What To Look For In A Good Web Designer Before You Hire Them

Written by Nick Leffler | 2 Comments | 7 min read

Home » The Online Presence Blog » Web Design » What To Look For In A Good Web Designer Before You Hire Them

It’s a daunting task looking for a good web designer for a new website or modifying your current website. Even as a challenge it’s one of those things you have to deal with to run a business.

Hopefully, you have a trusted person to work on your website but if you haven’t asked them these questions, you should.

In other words, not all web designers are equal. That means it’s an absolute must to find a good one from the start.

Even if you have someone that does your web design, you may want to ask these questions still. Click To Tweet

This guide will help you decide what to look for in a good web designer. It will help you ask those important questions to give you the confidence you made the right choice.

Each section consists of a question you can ask and what type of answer to look for. Let’s get started!

Download the convenient printable checklist to ask the right questions when hiring a web designer.

Doesn’t Lock You In

Question: If I’m not able to get a hold of you someday, will I be able to go to another designer and have them pick your work up without an issue?

Answer: The answer should touch upon an open content management system (CMS) and that they use best practices that anybody would understand. Ideally, a web designer uses a well-known CMS to allow content to be easily added and edited.

Clarify: There’s, unfortunately, no precise answer to look for but you can ask point-blank if the system used will lock you in. There are better open source systems than others but that’s for another post. The most common systems are WordPress (by far the largest), Joomla, and Drupal. Most of the Internet runs on one of those three systems.

Make sure you’re getting a website that doesn’t lock you in. A website that you can take with you to another designer/developer, and a website that allows you to make minor changes if necessary.

Not Obsessed With Trends

Question: Do you always go with the latest design trends or do you strike a balance between the new and the familiar?

Answer: No, I don’t always go with the newest design. I focus on functional designs that is both pleasing to the eye but more important works well for visitors and meeting your business goals.

Clarify: Trends are great to get inspiration from but in the real world, they rarely are functional for a business. All websites need a business goal and focusing on aesthetics only is a great way to spend a lot of money on something that won’t pay for itself. A website isn’t an expense nor should it be, it should be a money-making asset.

If a trend exists, data should exist to justify it. Trends backed by data are the most important trends to look at. Some web designers look at good web design as an art only, creating websites to look beautiful. Beauty doesn’t help a business accomplish its goal though. The main place beauty has on a business website is to build trust, other than that it is a secondary need that has little monetary value.

Adds Value

Question: Will I be able to tell you exactly what I want in a website and you will make it come to life?

Answer: I will be able to make your wish for your website come to life but that won’t help you. I have built websites that help businesses succeed online for several years so I will let you know when things aren’t going in the right direction and what direction to move in.

Clarify: A good web designer doesn’t work at a fast food restaurant where people order what they want from a menu. Each project is unique and there’s a lot of subtle knowledge behind web design. A good web designer won’t take orders, they’ll add value to make sure your website meets its goals.

Take Care of Things

Question: Will you take care of things or do I need to give you anything?

Answer: I will make sure we’re on the same page with what you need and what I’ll take care of. If you don’t have everything you need then we can talk about how I can help you get that. I have a lot of connections so I can help take care of anything you need for your website.

Clarify: You’re paying for a good web designer which means you should get somebody who takes care of everything. A good web designer is a piece of the puzzle for putting together a business brand online BUT they should be well versed in everything that goes into it and find people that will take the pressure off you.

Understands the Business Need

Question: How do you decide what my business needs when designing my website?

Answer: I start by interviewing you to learn about what your goals are and if there are any current pain points. After learning about the business pains I formulate my web design solution around those problems to make sure your website successfully helps your business.

Clarify: Sometimes you’re starting with a new website. It’s still possible to focus on business needs, though. A new website should start with determining what the goal is for the new website.

The key to the answer to this question in both circumstance is in the question. You’re looking for an answer that shows they’re thinking about the business goal of your website. If you get an umm or an answer not well thought out, you may be in danger.

Shows Their Work

Question: Do you have examples of your designs on your website?

Answer: I have a portfolio on my website with many examples of my work. Not only that but my website is a great example of my abilities.

Clarify: Take a good look at their website. Browse through their pages because this can be an important sign of how well they are going to solve your business problems. Make sure you look at all their examples but also go in-depth on some.

Don’t look at the samples in the portfolio only from a visual standpoint. A good web designer should have a portfolio not only with visual examples of their designs but also with a good case study on the reasoning behind everything. They should not only show the end product but show the work that went into it and why they made certain decisions.

Keeps Relevant Skills Updated

Question: Do you keep your skills relevant to make sure your skills are keeping up with modern Internet users?

Answer: Yes. As you may know, many Internet users view websites from their mobile devices. That means I put a heavy focus on giving visitors the same experience on your website no matter what device they are using at the moment. Not only that, but I am on the leading edge of designing websites that succeed in accomplishing your business goals.

Clarify: The Internet is a rapidly changing place and a good web design must stay updated with those changes. It’s unacceptable for a web designer to have one year of experience 20 times. It’s necessary to have 20 years of experience that have evolved and are unrecognizable from the beginning years or even the last 5.

Does your web designer have 20 years of experience or 1 year 20 times? Click To Tweet

Make sure your web designer understands how important mobile is to web design. Not only that but they need to be well versed in tools to convert visitors into leads that grow your business.

Get a Good Web Designer

Those are all the questions I have for you to ask a web designer when looking for a good one. I will also have a helpful checklist soon that you can download. This checklist will give you these questions in an easy to read format and a space to document your answers.

Writing down the answers will help you figure out who is going to do the best job for your business. A website is your digital storefront and it often gives the first impression to your customers. If your website hasn’t been designed with business in mind, the most visually appealing website won’t matter.

If you already know exactly what must go on your website then it might be that affordable web design that doesn’t require the marketing aspect will work for you. Maybe you’ve already figured out the marketing part.

Sometimes more is required which is where I come in.  Exprance is a Sacramento web design and digital marketing agency that works with you every step of the way to develop the right content for your website which will attract visitors and convert them into leads. If you’re ready to talk then let us know you’re interested in learning more about working with us.

Download the free question checklist to hire a good web designer.

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Author Bio:

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Nick Leffler

Nick Leffler is the owner of Exprance, a Sacramento web design and digital marketing agency which helps businesses reach their customer online. Nick has grown his online presence with a small marketing budget by blogging, organic social media posting, and email marketing.

2 Comments

  1. Randall Tanaka on July 7, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Can you take a look at my website to see if you can modify it to help grow my business. I have had the website for 4 months and have not received one contact. Yuk!

    • mm Nick Leffler on July 7, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      I will take a look and contact you so we can discuss your current standing and future goals. Thanks for leaving a comment!

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