Sometimes you just don’t know where to start

You’ve weighed your options and you realize that hiring a professional website designer or agency is the best way to grow your business. How do you know what to look for, or how to go about finding a solution that fits? Use this five-step process to take the worry out of web design.

How to find the best website designer in 5 easy steps:

Lots of people dread this process because it is a lot of work, and they are uncomfortable with the process of selecting a designer. If you don’t know a lot about technology or design it feels like you aren’t equipped to make the best decision.

If you know your business, and you know what you want to accomplish the trick is to find the agency that can get you where you hope to grow. You’ll find the best designer without being sold products and services you don’t need when you follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Audit what you have

Take a good, hard look at the website you have and pursue these questions:

  • Do you have a website? (If you don’t, you need one, trust us.)
  • Are you happy with it?
  • Why are you looking for a designer now?
  • List everything you’d like to keep and everything you’d like to change.
  • Talk to your existing customers. What do they like and dislike about your website? What would they like added or taken away?
  • Talk to your team. What do they like and dislike about your website? What would they like added or taken away.
  • What do you want your website to do for you?

Step 2: Learn from your competitors

If you haven’t looked at your competitor’s websites, now is the time.

  • What do you like and dislike about their site?
  • What site elements would be good to add to your site?
  • How are they using their website?
  • How does yours compare?

Step 3: Define what you want

At this point, some companies and organizations (especially nonprofit and government organizations) create a Request for Proposal or RFP. If that is your standard procedure, then follow company policy accordingly, if not do this:

  • Make a chart with three columns labeled: Needs, Wants, Wishes
  • Review your findings from steps one and two and place key findings in the appropriate columns on your chart. (This will not only help you choose a designer, but also create a budget, and even plan the design.)

Step 4: Start looking

Now that you really know what you need and want you’ll have the information you need to make the best decision. How do you find that perfect designer?

  • Do a Google search for the criteria you defined.
  • Look at websites that are similar to what you’re looking for and contact the agency that designed them.
  • Leverage your network and ask for referrals.

Step 5: Make the decision

Now that you’re armed with all this information you have everything you need to make the best possible decision.

  • Which designer is best able to address your needs, wants, and wishes?
  • Do they understand your business and your goals?
  • Do they have relevant experience?
  • Are they good listeners?
  • Do you like them? (If your personalities clash now, it’s not going to be easy to work together later)

Finding the perfect designer

Don’t fall victim to pushy salespeople or half measures. Whether you know a lot or a little about website design you do know your business. Following these 5 simple steps will help you to hire the best designer for you and will ensure that you build the best website possible.