Every business will benefit from a website, despite what they may think! For those without a physical location, it will be the forefront of your business, and your online reputation is often seen as the deciding factor for most people.
Therefore, if you value your business, you should hire a professional to build your website. However, when you’re on the other side of a computer, you have no idea whether the person (or company) you hired is any good or not!
We often get contacted by people who are unhappy with their current web designer and want us to take over. We get complimented about several things and they explain why they prefer us to them. Therefore, we thought we would put together an article with all the qualities people appreciate about us!
The website designer you choose should possess these qualities to ensure you have a pleasant experience when building your website.
It goes without saying that your website designer should have a proven track record and be experienced as well as qualified. It’s easy to set up as a design business nowadays and start telling people how wonderful you are at developing cutting-edge sites. However, what people say is not always true!
Our advice is not to just look at the online portfolios on view, but to delve a little deeper. For instance, how long have they been operating? Do they have local, national, or international clients? Have these clients left reviews for them? Do they have a physical office space where you can visit and view their professional setup?
- Technically Competent
You should be able to view the live sites the developer has worked on and get at least some idea of how technically competent they are. Have a look through their portfolio and if you start finding images that are pixelated or misplaced on the page, or content that looks amateurish and other technical issues, it may be better to look elsewhere. If you want your website developed in a particular framework, check out their previous work in that framework so you can check their specific skills.
- Skills Up-To-Date
Web design is moving quickly and there are always innovations and challenges just around the corner. You want a company that is always updating its skills level and isn’t stuck two or three years in the past. One recent change is the move towards responsive design – that means your site looks great on a variety of devices, particularly mobile. Then there is the number of businesses that are now producing their own dedicated apps in conjunction with their web pages. Check out how on point your website developer is with current trends and don’t be afraid to ask them how they keep up to date!
- WC3 Compliant
While it might not be on the top of your list of important things to get right with your business website, it should be for your designer. WC3 compliance is about ensuring that your website demonstrates good practice and has all the appropriate coding and design aspects in place.
Not only does that keep you on the right side of compliance, it will also improve your performance when it comes to search engines like Google.
- Honest and Open
Not all qualities are about having the best technical experience and a good portfolio. You ideally want a website developer who is going to be straight with you and who can answer your questions honestly. That makes for a strong working relationship and should ensure you get the site that you want at the price you have settled on. Transparency is a key to trust, as you definitely don’t want any nasty surprises halfway through your website build.
- Good Listening Skills
Many developers tend to think they know best and some will even use the same techniques and designs over and over again and still call it ‘bespoke’. What you require, however, is someone who will deliver a genuine tailored solution to your needs. That means your web designer needs to have some pretty good interpersonal skills and be able to listen and understand what you are trying to achieve. How accurately they can translate your brief is important, as they will also be able to make amendments quickly and effectively.
- Able to Work to Deadlines
Of course, if you’ve set out your development plan, you’re going to be operating to deadlines. You don’t want a web designer who’s constantly playing catch up and has to be pestered to produce their work on time. Make sure that the designer you choose has the time and energy to commit to the job at hand and deliver when you need it. Clearly set out deadlines for them and allow time for amendments. They shouldn’t have any problems with this as meeting clients’ deadlines should be extremely important to them.
- Easily Contactable
Another thing you probably don’t want is for your web designer to disappear off the radar. If they are hard to contact, it can certainly be frustrating particularly when you need to get things done quickly. People may consider it to be a small thing compared to other qualities, but it directly relates to reliability. Plus, it will be super annoying, especially as you start to approach deadlines!
- Long-Term Relationship
As the technology changes, and it seems to be doing so a lot more rapidly nowadays, your website will need to change. Forging a long-term relationship with a developer is important. It means that when you do need to make changes or revamp your site, they are already in the loop and understand your requirements. Web developers who have lots of clients they have long-term relationships with already would suggest they are reliable and good.
- Value for Money
Finally, there are a lot of cheap web development offers out there and they can seem attractive, especially to new businesses. If you’re working on a tight budget, it’s always worth remembering that your website is the lynchpin of your business. It’s better to up your budget a little and get value for money rather than skimp on the costs and end up with a site that isn’t fit for purpose.
In web design, as in all things, you usually get what you pay for.