After he asked what I did for a living I told him. The man then confessed that his (not so great) website was a bargain for $1000. Now as a web designer & developer myself I knew that what he had for a website was not worth that amount and would have taken a couple of hours to make at most.
I know this happens a lot.
Now there are hundreds if not thousands of web design companies in New Zealand and ensuring that the one your friend’s cousin recommended will actually give you the results you need can be a bit hard to decipher. Also, because the web space allows anyone to be who they want to be, it’s crucial the ensuring that what you’re viewing is genuine and credible.
So let’s take a look at a few key factors which I have listed out in order or priority.
1. Experience / Portfolio
3. Knowledge / Experience
#1 Experience & Portfolio
This is often true for quite a lot of professions but the first is what have they done previously and does it look reputable? If they don’t at least have a website, don’t deal with them at all. If they can’t even get themselves online how are they ever going to get YOU online? Same goes for those who don’t have their own domain or use a networking site to upload their work.
When you view their portfolio; see whether their designs and layouts reflect the type of style you’re looking for. Visit those websites and test out the usability. Can you easily get the information you’re looking for? Is it quick to load? Ensure that their portfolio is of real, actual websites, not just copied templates.
So you’ve found a company/web designer you really like the look of. Now let’s run them through the results test. Ask them directly what results or case studies they have to prove they are ‘amazing at SEO’. Where do they currently rank in Google for SEO? Are they results based? What do guarantee do you get if any? If they’re a web designer, do they have recent examples and a structured process which includes a project specification. Ask them how they work.
If they’re supposedly amazing on social media then find out how many followers they have. How engaged are their fans?
#3 Knowledge and Experience
This is about ensuring that they walk the walk. Although in today’s world being a web designer/developer having a degree or certification has no bearing on a person’s ability to create an amazingly functional design. In fact, I’ve learnt over the years that the less people talk about their skill set and more about their projects, the better they usually are. Trying to convince a client of how much you know is never as effective as showing them what you’ve done for other people.
If you’re looking to grow your business search for value rather than price. It always pays off. If your designer also asks you about your traffic stats it means they’re looking to design based on data; not just what’s on trend at the moment.
It’s also important to know that generally speaking it doesn’t matter if you go for a freelancer or a web design team. What matters is the results, and the value they are able to generate for you for the price they’re offering.
Please sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of this page if you’re looking to get more Web Design / Marketing related info for small businesses delivered to your inbox.
*Please note that when I refer to ‘Web Professional’ or ‘Web Design Company’ I mean Web professionals that can do it all (Design, Build and Optimise & Market). Not specialised ‘Web Designers’. There are many terms and titles in the web industry today that it can be difficult to box titles into one group.
Liked this post? Check out my related posts below: