Is your old website starting to look a little drab? Or perhaps you’re considering building your first site to help customers find you online? A modern website is an essential marketing tool in 2022, giving your audience the best first impression of your business – but it’s also a big responsibility. If you want to find the best website designer within your budget, but don’t know where to start, here’s a list of steps to set you on the right path.
1. Define Your Needs
Before contacting local website designers, it’s a good idea to make a list of your needs and wants – particularly if multiple stakeholders wish to be involved in the process.
How does your website need to function? What role will it serve in your business? Does your website need to integrate with other programs, like accounting software? Or is it simply a “brochure” for your company with contact information? Will this change in the future?
Creating a clear picture of what you need from your website will make it easier to find the right website designer for your project. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to website design, so look for designers with experience building sites that have similar functionality to what you’re after.
2. Determine Design Concept
While any experienced website designer can help you finesse the look and feel of your digital presence, it’s worthwhile thinking about what you want for your site.
What demographic is your target audience? What impression do you want to make with your website? Are you looking for something fresh, fun and playful? Or high-end, elegant and modern? Noting down a few words that capture your ideal website will help your designer and ensure you stay true to your concept.
Another way to pinpoint your design preferences is by collecting websites you like and noting what you like about them. They could be competitor sites or completely unrelated to your industry, but it all helps to paint a picture.
When considering your design, you should also think about the process itself. How involved would you like to be in the build? Are you happy to leave the creative process to the designer and wait until the final draft to make amendments? Or do you want to sign off on each step of the design process? Importantly, you should also decide which aspects of the design are the priority and which should be cut if budget becomes an issue.
The best web designers will be able to use this information to create a unique site that is tailored to your business. During the exploratory process, they’ll also be able to let you know how achievable different aspects of your concept are and discuss how various iterations might impact the total cost.
3. Know Your Budget
Commissioning a website may be an expense, but when determining your budget, think about the new site in terms of a marketing tool and advertising investment.
Consider how many new leads you might expect to get from the site and what the average lead is worth to your business. If investing in your website resulted in an additional 5% of sales each month, what would that equate to over the course of a year? Two years?
With your prioritised list of needs and wants (from the last step) in hand, you’ll be in the best position to find a happy medium with your website designer.
4. Find Your Website Designer
Now that you know your budget and what you’re looking for, it’s time to begin reaching out to website designers. Whether you look for a local designer or you’re happy to go further afield is a personal choice, but there are a few things to consider.
National companies have more clients and bigger marketing pots, so they will usually be more competitive in price. However, they tend to adopt a “churn and burn” approach that prioritises quantity over quality. Local web designers may charge more, but they also depend on their reputation to bring in new business, so you’re likely to get better results.
Finding a local website designer isn’t always easy, as many are so busy working for clients that they don’t spend much time marketing their services. That being said, any reputable web designer will have their own website listed on Google. Searching “website designer near me” is a good starting point.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on the websites of local businesses, noting down those that you like the look and feel of. The website designer will often be listed at the very bottom of the site, but if not, reach out and ask who they used.
Once you have a shortlist of potential designers, check out their portfolios. Do they represent the level of quality you’re looking for? If so, reach out and ask for indicative pricing – you can find mine here…
By following the above steps, you’ll increase the likelihood of finding the best website designer for your web development project. Is this the level of detail you expect from your website designer? Then you’re in the right place, get in touch or book a call with Grahn Creative.