• Look to see what they have done – many aspiring web designers think that they can do the job can even speak the speak but actually have little idea of the complexities. Seeing real life working examples will quickly eliminate those who have no substance to their claims.
  • Talk to past/current clients to find out how smooth and easy it was. Check out the timings and make sure that promised goods were delivered when they said they were going to be.
  • Check out the sites of past clients – do they all look the same or does the designer show skill and flexibility. If you like what you see – great but if you are not convinced that they are going to actually be able to deliver what you want – then steer clear.
  • Find out about how much of the work they did themselves. Did they employ the services of another expert?
  • What would they do if given free rein? It is surprising how often designers create products to suit the client rather than utilising their passions and interests to create something that is not only workable but original too. Specialist skills are often hidden as people think that they have to conform to market trends. Once in a while we find a real gem that hasn’t yet been allowed to shine.
  • Find out how they work. Designers who have a planning guide which will lead you through the process are a lot easier to work with especially if the designers document discussions ensuring that you are both  visualising the same thing. Designers who do this kind of work regularly will confidently show you the way which will allow you to concentrate on the content rather than worrying about what happens next.
  • Make sure that the designer takes into consideration the marketing strategies and search engine optimisation.
  • Ensure that there is always room for improvement and expansion – it is rare for a business to remain a static entity – there is always change.
  • Ensure that you have a price list including their fees for designing and setting up the site, updates and developments however don’t expect accurate quotes until  you have discussed what you want.
  • Find out about their trading terms and conditions. Some will expect you to pay for everything up front (not recommended), however it is reasonable to pay a deposit, balance on completion as well as standing order for hosting and regular maintenance. It is also not unusual to settle the bill in stages upon completion of certain pre-defined milestones.
  •  Get budgeting sorted out early. Make it clear that hidden charges, extras, and add-ons must be listed before the site being commissioned. Bear in mind the different roles that the web designer can take on and when he/she has to sub-contract to another third party. Timing – getting it right – be clear in your instructions and make sure they are clear about your expectations. There is  nothing worse than working towards a web launch – getting your customers drooling in anticipation only to be let down by the web designer not understanding your deadlines.
  • Watch how much they ask you about what you want and what you hope to achieve for your business. They are being employed by you and working for you should be a mutually beneficial arrangement i.e. he/she gets money for providing you with a product you can use. Do not let him/her use you as an excuse to show off their skills and interests.
  • Watch out for designers who keep finding extra costs and add-ons. Sticking to budgets is vital – not everyone has a bottomless supply of cash. It is reasonable to expect suggestions which come about through working with you and a clearer understanding of what your needs are. This often happens because we don’t know what’s possible and if we don’t know what can be integrated into our site then we won’t know to ask for it. Just make sure that the suggestions are reasonable and justifiable.
  • Negotiate a deal for ongoing maintenance, upkeep, trouble shooting and upgrades. Different designers work in different ways.
  • Buy your own domain – NEVER allow the designer to buy it in their own name. You could find that if relationships sour – you will find your site being used as a tool to slag you off and you have no rights or means to access it. Not good for business.
  • Likewise make sure that your designer allows you access to the backend of the site. It has been known for unscrupulous designers to refuse to hand over passwords and again if relationships sour this can cause problems. However, it is sometimes difficult to protect yourself from this as they can change the passwords at any time particular if you have no idea about getting into the server/hosting aspect of websites. At least if you can prove you own the domain then you can delete the content and start again should you have serious problems.
  • If you’re going to maintain the site yourself, ask them if they’ll design your site in a software package that’s easy for YOU to use.
  • It is very important to bring in your personal feelings in choosing a designer. Do you like them? Do you think that they will not only do a good job but will also serve you well, provide you with what you need as well as being pleasant to deal with.
  • Research as many designers as you can. It is important to choose someone with whom you can work but who also can create a site that is going to be as current and up to date in several years time as it will be on launch date.
  • As a part of ongoing maintenance and upkeep integrate a plan for backing up your site as well as having a facility for restoring. Server computers can crash just like a PC – never mind about potential problems with hacking, viruses and software corruptions.
  • As a part of your package make sure that you have sufficient protections in place such as virus and spam protection (for web mail services as well as website), email cloaking so that spiders don’t harvest email addresses from your site, secure hosting for e-commerce, as well as suitable encryption software to protect sensitive information such as client contact details.
  • This is not an exhaustive list and no doubt you will discover other considerations that become important to you as you delve into the realms of the cyber world. At least this will act as a starting point for you to be aware of some of the considerations.

News,Updates & Events

Sign up to get the latest happenings at Arts Wales 

Your details have been added to our mailing list. Welcome!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share The Love

Share this post with your friends!