A quality website is a must-have for any business. It’s how many customers form their first impression of your business, and if your site is lacking, this could be the first and only impression. Even with all the site templates available, building a professional site is still no simple task, and for the best quality, you need an experienced web designer. Here’s how to narrow down your options and choose the right designer for your small business website.
Decide What You Want
Knowing what you want for your site can help you select a web designer who’s right for the job. If you need a large e-commerce site, you can cut down the field of potential options quite a bit by removing those who only have basic sites in their portfolios.
When envisioning your site, start with the pages you want, such as an About page and a Contact page. The number of pages are the most significant factor in determining the scope of your project. After you know how many pages you want and what those pages are going to cover, you can think about the design elements and other details.
A great way to get inspiration for your site is to check out competitor websites. Make notes of what elements they have that you want to use in your own site, along with issues to avoid.
Set Your Budget
The cost of building a website depends on the size of the site, the level of detail required, and the rate of the web designer you choose. While web designer rates vary quite a bit, the typical range for a basic, five-to-10-page site is $300 to $750.
Many high-end web designers charge more than that, and there are also plenty of designers available for much cheaper. Decide what you can afford before you start talking to designers. It’s best to avoid anyone with a very low rate, as you’re risking a poorly done site that does your business more harm than good. Even for a basic site, you shouldn’t set your budget much lower than $300.
Interview Web Designers
With a vision for your site and a budget in mind, it’s time to start interviewing designers. If you don’t have any web designers on your list already, there are several ways to find some, including:
- Asking your network connections for referrals
- Contacting companies with sites you liked and asking for the name of their web designer
- Looking up web designers using a search engine
- Checking freelancer sites and classified ads
When you interview a web designer, see how you get along with that person and ask for thoughts on your proposed site. Since your web designer is essentially making your vision a reality, it’s important to find someone with whom you feel in sync. Ask everyone you interview for references, and contact the references of any designers you’re seriously considering. Talking to references gives you the best idea of how a designer operates.
Your small business website is the first step in building a strong web presence for your business, and choosing the right designer sets you up for success.