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    I’m Katie Martin, founder of Absolute Web Design.

    I have worked in web design for over 10 years years. And I have found when looking for a web designer, people often do not ask the right questions.

    When communication is unclear, you will often end up with a website that you are not happy with. Worse still, it probably won’t deliver a return on your investment.

    In the past, business owners have told me that they felt ‘ripped off’ by web designers. They felt hoodwinked into paying top dollar for a substandard product. Anyone with a little know-how can build a website. There are a lot of build-your-own website products on the market. But building a website is more than making it look pretty with words and images.

    Here are five important questions you should ask before choosing a web designer.

    1. Is the web designer experienced?

    This is a great question to start with.

    Why?

    Because it will cull the designers that are not a great fit for your business. If a web designer has the experience, they will have a general idea about what is important to you. Yes, each designer’s experience will differ. There is less back and forth, editing and corrections, which also means the process is a lot quicker.

    2. What is their portfolio like?

    You would look at a potential new employee’s experience before hiring them. It’s the same when hiring a web designer. You should also check out a web designer’s professional portfolio.

    Do you like what you see?

    A portfolio does not have to have all the bells and whistles. It could just be a list of links to live websites they have designed. A portfolio should show you what the designer can do. You can even ask them why they used certain elements or layouts. It is all about deciding if they will be a good fit for you. If you are not wowed by their designs, it is a sign they are probably not the designer for you.

    3. Gain access to the back end of your website once the build is complete

    At the end of the day, your website belongs to YOU. You have invested your hard-earned money into it so you should own the ‘keys’ to the back end. That way, you can make minor updates yourself, without the hassle of having to outsource it. And if you’re feeling confident, you can also access the full theme and functionality of your website. Having back end access cuts extra costs for simple fixes.

    4. How long does it take to complete your project?

    An in-demand web designer is usually a sign that they are trusted and worthwhile. But if they are too busy, there could be a long lag time between project start to finish. Once, I had a client tell me they expected a website to take two months to complete. I was gobsmacked! It usually takes us about two weeks to build a website from start to finish, as long as we have all the content needed.

    5. Do you get ongoing support?

    It is important that you understand what a website design package includes. Are you just getting the standalone website? Consider your ongoing costs for hosting, domains, or premium plugins.

    Ongoing and cost-effective support is vital. There will be many different aspects of your website that you will need help with. These include:

    • emails
    • domain name registration
    • web hosting, and
    • learning how to use the customer relationship management system (CRM) of your website.

    Ongoing support means your web designer can fix any problems that arise, and you can rest assured that they will take care of it.

    A few parting thoughts…

    Try to get a sense of their creativity—do they have their own ideas, and will they listen to yours? Are they a digital native because the digital universe is where business is playing these days?

    They should know responsive design and conversion. And they should design with your customer’s user experience in mind.

    Absolute Web Design is a Gold Coast-based web design and marketing firm. We help business owners cut through online marketing confusion. We design amazing websites that talk to your prospects, so they turn in to customers. We provide affordable support without jargon or lengthy turnaround time. We work with you to put in place proven ideas to grow your business. And we remove the overwhelm and confusion when it comes to your website and online marketing.

    Contact us today to discuss your website needs.

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