It’s been over a decade since I started working professionally as a graphic designer and I have learned so much not only from my colleagues but also from my clients. One of the things we all seem to have heard repeatedly is how frustrated a client is with a past designer or web developer. Website development should be a transparent, rewarding process that leaves you with a beautiful, functional website. And the process shouldn’t be a pain in the you-know-what…

In the graphic design and website development industry there is a wide range of service providers…and I mean double-wide. I’ve carefully selected (and been blessed with) some amazing web developers and I’m crazy proud to have them on my team, but that didn’t just happen. It took a lot of years and growing pains (and dollars) to find those hidden gems.

I’ve dealt with the frustrations of not having a website completed on time or on budget, gotten confused by the ever-evolving processes and even just had developers fall off of the face of the planet when I was trying to complete a project.

All too often, my team and I hear that our clients have had all of the same disappointments and frustrations, so I wanted to share what we’ve learned so everyone can have a better experience creating a website for their business.

HOW TO HIRE A WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT TEAM / WEB DEVELOPER

1. KNOW WHAT YOU NEED (and what you can live without)

Having a clear plan when heading into any project is step number 1! I can’t stress this one enough. Take the time to sit down with your thoughts, a pen and some paper (and turn off that TV!). It’s time to get into the mindset of your target market and how you think they will navigate your website. Remember to give them important information and make the online experience as simple and straightforward as possible.

Even if you’re not sure about something or need help finalizing the framework for your website, it’s better to come up to the plate with something rather than nothing. Our website development team can help you organize your thoughts and ideas into a clear plan that sets the foundation for a fantastic website.

2. PAY ATTENTION TO PRICING

Low prices should be a red flag (why do you think sale signs are red?). If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is. There are a lot of details and pixels that need attention when building a website in order to have it work properly and engage your audience. Throwing that job to the lowest bidder is a little like playing Russian Roulette….it’s just a bad idea.

While price doesn’t always indicate higher quality, you do get what you pay for in most cases. We pride ourselves on being high-end web developers and designers. What does that mean, exactly? Not only will my team build you a completely custom, beautifully designed website that is easy-to-use…we will ensure you are running the most updated software and also check themes and plug-ins for any possible conflicts (and we’ll fix them!). So, when it comes to website development, be sure you pay attention to pricing.

3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS

WE LOVE QUESTIONS! As most website development studios should. Questions allow us to understand your needs and better serve you as a client. Whether it’s something regarding the proposal, process or finished product, we’re happy to answer anything you ask.

4. SERIOUSLY, THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS

No matter who you hire to build your website, they should be able to answer any of your questions. Want to change a font? Need to learn how to upload content? Something seem amiss? There’s a lot of information and infrastructure that goes into a website and the more questions you ask, the more you understand how it all works.

We want you to be comfortable throughout the website development process, so PLEASE, ask as many questions as you want. We’re always happy to help!

5. MAKE SURE IT’S MOBILE

When you hire a website developer, make sure to look closely at their portfolio and any sites they have live linked to. It’s important to see their work not only as part of their portfolio but also as live, functioning entities. ALSO, be sure you view their live work on a variety of devices to make sure that their work is responsive (designs and functions properly on mobile devices!). More and more websites are being viewed on-the-go from phones and tablets, so it is important to make sure your website development team can build a mobile responsive website.

For us, it’s not an add-on, it’s just something we do. Any website that you create with us, will automatically be mobile responsive (and look great doing it!).

6. MAKE SURE THEY’RE EXTRA

Want to make sure you’re hiring the BEST website developer you can? Make sure they’re giving you more than just a website. (More, what? they’re web developers…what more could they have to offer?!).

Well, I’m glad you asked. With every website we build we’re on the lookout for ways we can improve your experience as well as the user experience. We comb through your framework and content to find areas where we can implement lead captures or forms, enhance the user experience and even boost conversion rates. Can your web developer do that?

BONUS! WE’RE HAPPY WHEN YOU’RE HAPPY

Perhaps one of the most important things to look for when hiring ANYONE, whether it’s for website development, graphic design or monkey juggling…make sure that they’re invested in getting it RIGHT. Theres nothing worse than getting part way through a project only to discover that the person or company you’ve hired is only interested in taking your money. They’ve gotten you to pay a deposit and now they’re behind schedule, not responding to communications and not producing the quality work you were hoping for.

Heavens to Betsy wants to make sure that you’re 110% satisfied with your website that’s why we work with partners like Simply Styled Sites and Illuminous Marketing to make sure we get the job done right, the first time. After working with our team, you’ll have a custom designed, fully functional, SEO optimized website that you’ll be PROUD to show off. If you want to learn more about our website development offerings, feel free to contact us! We’re always eager to meet new people and take on new challenges.

Betsy Holt

Author Betsy Holt

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