So you’ve decided to take the plunge and start exploring website options for your growing business. Or maybe you’re in search of a major refresh of an existing website. Either way you’re not quite sure where to start. You’ve heard good things about outsourcing website design, but you’re not sure what that means or if it’s the right choice for your business. No sweat, let’s dive into everything you need to know about outsourcing your website design and why it might be the best decision for your business (and your sanity).
Why Outsource Your Website Design
Let’s start by addressing a common question: why would you outsource your website design? The answer is simple—because you don’t have the time or the resources to do it yourself. As a business owner, you likely wear many hats already and simply don’t have the bandwidth to learn how to create a website from scratch. Additionally, good website design—and good SEO (search engine optimization), which we’ll discuss later—requires a deep understanding of both the creative side and the more technical side. Unless you’ve built websites in your spare time or have some experience with the underpinnings of the world wide web, it’s likely you don’t have those skills on-hand. Listen, we’re all really good at something. The rest should be outsourced or delegated.
If protecting your free time isn’t reason enough, read on to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your website design.
Good Web Designers Can Help You Make More Money
Yes, I said it. Good web designers can help you make more money by creating a website that’s both beautiful and effective. By hiring the right person, your site will look great and create a pleasant user experience for your customers. In addition, good web designers know how to make your site ‘search engine friendly’ so you’ll likely get more traffic from Google and other search engines. Now, full transparency, SEO (search engine optimization) is a loaded conversation but even basic understanding of the on-page elements on your website is more beneficial than no SEO at all.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the benefits of outsourcing website design, let’s talk about what to look for in a good web designer.
Characteristics of a Good Web Designer
At a minimum, you’ll want someone that can really get under the hood and truly understand your business to create a site that reflects your brand. Some good questions to consider in seeking out potential website designers include:
- Do they have experience creating websites for businesses like mine?
- What kind of design style do they specialize in?
- How will they ensure my website is ‘search engine friendly’?
To understand their approach to their craft, take a look at their portfolio and decide if their work aligns with your ideal end product. While most web designers are flexible, we all tend to have our own signature style that resonates throughout our projects.
Rate, Reputation and Availability
Choosing the right web designer is also likely dependent on their rate and availability. Realize that web design is an investment, but also be realistic and stick to your budget. Your timeline is also incredibly important—if you have a solid launch date set, finding someone that can adhere to that is essential. Make sure to get everything outlined clearly in a contract to guarantee these terms and avoid any mishaps along the way.
You’ll also want to make sure the designer has a good track record. Look for unbiased reviews from past clients on sites like Yelp or Google and/or consider asking for references to contact to get their opinions on the designer’s work.
Website Design vs. Website Development
Another thing to consider is their design and development process. Web design and development are two very different parts of the website building process. Put simply, web design mainly involves the appearance and usability of a site, while web development contains the entire execution and structure of a website. While some designers are skilled in both areas, some are not and will outsource to a developer. It’s good to know how that will be handled with your project.
Search Engine Optimization
Consider their experience and success with SEO. It can be a little tricky to figure out, but there are a few key things to look for:
- Are their portfolio websites responsive, accessible, and otherwise optimized for all devices?
- Is the navigation and URL structure functional and user-friendly?
- Are there clear CTAs and instructions for the audience to follow?
- Do their portfolio websites load quickly?
If you can easily answer “yes” to most of these, there is a good chance that your designer understands proper design and SEO standards.
Website Traffic and Google Analytics
It’s always good to ask a potential designer how your analytics will be tracked? Do they set this up for you? Tracking your analytics is vital to understanding the success of your website and where your audience is coming from, so make sure this is taken care of.
Will you need ongoing website updates or maintenance after your website is launched? Not every web designer will offer this service, so if this is important to you (spoiler alert: it should be), be sure to check. Maintenance services can be outsourced to someone else, but ensure they completely understand the platform your website is built on if you decide to go that route. Read more about why WordPress maintenance is important in THIS BLOG.
Now that you know what good web designers can do for you, it’s time to get started. Are you ready? Let’s chat about your project needs and how White Ox Creative might help!