Web design service providers help businesses like yours create responsive, high-quality websites. A business website is critical to any modern marketing strategy. If you want to compete, you need a web design service provider on your side.
There are nearly 8 million small businesses in the United States. And you can bet on it that each of these entities has an online presence.
Your website is the point of contact for your clients, customers, and colleagues. A well-designed website can increase your brand's trustworthiness and authority and generate more revenue. However, you must pick the right web design company to harness these benefits.
Today, we're helping you do just that with this guide. Keep reading for the top 15 mistakes businesses make when hiring web designers.
1. Not Hiring a Web Design Service in the First Place
If you are on a budget (more on this later), you may be tempted to DIY your website. However, the benefits of hiring professional web design services cannot be overstated.
- Do you know how to create a mobile-friendly website?
- Are you well-versed in the latest SEO best practices?
- Can you implement good UI and UX to increase customer engagement on your site?
If not, you need the help of a professional. Professional web designers know all the factors of a high-quality business website. And they have the website design tools and skills required to support your online marketing efforts.
2. Not Creating a Gameplan
Before hiring any service provider, you need to understand your website needs. Yes, web designers are experts in web design. But you are the expert on your brand.
Not defining your specific needs and goals upfront can result in a deliverable that doesn't meet your expectations. So, ensure you spell out the kind of website design you want, as well as any requests for special services like:
- Graphic design
If you have a clear vision of what you want but are still determining if it's possible, run your ideas by professionals. Your designer can help you know which ideas are realistic and which will cost you too much time or money.
3. Not Setting a Budget
Business budgets are getting tighter these days. Yet, that does not mean you should scrimp on web design services. Web designers are like many professionals; you get what you pay for.
That doesn't mean going with the most expensive design firm, either. High-end web design services are often better suited to enterprises. Or the firm may artificially inflate its prices to make you think you're getting better quality service than you are.
Setting a web design budget eliminates these problems. You will know exactly how much your business can pay for a web design service. Then, you can search for firms that meet that specific criteria.
4. Not Knowing What Services You're Paying For
We just mentioned that you must know what design services you need before setting a budget. When you sign an agreement with a firm, you must also understand exactly which services you pay for.
For example, some web designers only offer design services; they will not help you develop your website (more on this distinction later). This can be a significant setback if you want a fully-functional website instead of a design mockup.
Other factors to specify include but are not limited to the following:
- The number of pages you need
- The compatibility with devices
- The page load speed
Also, verify that any quotes you receive from web design firms include all costs. A lack of transparency about fees can be a major red flag.
5. Not Doing Your Due Diligence
Speaking of red flags, failing to do proper due diligence on a web design firm is another common mistake newbies make. Performing due diligence on your web designer of choice can help you dig up potential signs of a scam.
Start by researching the company. Is it a legitimate business employing qualified and experienced professionals? Does the firm have a lot of BBB complaints from former clients?
Next, check out reviews from former clients. Reviews featured on the firm's website are helpful but could be cherry-picked. That's why you should also check out reviews on trusted sites like Google and Yelp.
It's also a great time to check out the designer's portfolio (if they don't have one, this is another major red flag). Make sure you do more than browse snapshots. Visit the websites in real-time to get a feel for their usability and aesthetics.
Finally, schedule a consultation to ask whether the firm outsources its design work to cheap laborers. Do they request payment upfront? If the answer is yes, it's another red flag.
6. Not Paying Attention to Customer Service
When working with a web design company, the customer service department may be your point of contact. So, ensure you feel supported by the customer representatives before picking a web designer.
Your relationship with your web designer will likely be long-term. You could love the work the design firm does. But if the customer service experience could be better and more manageable, the deliverable may not be worth the stress.
7. Not Choosing a Firm With SEO Experience
Web designers are experts in web design. But in today's day and age, they should also have experience with SEO best practices, including:
- Keyword research and usage
- Fast website loading speed
- Responsive web design
- Locally-optimized keywords
- Mobile-friendly design
- Authoritative and trustworthy content
- Backlinks and internal links
If you don't hire a web designer to do your SEO, you will eventually have to pay someone to optimize your website for search. It's less costly to get it all done in one go.
