When you start really looking at websites, you will see some that are less than ideal. Often, websites were created by someone's distant cousin who had a bit of coding knowledge or were made over 10 years ago when website designers had much lower standards and fewer tools to work with. It might be convenient to stick with your old design, but is that really what you and your business needs? Probably not. These old sites turn people off from giving them business by being clunky, slow, ugly, and completely worthless on mobile devices (you can learn more about mobile responsive websites here). This is where it pays to sit down with a real web designer or firm and figure out just what your website needs. Virtual Market Advantage will go over a few ideas that will help you get ready to work with a web designer and get your website ready to perform in the modern market.
When you meet with a web designer, they will most likely have a series of questions for you about your business and what you expect out of your website. Be as detailed during this process as possible. A web designer may make a great site, but they can't read your mind. They will need details and focus from you in order to deliver the website that you really want.
This is an important exchange of information. The more information you give them about your business and expectations about the website, the better your site will be when it's completed.
Collaboration and Communication
Once you've given your web designer all the information you can, you need to be ready to openly communicate and collaborate with them. This includes providing them with any content they may ask you for in a timely manner. This can be anything from business information to pictures for your website.
Make sure you review the work that gets sent to you, and provide helpful and timely feedback. You need to stay involved in the building process of your website from start to finish. Just because you have signed that contract, does not mean you are free to just go silent. You need to commit yourself to being involved in the process so that there's nothing missing form your site when it's ready to launch.
Do Not Overthink Your Design
When working with web designers and collaborating on your website, you want to make sure that you don't overwork your design. If you're a perfectionist, there may never be a perfect design, no matter how many tweaks and revisions you go through. Trying to overwork your design to perfection will lead to nothing ever being completed.
A wonderful aspect of the Internet is that your design isn't something that's set in stone and can never be changed again. Your best bet is to get your completed website design out there and then see what else it needs, based on how users are interacting with it. This allows you to alter your site based on user data and not your own personal opinion.
Work With an Ongoing Partnership
Some people think that they can just hire a web designer to rework their site and then walk away. This method leaves any updates and ongoing development up to you.
You should work up a contract with your web designer that has you collaborating on a monthly or yearly basis to see what updates may need to be done based on website data. This helps keep the website current and will avoid the larger cost of a redesign in another couple of years. It also allows you to build a relationship with your web designer that may ultimately make it easier for them to help you redefine your site periodically.
Focus on Problems, Not Solutions
You hired a web designer for a reason. It's your job to know the problems within your site and let the web designer know what they are so they can fix them. Don't get yourself caught in a cycle where you become the web designer and your designer just become your technician. Trying to take over for them is a waste of everyone's time and money. Your web designer will lose interest in helping you and the project, leaving you right back where you started.
There is a reason they are in the web design business, and if you let them do the work they were hired to do, you can be sure that your website will have the right design, features, and color scheme it needs.
While it can be tough to know whether you are hiring the right web designer or not, you can make your decision easier by having open communication and honesty about what you want your website to have. Also know what exactly you want out of your web designer. Meet with a few different people and make your decision based on who you think you can work the best with. This is your time and money, so you want to know that you are getting exactly what you want.