How to Choose the Right Web Designer

August 21, 2023 | Platinum Consulting

In our web design agency, we always say that a website is a business’s “central hub,” particularly for online marketing activities.

You could have the best ad campaigns in the world, but if they direct customers to a site with a subpar user interface, what’s the point?

Your website needs to ingeniously showcase your brand’s values, image, and products. First impressions matter – and almost all of them are design-related.

Any user that visits your site is going to judge it in a matter of not seconds but milliseconds. That’s why it’s critical you dedicate appropriate resources and talent to designing a new website – one that truly “wows” people from the get-go.

Start by finding a web design company. There’s truly no substitute for expert guidance when it comes to creating an attractive, high-functioning website – but you need to find the right web designer for your business.

This designer needs to check all of your boxes and have relevant industry experience. So, if you’re on the hunt for website design services, buckle in for an intensive search process.

Today on the Platinum Consulting blog, we’re talking about how to choose a web designer that suits your brand. These six steps will help you weed out the wrong choices and zero in on the best candidate.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Before you contact any web designers, conduct some internal assessments. What are the goals for your website? What is its purpose? What is your vision?

These are all questions you answer prior to interviewing a web design company. The more you understand what you hope to achieve, the easier it will be to determine if the designer is a good fit for your website goals.

Don’t just jot down a vague idea. Instead, take some serious time to sit down with your own team and nail down your website objectives. Discuss everything from your target audience to your brand’s colors to ensure you’re all on the same page.

Once you feel you have a clear vision of your future website, you can begin searching for and interviewing web designers.

Step 2: Ask to See Their Design Portfolio

So, you’ve found a few promising web design companies. Now what?

Begin by evaluating examples of their past work. A web designer's portfolio is a window to their capabilities and the types of businesses they’ve served. Reviewing their previous work helps you gauge their industry expertise alongside their design aesthetic and level of customization.

Beyond the creative elements, you also want to determine a few key things:

  • Are the web pages laid out purposefully?
  • Do the designs look and feel professional?
  • Are the websites easy to read and understand?
  • Do the websites encourage an enjoyable user experience?
  • Can this designer make your site stand out from other businesses?

Don’t just examine the web design portfolio from your own perspective – try to look at the site architecture and graphics through the eyes of your future customers.

Be honest throughout the evaluation. Frankly, be picky. Choosing a web designer is a big commitment, and you need to know you’re selecting one with a proven track record.

Step 3: Get Pricing Info Upfront

If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

This phrase gets thrown around a lot, but in regard to web design companies, it hits the nail right on the head.

Web design costs can vary significantly depending on the scope and complexity of the project, as well as the designer’s specific setup. Therefore, it’s smart to request a price estimate right at the beginning of your assessment.

Don’t settle for a fuzzy estimate – ask for a detailed pricing quote that explains everything. You don’t want to encounter any hidden costs later on down the road, so push for the big-picture bill right at the beginning of your evaluation.

Keep in mind that a seemingly low cost isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. In many cases, an overly budget-friendly option is either (a) lacking in quality or (b) devoid of crucial add-on services such as SEO tactics, maintenance, content writing, graphic design, etc.

Ultimately, you want to invest in website design services to create something that…

  • Aligns with your goals
  • Has all the necessary bells and whistles
  • Suits your budget
  • Provides the best value for your money

Once you’ve obtained a quote from your top contender, request prices from a few other designers. It’s always worth your time to compare several companies. This will ensure you understand reasonable pricing (and what’s too low or too high).

If you have a specific budget in mind, discussing expenses upfront also gives you some negotiation wiggle room. Many web designers are willing to find an achievable price point by adjusting the project scope or offering alternative solutions.

Step 4: Request a Walkthrough of the Design Process

Once you’ve assessed a website designer’s portfolio and pricing, it’s time to move on to the next big P: their process. This is where the cream truly rises to the top.

An experienced web designer will have a battle-tested discovery strategy. This is how they come to deeply understand your values, vision, and expectations.

If you’re talking to a candidate that has a rudimentary discovery process (or worse, none at all!), that’s a giant red flag. Any professional worth hiring will kickstart their web design process with a detailed get-to-know-you phase.

In this part of the process, most web designers will ask a lot of questions – and that’s great. This is how the experts gather information to make strategic design decisions and create happy clients.

The bottom line: a professional web design company doesn’t rely on guesswork or haphazard approaches. As you assess web design agencies, look for the ones who take a systematic approach to their process – especially their discovery phase.

Step 5: Learn If They Handle Web Copy

Without written content, web designing is little more than a jumble of colors and images. That’s why we encourage every business owner to look for agencies that will handle their website’s design and copywriting requirements.

According to Semruch’s State of Content Marketing 2023 Global Report, up to 55% of the surveyees said that their quality content madethem successful. In other words, you can have a gorgeous website, but if its copy is lacking, you won’t achieve the best results.

Ask your web design candidates if they work with a content team to get words on each web page. When one company is responsible for both web design and web copy, they can ensure a cohesive, seamless brand identity across your site. The design works around the copy, and the copy supports every design element.

If a web design agency does handle content creation with a partner or internal team, assess their writing the same way you did their designs. Does their tone and voice seem to suit yours? Do you feel their content is engaging and authoritative – or simply words slapped on a page?

If a web design company does not write the copy for the web design, who will? Trying to wrangle two separate teams of writers and designers isn’t easy, so consider your options before you enter any commitments.

Step 6: Assess Their SEO Protocols

Your final step is to inquire about the web designer’s SEO services. After all, what good is a beautiful design if no one can find your website through search engines?

Search engine optimization (SEO) skills are crucial when it comes to building, designing, and maintaining a great business website. When hiring web designers, you want to know that they’re laying a strong foundation for success across Google and other search engines.

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a new website from the ground up or renovating an old one: your web designer should work in tandem with a web developer and copywriter to ensure every part of the site will be SEO-friendly. Each of these puzzle pieces needs to fall into place if you want to appear in the top search results for your industry.

In terms of web design, there are a few SEO protocols that most worthwhile web designers employ. A balanced approach tends to include…

  • Optimizing the page layout and navigation
  • Conducting and implementing keyword research
  • Ensuring fast website loading speeds
  • Creating a mobile-friendly design that renders on all devices

That’s just scratching the surface. Before you pull the trigger and hire any web designer, make sure they’re well-versed in SEO strategies and ready to attract leads.

Still on the Hunt for a Website Designer?

Choosing a web designer is a bit like online dating – you’ve got to go on a handful of dates before you find someone you really connect with.

At Platinum Consulting, we get to know you better than the average web design company. Our digital marketing agency is committed to serving your business needs through expert web development, site design, copywriting, and advertising.

Let’s see if we’re a good match for your own website! Schedule a website design consultation today and we’ll share our in-depth discovery process.