Five things to look for when choosing a web designer

10 April 2019

As a small business owner a good online presence is essential these days. And unless you aren’t interested in growing your brand that starts with a well-designed, professional-looking website.

Where do you start?

You could do-it-yourself. After all there are plenty of template-driven, website-building platforms that are simple to use, even for those who would put themselves firmly in the ‘non-technical’ category.

However, since most small business owners have to wear many hats: accountant, operations, marketing and sales to name but a few, building a website might be on the ‘to do’ list, but it’s probably a long way down underneath all the tasks that will ensure revenue generation.

The best thing you can do for your business is to outsource building your website to a third party.

Before you start, it’s also essential to establish your wants and needs for your new website:

  • What do you want your website to achieve? This could be anything from helping your existing clientele find information to generating new leads and sales
  • What is your maximum budget?
  • What are the essential elements/details that must go on the website
  • What would be on your ideal website? Call this your wish-list and a negotiation starting point
  • Do you have a brand voice? If not, you need to think about how you want your brand to ‘sound’ online

With these questions answered, you’ll have a better understanding of what your requirements are and you can start searching for a web designer.

Below are what we consider five important areas to consider when comparing web designers:

1 What does their website look like?

It doesn’t matter if the site is not what you want your ideal website to look like. What does matter is that it should be a well thought out, clear website that communicates their values, isn’t too cluttered, demonstrates their capability and information is quick and easy to find.

As a potential customer, if you don’t ‘get’ their site, or find what you’re looking for quickly how can you trust them with your marketing?

After all, a website that has users clicking endlessly to find information will quickly drive them away.

2 Expansive portfolio

Most web design companies will have previous clients, if not a portfolio of previous work on their website.

Looking through examples of their past work, and a good agency should always oblige this request, will give you an idea of the types of websites they’ve designed and what they can do for you.

If they are professional-looking and easy to use, chances are yours will be too.

If they are functional and innovative, chances are so will yours.

It also shows the company’s ability to collaborate and communicate with their clients throughout the design and build process to achieve the best possible result.

Also look through their testimonials and, if possible, contact a few of their clients to ask them about their experience.

3 Communication

A good project relies on two-way communication. And getting your website built is no exception.

At your initial meeting with a prospective web designer, do they listen to your ideas?

A good web designer will be an expert in websites. But a great web designer will also be ready, willing and able to listen and understand your business goals to transform ideas into a functional, professional and beautiful website.

When looking for a web designer, communication is key. After all there will always be issues that arise during and after the creation of your site and it is essential they are friendly and approachable to address any such problems.

4 Do they use responsive web design?

Mobile usage is set to continue to grow and your business website needs to be optimised for every device.

Not only does Google use ‘responsiveness’ as a ranking factor, but users want websites that function on all their devices, so they can visit and potentially buy from anywhere; laptop, tablet or phone.

A great web designer will be well versed in this area and able to build your site on a responsive framework. In fact, if they don’t offer this by default consider this a red flag!

5 Will your new site be future proof?

When investing in your business, it’s very important to consider that investments longevity. This is especially true when it comes to your website and its future adaptability. The two key areas to consider are:

  1. Whether the technical build of your website uses the latest languages and best practices and what measures are in place to keep it up to date?
  2. Whether the site allows for easy amendment and expansion of content across your site and how easy it would be to add new features?

If you’re not very technically minded this side could be quite daunting and it’s important to discuss anything you are not sure about with your web designer.

A good web designer will be able to answer your questions and have a clear plan for keeping your website up-to-date and functioning as web platforms continue to evolve.

As the internet is a rapidly expanding and changing technological environment, a great web designer will be trained in the latest developments and you should be confident in their ability to meet new standards.

When it comes to changing and expanding the content of your site, you need to feel comfortable that this is going to be possible.

Your online presence needs to reflect the most relevant and up-to-date information. So you need to invest in a website that can adapt with you as your business grows and evolves.

Major changes to your website will inevitably need further development or a brand new site. However, minor changes should be quick and easy to achieve.

As point 3 states: “communication is key”, so make sure you discuss and understand the content management and adaptability of your site.

Make sure your web designer can offer facility for content management and build sites with this in mind.


LMD Design believe great design comes from close working relationships with their clients. If you are looking to get your website designed or refreshed contact Liam at LMD Design today.

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