I hope this quick guide helps you make the best decision to find your next web designer. Please comment and let me know if you have any questions or pitfalls you may have faced when choosing a web developer.
I’ve been a web designer for nearly 10 years so I know a thing or two about it, wish you the very best in your venture and good luck.
What to Look for in a Web Designer
When you’re thinking of hiring a web designer, there can be so many questions that come to mind. Is this person legit? How do I know if they’re any good? How do I know they’re good for me? We’ve listed below our top three things to look for and three things you should watch out fro when you’re looking for a web designer.
1. Amazing Case Studies
Case studies are a must nowadays for any serious web designer and they’re a fantastic indicator if they’re what you’re looking for. A case study is basically a summary of a project that the web designer you’re looking into has completed.
It gives details into the process of how they work and the results they achieved. For example, check out one of our case studies where we helped one of our clients get the biggest deal of their lives.
You’ll be able to vet out if their legit and of course you’ll be able to see their work and get an idea if you like their style.
2. Social Media Following
The web designer you’re looking into should have some sort of authentic social media following.
Whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or (our medium of choice) Youtube, there should be some sort of engagement with the content they put out.
We like to focus on Youtube because it allows us to reach a large audience with a format we’re excited about- video & film.
3. Speedy Response Time
Response time is an often overlooked aspect of criteria for a web designer. But you can be sure, while you’re handling everything that’s going on in your business, you’ll want a web designer you can reach out to with ease and comfort.
In the beginning stages, it’s imperative to have your potential web designer respond to you in a timely matter. It sets things off on a good foot and paves the way for success.
Red Flags to Look Out for in a Web Designer
Now here are the red flags you should look out for when you’re choosing a web designer. We wanted to list only the things we know are TRUE red flags.
For example, lots of web design companies like to send companies website diagnostics through their contact forms. Or they’ll even create a short video of some things they’ve found wrong on someone’s site, but they have the same things wrong on their own site!
They muddy up the conversation with confusing analytics and jargon instead of just getting to the point. So here are a few concrete things you can look out for when choosing a web designer.
1. Anything Broken or Obsolete on Their Own Website
When you are checking out a potential web designer for your business, you’re going to want to thoroughly look through their site. Be sure to not only look through the pages, but read the content they’ve written and if they have blogs, be sure to read a few of those as well.
Does their content bore you? Did you find anything wrong or broken? If the answer to both those questions is yes, then you may want to keep searching.
2. They Don't Have an SSL Certificate
Every website should have an SSL certificate in 2020. If you’re site doesn’t, then I’m very happy you’re looking for a web designer, because you absolutely need one.
An SSL certificate is a certification of a site’s authenticity. It’s all but required by Google now and it’s a must for any progress in SEO.
If you’re web designer doesn’t have one, you don’t want to work with this person. Period.
3. Their Response Time is Longer than 24 Hours
Again, it’s important to note the responsiveness of the web designer you’re looking to hire. Their response time on the onset will surely dictate what things will be like in the future.
Under 24 hours is mandatory, but if you have someone reach back out to you in the next couple of hours or even within the hour, that’s a pretty great sign.
The Truth About Top Web Design Lists Like Upcity, Clutch and Expertise
You may have noticed that I didn’t say anything about the being on the top lists that you may find when you search for the best web designer in Austin Texas. Here’s the truth about these lists- UpCity, Clutch and Expertise are a largely a pay to play service.
The reason I know this is we used to pay nearly a grand a month to be on the top of the list. We stopped for many reasons, one of which is we thought we could get better results elsewhere and have a better connection with our audience.
I am not slighting the people who use this, by the way. I just want to provide an accurate description on what the service actually is and some pitfalls you may experience if you ONLY go by this list as a form of credibility.
Problem 1 – Whoever pays the most will inevitably be on top. UpCity specifically has a ranking system and you can buy access to the levels of the ranking system such as diamond, gold, or platinum level. And while I am sure there are some incredible designers up in these lists, there are some people, in my opinion, who shouldn’t be ranked among the best in the city without having to do more digital work to prove they are a true expert.
Don’t get me wrong some of the people who pay to be on this list, should be on this list regardless of the curator but it is troublesome when someone who is not necessarily the best can zip by if they decide to invest the most. To me, this is a bit misleading and can eventually end up really painful for the client itself.
For me the core principles of what makes a great designer are listenability, practicing what they preach and passion.
You can test these things by going through their case studies, testing out their responsiveness and vetting out their own website.
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