Ali Jafarian

Over the years I’ve encountered a lot of different clients with a wide variety of website needs. Having a great website has obvious benefits, but how do you find the right designer or firm to get you there?

These tips will help you uncover ways to find the designer for your project.

Step 1: Assess your Needs

The first step is to thoroughly assess your website needs. What does your business NEED from a website? Do you need more sales? More exposure? Online tools to operate more efficiently? Perhaps you need a little bit of all three. Thinking about these questions and identifying the answers will help you narrow down the candidates and provide better communication.

For example, if you simply need more leads you can probably get by with a young freelancer and some online marketing. On the other hand, if you need a site that allows your customers to log in and pay for services you might want to seek someone more experienced with a portfolio of similar projects who can handle the complexity.

Step 2: Think about your Budget Early on

Knowing your budget from the get go can only help and expedite the website hiring process. If you go into conversations without a number in mind you’ll find yourself with 5 different quotes and 5 different sales pitches. Not having an anticipated budget is telling a sales person that he or she can take you for a ride, and if you let them they will. They’ll try to sell you anything and everything.

Furthermore, having a budget will help you justify your ROI (return on investment). For example, having a better way to manage new leads will cut down on the huge expenses you incur for customer service. I tell my clients to think about their budget in terms of their needs – first, what do you absolutely need? Let’s fit that in first. Then, we’ll talk about what would you like and whether or not we can squeeze that in.

Step 3: Do some Research

Don’t take the first referral from a family member or friend. Sure, they may have a nice site built by a great designer, but the way that family member operates their business could be drastically different from the way you operate. It will pay off in the long run to find someone with experience building sites for your industry.

Start by doing a Google search and clicking through the first couple pages of results (ex: “denver real estate web design company”). Checkout their portfolio and list of clients to see some of the past work they’ve done in your industry. Then jump on the phone and have a few quick chats to see how different designers or firms respond to your inquiries. Do the research. It will help.

Step 4: Ask Relevant Questions

Once you’ve narrowed down your list the final step is to ask the right questions. These should be questions specific to your project and and related to how your new website will help you grow or improve aspects of your business – marketing, sales, operations, etc.

For example, if you run a real estate company and you need a new site to help with marketing you should be asking questions like:

  • How can I convert site visitors into potential clients?
  • What kind of back-end systems or integrations do I need for lead management?
  • What’s the cost for optimizing the site’s mobile/tablet experiences?

Focus your questions so they provide clarity around what you’re trying to achieve with your new site. This will help you and the designer maximize the use of your time and help you come to a finely tuned proposal.

Follow those 4 tips and you should see a much smoother process in finding the right web designer. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!