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How to choose a web designer/developer

Unless you are a web designer yourself, or have access to a dedicated in-house web development team, you need to bring in a professional web design firm to help with your website project. You’ll find a host of options out there, offering a range of services that will literally boggle your mind. The good news is, if you’ve done your preliminary work, you should already have a fair idea of what you want out of your website, who it is aimed at and the sort of features you want to include.

Armed with that knowledge, you can start to whittle down the list of potential designers to something more manageable. Look at their own website: in trying to assess the relative merits of a web design company, the best place to start is with their own website. What is their site like? Examine it with a critical eye. Does it look professional? Is it functional?

Think about what they are trying to achieve, and how well the site addresses the needs of its target audience (you, in this case). Is it easy to find what you want? Does it meet or exceed your expectations? If not, do you really want the same people working on your website? Examine their portfolio: practically every web design firms offer an online portfolio showing recent website projects they have worked on. Look at these – but go beyond the portfolio pages and click through to the actual websites themselves.

Lastly

Again, put your analytical hat on and ask what the sites are trying to achieve, who they are aimed at and how well the designers have achieved those goals. That should give you enough of a steer to produce a reasonable shortlist of potential candidates. Now you can dig a little deeper: ● Ask their customers for recommendations: go back to the best of the portfolio sites for your shortlisted designers. Go to the ‘contact us’ page and drop them a line by e-mail or pick up the phone to ask for some honest feedback on their web design experience. Would they recommend the firm?

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