Ideally, a web design firm can provide proven results from its SEO tactics. That way, you have proof that your small investment in optimizing your site will pay off in the long run.
8. Not Looking at the Web Designer's Website
This one should be a no-brainer. Web designers specialize in beautiful, easy-to-use web designs. If their site needs to be more professional or updated, this could be a sign that you will receive similar results.
Also, consider whether or not you even like the site's design. The odds are that the designer created the website's look and feel. Another web designer may better fit you if you don't vibe with their style.
Of course, do not let the website turn you away from a company you love. Professional designers should not create websites using a standard template. They should customize every website for each unique client they serve.
9. Not Thinking About Analytics
Modern businesses are data-driven businesses. Your brand's website should be, too.
You're hiring a website designer to improve your online presence. Yet, how do you know if you're getting ROI from your new web design without tracking the results?
Website analytics helps businesses understand how clients and customers engage with their websites. And this will enable you to make effective changes to optimize your online presence for conversions.
10. Not Picking a Firm With Customizable Service Packages
Getting the complete package may sound better when it comes to web design. But what if a firm's complete package fails to meet your needs?
Instead, go with a designer offering customizable service selections. That way, you only have to pay for what you need.
Customizable services are even more essential for businesses on a tight budget. You can pay for the services you need now and add new services as your company and your revenues grow.
11. Not Understanding the Difference Between the Types of Designers
Being a web designer can encompass many different skills. Some web design firms specialize in user experience (UX), user interfacing (UI), or both. Others may have more expertise in graphic design.
You could go with multiple types of web design professionals. Or you could work with a firm offering all these services in one place.
Knowing the distinction between web developers and web designers is also essential. Developers focus on your website's backend (coding, functionality). Meanwhile, designers are all about usability, aesthetics, and branding.
Again, many web designers also provide development services. Before deciding on a web design company, you know which services you can access.
12. Not Comparing Your Options
Comparing different web design companies is critical, especially if you want to get the best rate. Contact multiple reputable designers and request quotes for the services you need.
Remember: do not make your decision on cost alone. Compare each company based on the services you receive for the price they quote. That way, you will understand which option offers the most value.
13. Not Incorporating a CMS
SEO is critical for modern business websites, and content marketing is essential to SEO. That is why you need a Content Management System (CMS).
CMSs not only allow you to manage your website's content. You can also make updates to your website's landing pages without needing the assistance of a professional developer or designer.
Another vital thing to note here is to consider website ownership. Make sure your chosen web designer does not use hard coding. Hard-coded websites are virtually impossible to update without the web designer's assistance–even with a CMS.
14. Not Considering Ongoing Maintenance
The online world is constantly changing, and your business website should change with the trends. Unfortunately, you can not always make all the updates you need on your CMS. You still need occasional assistance from your web designer.
Good web design firms offer ongoing maintenance services for this very reason. Some designers include ongoing maintenance in their initial quotes. But make sure to check with your design firm of choice.
Long-term maintenance is another reason to hire the right designer in the first place. You will have an ongoing relationship with the firm. Choosing the wrong web design service provider could mean future headaches for you.
15. Not Setting Clear Deliverables and Deadlines
When a business hires a web designer, neglecting to establish clear deliverables and deadlines is a big mistake.
When you create your project game plan, detail the type of deliverable you want, and remember that some designers only offer mockups. If you expect a fully-functional website, set that expectation from the get-go.
Setting clear and firm deadlines is just as important. But always be realistic with any deadlines you set.
Expecting tight turnaround times can end up hurting your site. After all, you incentivize the web designer to cut corners to finish on time.
Collaborate with your chosen design firm to create turnaround times that work for you and the designer.
Searching for a Web Design Service Provider?
Finding the right web design service provider for your small business doesn't have to be complicated. Avoid making the 15 mistakes we listed above to make finding a new web designer less stressful this year.
Are you looking for a web design firm for your site? Binary Glyph specializes in designing beautiful and searchable websites for small businesses like yours. Book a call with us today to find out if we're the right web design service for you!