The United States alone is home to an estimated 311.3 million Internet users. That’s a staggering 93.79% of its total population!
Many Americans use the Internet to shop for products and enlist services online. However, they often research the companies behind these goods and services first. Indeed, about 3 in 4 U.S. consumers look for a business’s online presence before visiting it in person.
So if your firm still has no website, it’s time to invest in one with the help of web design services. The sooner you do, the sooner you can expose your brand and make people aware it exists.
But with so many website design services in the market, how do you hire the best one without breaking the bank?
We’ve shared several tips to help you reach that goal, so keep reading.
In this article
Set Your Web Design Budget
Professional web design services aren’t cheap; they can run anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 or even more. This depends on the number of pages and the extent of customization you need. The more pages and customization, the more expensive things can get.
Those figures may have made you think, “I’ll just design my firm’s site by myself.” Before you do that, consider that over 1 in 3 people would stop engaging with unattractive sites. So if your website doesn’t meet their aesthetic sense, you can say goodbye to those visitors.
That’s a lot of potential sales that could go straight down the drain. That’s also why your website is one of the last places you should be pinching pennies on. It can cost you more in lost revenue and tarnished reputation.
That doesn’t mean you should force your firm to invest in web design services it can’t afford. Instead, set a reasonable budget and DIY some aspects you excel at. Reliable web design companies often work with their clients’ budgets under certain conditions.
Suppose you’re a highly skilled photographer. In this case, you can take high-quality photos and use them for your site. This can cut your web design cost, as the designers don’t have to generate the images themselves.
Confirm They Specialize in Responsive Design
The world is now home to 5.48 billion mobile device users. Their devices are behind almost 60% of the world’s web traffic. Indeed, more folks now buy stuff online via mobile devices than desktops or laptops.
Despite that, many websites still don’t work well on mobile phones. These sites don’t implement responsive web design (RWD).
RWD is a critical modern web design practice that resizes web pages based on the device used to access them.
Let’s say you have site visitors who use smartphones and tablets to access your site.
If your site boasts a responsive design, its pages will scale to fit the devices’ screens. This helps keep your pages attractive and easy to navigate. These two are vital to user experience and satisfaction and your online reputation.
What if you don’t have a responsive site? Then visitors who view it on a mobile screen will see pages that mimic your desktop site’s appearance.
Visitors may find non-responsive websites unattractive and difficult to navigate. For starters, they’d have to swipe left or right to read everything the page contains. They may also have a hard time tapping on buttons or hyperlinks.
So when hiring web designers, ensure they’re experts in creating responsive web design. They’ll readily provide references to previous work proving their expertise.
Experience in Designing Accessible Sites
As many as 20 million people in the U.S. have a visual impairment. Seeing and reading tiny-sized text often used on web pages is challenging for them.
Many Americans also experience hearing-related troubles. These problems affect approximately 15% of people aged 18 and older in the U.S.
Your website design should account for those folks, some of whom may want to visit your site. To achieve this, hire a web designer highly experienced in designing accessible sites.
A great designer will add Alt Text to describe images to visually impaired users. They’ll also use features allowing visitors to enlarge font sizes and photos. They’ll likely add text captions and audio descriptions to multimedia content, too.
Look at the Designer’s Website
A great way to confirm a designer’s expertise and aesthetic sense is to check their website.
First, go to their desktop site. Is it attractive, engaging, and full of informative content? Is it easy to navigate, quick to load, and has buttons in all the right places?
Next, visit their website using your smartphone or tablet. This can help you confirm their expertise in responsive web design. If they claim they specialize in RWD, then they should be implementing it on their site, too.
Let’s say you answered yes to all the questions above. You also enjoyed perusing their site on various devices.
In that case, consider hiring that designer. Chances are high that they’ll make your site feature the same positive qualities.
See What Other Customers Say
As the folks at Avenue 25 say, “Awards are nice,” but success is better measured by what clients think of a company. Of course, it’s a plus if you choose an award-winning web designer. However, positive client testimonials and reviews are more crucial considerations.
A good enough reason is that client testimonials reflect past customers’ experiences. For example, positive reviews may say a firm’s web design services exceeded expectations. They may rave about how their new website from a designer contributed to increased leads.
Conversely, reviews can be from clients complaining about delays or breaches of contracts. They may also say their newly designed company website is full of bugs or takes forever to load. The last bit can be a huge issue, as 40% of Internet users say they’ll ditch a site if it takes over 3 seconds to load.
So before hiring web design services, sift through client testimonials and reviews first.
Pay particular attention to detailed reviews, especially those with pros and cons. These are usually honest and unbiased statements from genuine customers. Use them to gauge whether your prospective designers’ services are worth the money.
Verify Their Devs’ Qualifications
Web developers (devs) are the people who work on a website’s back end.
Site visitors don’t see the back end, but it’s responsible for a website’s functionality. It’s what makes a site work, load, and display in the first place.
Thus, web developers are just as vital to your site’s overall quality and performance.
The good news is that many professional web design services employ expert devs, too. This is particularly true for full-service website creation agencies. Their team consists of highly skilled and experienced designers and developers.
However, you shouldn’t just trust a provider’s claims about their “exceptional” devs. Instead, you should do your due diligence and ask for proof of certification.
Loads of certifications exist, but at the very least, those you hire should have one or more of the following:
- Asp.net Microsoft Certification
- HTML/CSS Certification
- Python Certification
- Certified Web Developer, Specialist, or Master
You should also ask for samples of their developers’ most recent or best work. Visit those sites and see for yourself if those sites they developed work perfectly.
Check Their Web Host’s Reliability
If you want your web designer to handle most aspects of your site, you can have them take care of its web host, too.
A web host provides servers designed to store and power websites and their contents. Without it, people will be unable to access your site.
Still, not all web hosts are reliable, with some experiencing frequent downtimes. This is a pervasive issue with free hosts. Unfortunately, when the host goes offline, so do all the websites it hosts.
So if you plan to delegate web hosting to your web designer, ask who their web host is. Then, run the name of the hosting company online to get access to reviews about them.
Read those reviews to see what clients like and hate about them. If most are complaints about slow speeds and frequent downtimes, take those as red flags.
The host may be a different firm, but remember the adage about friends being a person’s reflection. This applies to professional relationships, too. A web design firm may not be so reliable if its partner host is just as unreliable.
So, hire only a web design firm that works with hosts guaranteeing 99.9% uptime.
Hire the Best Web Design Services
Professional web design services cost a hefty sum, so hire only the best from the start.
Because if you hire the cheapest one, you risk getting a poor-quality site. It may be so bad that you’d have to spend more trying to revamp it and make it look good and function well. It may even cause you to lose money by putting off clients due to its poor performance and lack of aesthetics.
Ready to learn more about web design? Then check out our step-by-step guide on designing a website!