A creative and reliable web designer is a must-have for any growing business. For many customers, your website will be their first point of contact – so you’ll need to make a good impression. Without a strong online presence, your company can get lost in the shuffle quickly, particularly if you’re in a saturated field.

Selecting the right web designer for your brand can be a daunting task. With so many designers and independent agencies on the market right now, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices and find the right fit. Here are the key factors you should look at when choosing a web designer.

They care about your business and ideas.

While it’s important for your web designer to be creative and bring new ideas to the table, ultimately, they are there to bring your vision to life. Look for a web designer who is willing to really get to know your business by asking thoughtful questions. They should also be ready to listen to any ideas you have and work with you to build the site. The final product needs to be an excellent representation of your brand.

They have a full portfolio of live websites

When selecting your web designer, you’ll need to look carefully through their portfolio to get an indication of their design skills. Ideally, your designer will have plenty of experience and an established reputation. It is important to make sure their portfolio contains live website links and not just screenshots. This will give you an idea of how their sites function, not just how they look.

You will also need to look at how versatile your designer is. Have they worked with companies of different sizes and in different industries? This is a good indication they’ll be adaptable and able to handle a broad range of challenges. Their portfolio should also feature plenty of on-trend, modern designs. You should feel confident your designer can create an end product that is current and relevant.

When browsing your designer’s portfolio, ask them if they did their own graphic design or copywriting for any of the projects, in addition to the programming. While many designers offer these services, some do not. If your designer can’t provide copy or graphics, make sure they can refer you to someone who does.

They are experienced with WordPress and other key CMS systems

Today’s web designers need to be familiar with CMS systems like WordPress, Shopify, Magento, Joomla, and more. These CMS systems make it much easier to update your site in the future. They also make it easier to add plugins like contact forms, ecommerce features, forums, and more.

When selecting a web designer, you should also ask them if they offer ongoing maintenance for your site. Some designers offer maintenance as part of their package, while others do not or will charge an additional fee. CMS systems like WordPress make it easier to update the site on your own, but you may still need guidance from your designer to do so.

They offer responsive, mobile-friendly design

It is estimated over half of total web traffic these days comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Because of this, a mobile-friendly website is no longer something just nice to have – it’s a necessity. Your designer should be able to create a website that is optimized for both desktop and mobile, instead of creating two separate sites.

They have experience with digital marketing

Having a great website is only part of the recipe for digital success. You also need to make sure your target audience can find it, and for that, you’ll need a designer that has digital marketing knowledge. At the very least, they’ll need to be SEO friendly with today’s best practices, which will help your site rank highly on Google and other popular search engines. Experience with social media, PPC marketing, and email marketing are also a plus. This streamlines your entire launch process and ensures your marketing materials correlate with your website.

They are transparent

It is incredibly frustrating to work with a designer who can’t communicate clearly about their work. Ideally, your designer should be transparent about their process and what they can offer you. They should also be very up-front about their pricing. Keep in mind the cheapest web designers typically don’t offer much value. Your website is an important representation of your company, so this isn’t the place to skimp on the budget.

To learn more about Web Design, contact Outside The Box Design at (860)375-0297. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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Noah Vertefeuille

Noah Vertefeuille is a marketing genius. He has an uncanny ability to see opportunities where others don't and create businesses out of thin air. He is the CMO of OTBM.io, a company that helps small businesses achieve their online marketing goals. Noah is also a serial entrepreneur and father of three. He's always looking for more efficient ways to get things done, and he loves using technology to make life easier. When he's not working or spending time with his family, Noah enjoys brewing beer and hobby farming.