Finding a web designer that understands you and your vision can be a frustrating and scary process. There are so many things to consider, and there are a ton of designers out there. We know how intimidating hiring a designer may seem. To make sure you have the best experience, avoid the following mistakes.
Mistake Number 1. Not Getting a CMS for your website
CMS stands for Content Management System, and it allows you to easily update your website. You are pretty much attached to your developer’s hip if you decide not to build your site with a CMS. Not only will this get extremely expensive, but it will also turn into a nightmare when you need a change done immediately and you cannot get a hold of your developer, or she/he is backed up. You have 24/7 access to your website when using a CMS.
The main point here is to make sure your designer works with a CMS! We prefer using WordPress. It’s the easiest system to learn and use.
Takeaway: Maintain control over your website at all times so you can grow and change along with your business.
Mistake Number 2. Paying Too Little
Have you found a deal online to build your new website for $500? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We have heard nightmare stories from our clients who paid someone to design their site, and then they never hear from them ever again; Either they can’t be reached or they can’t talk directly to the designer, but instead an account rep. They are left without passwords, usernames, etc. A cheap website is just that – cheap.
Your website is your 24/7 storefront. The main purpose is to make money with your site. If you skimp on the initial design and development, you risk losing money by representing your business with a 2nd rate website.
Takeaway: Don’t consider just the savings of a few dollars up front. Think of the long-term impact to your business by having an unprofessional site.
Mistake Number 3. Paying Too Much
All websites are pretty much made up of pages written with CSS and HTML, whether you pay $1,000 or $25,000. Don’t let a high-end ad agency convince you they have secret coding powers that will make your site more than it really is.
There are other scripts that add functionality but in terms of design, it is nothing special.
Takeaway: Don’t let complicated webspeak used by “Big Wig Design Firms” fool you into paying more for a website than you need.
Mistake Number 4: Not Considering Maintenance of your Website
Think of your website as a car. No matter how beautiful or expensive it is, it’s going to need routine updates. Some developers charge by the hour, or offer packages, so this is something you definitely want to ask. Also, you’ll tend to see better results (and have less of a headache) if you go through the original developer.
Maintenance and updates are extremely important because your website most likely will end up becoming ineffective and/or out of date without them. They should offer an inexpensive option to backup your site, perform security updates, update plugin licenses, and be available for email or phone support when you most need them.
Takeaway: You do NOT want your site to go down due to issues with hackers, security breachs, mistakes you may make on the site, etc. Just like life insurance and health insurance, this is website insurance that is affordable (or should be) and necessary.
Mistake 5. Not Educated in SEO or Social Media
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It has to do with how people are finding your website through search engines like Google and Bing. SEO is extremely important, because what’s the point of having a website if no one goes to it, or converts to a new client?
Social media is another strategy you should have in play when creating a website. Depending on your business, sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are where you need to have a presence. These are where your potential clients and consumers hang out, so why wouldn’t you want to be on their radar? Good content and engagement on these channels will drive more people to your website.
Takeaway: Make sure your designer is well versed in SEO and social media strategy, so it gets integrated into your overall website design plan.
These are just a handful of mistakes you should keep an eye out for when choosing a web designer. To learn more, download our helpful guide, and say “goodbye” to website confusion and “hello” to the perfect site for your business. It’s free!