Are You a Small Business Owner Looking at Hiring a Web Designer?

By October 23, 2020Blog, Design, Marketing

We know that there can be a lot to consider when hiring a web designer.  When small businesses don’t know what to ask in order to find the right website designer for them, they may feel buyer’s remorse once their project starts or their site is launched.  We hope that this list will help you to ask the proper questions before hiring a web designer partner.

USE A TEMPLATE OR CUSTOM DESIGN?

Every website design agency has a business model that works for them and their target audience. 

Tahoe Production House only creates custom designed websites. We do not use pre-made templates.  This ensures that your site is one-of-a-kind.  The other benefit of a custom design is that we only include the parts, pieces, and plugins that are absolutely necessary for your site to function. This approach keeps your overall site file size to its absolute minimum.  A smaller site means a faster site.

When a template is used, several potentially unnecessary or unused plugins are added to the site increasing file size.

Some designers may use a pre-made template because their skillset is still growing, or their time is limited, or they are targeting an audience with smaller budgets. If any of these is true, you may be limited to the initial pre-built functionality of that template. Or, the pre-made template may include a design that you’d like changed, but the designer won’t be able to make those updates.

What to ask: Do you design custom websites or will you use a pre-made template?

WILL YOU OFFER TRAINING?

One of the things we are most proud of is our ability to train our clients on how to use their website and confidently make content and image updates.  Many of our customers like being able to take control of the content on their site and not have to wait on us (we might be sleeping). In addition, we offer friendly phone and email support to answer questions as well.

What to ask: After my website is launched, how will I know how to make edits to my content?

ONGOING MAINTENANCE, CARE & UPDATES

Other clients prefer not having to learn anything. They enjoy being able to rest assured that their website is fully functional and up to date all the time (let’s be honest, if your site was “down” right now, would you know it without checking Google first? Then, would you know what to do if it was?). Working with a website designer that offers a consistently high level of maintenance and care after launch is invaluable.  Click here to learn more about our Website Maintenance Plans.

What to ask: After my website is completed, do you offer maintenance services to keep my core files and software up to date or will I be responsible for that?

IS GRAPHIC DESIGN INCLUDED?

Typically, small businesses getting started are budget conscious. Spending extra money on things like logos or custom icons is out of the question.  Tahoe Production House has in house design services and we are able to help you create any visuals you may like for your website and business, without any additional up-charges typically associated with outsourcing to third-parties.

What to ask: I may need a logo or business cards, or even custom graphics for my site, can you provide those services in-house?

SEO & GETTING FOUND

If your website designer isn’t familiar with SEO, you may want to look elsewhere.  A most successful website has great design, and has great user experience, but also, SEO.  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  In simplest terms, SEO is a process of creating content (including images) that can be easily found by search engines like Google.

What to ask: Do you provide SEO services as part of or after the website build project? Will my website be found by search engines?

THE BUSINESS OF BUSINESS

Hiring a pro isn’t just about a web designer with a pretty portfolio. Look to find one with a set of processes and procedures that they can share with you. Knowing what you can expect from them will be helpful as you make your selection.

What to ask: Do you have a set of processes and procedures I can reference before we get started to help me understand how the project will flow and what to expect?

Understanding these topics should put you well on your way to having a successful conversation before hiring a web designer of your choice.  If you want to learn more about working with us, please contact us!