With so much technology and so many tools freely available online today, web design has become “commoditized”. In some cases, individuals and companies with little experience and capital can easily come into the website designing market and set up shop. Not that this is a bad thing. However, prospective web site building service clients must exercise some diligence before hiring a web professional.
Four web designing agency competencies to look for
The rapidly evolving web development and designing technology landscape poses a challenge to would-be employers looking to hire businesses and individuals experienced in those technologies. It’s often hard for business owners and website operators to know which web design agency to work with.
Being overly cautious could mean you end up rejecting many skilled designers and developers. On the other hand, not exercising due diligence could mean you hire a web designer who isn’t right for your company. So, what are the right competencies that you should look for when vetting a prospective web designing services provider?
Here are 4 things that you should stress upon:
1) Relevant Industry experience: The main reason that you, as an entrepreneur, business owner or online marketer, need a professional to design your website is because you want to stay ahead of your competitors. Therefore, it is essential that the person/firm you hire knows exactly what your competition is up to. When hiring a web designing professional, make sure they have lots of experience related to the industry you work in. That’s the best way to get value for money!
2) Broad-based technical knowledge: It’s not just enough to have industry-specific experience. You need to ensure that the web design specialist you hire is well-versed in a broad set of technical skills.
The objective of engaging professional help is not just to replicate the technologies your competitors have, but to surpass them! And to do that, you need professionals who possess a wide array of technical skills and competencies. Some specific knowledge areas to look for include:
- Web site design and development
- Online security
- Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Hosting services
- Email and other communication strategies
3) Proven track record: Many newcomers in the website design field have a lot of “paper experience” on their resumes. But that’s not what you are looking for. You need someone (or a team of professionals) who has actually “been there, done that”.
Real-world experience must trump theoretical and conceptual knowledge any day! Just because you see popular buzzwords on a website, doesn’t mean that web design service has what it takes to implement those concepts in the real world. Hire someone who has previously successfully implemented those technologies and techniques at client sites.
4) Pricing: This is the most difficult of all factors to consider when hiring a website designer. Many businesses make it the most important criteria. Some make it the first one to assess…and that’s a mistake!
It’s true that price matters – but not as much as quality and value for money.
If the web design services provider you are assessing has the experience, skills and track record you are looking for, then he/she will likely deliver you the results you are expecting. So, unless their pricing is dramatically higher than others with similar profiles, you shouldn’t make cost the only deciding factor.
No one suggests that you shouldn’t negotiate with your prospective website designer on pricing. In fact, doing so could net you some surprising results – like a few extra months of free support! But be mindful that good service always comes at a (reasonable) piece. So, you should be willing to pay that price in return for high-quality service.
An Ounce Of Caution
Not every new web design professional is suspect. However, as you embark on your search for someone to work on your company’s website designing project, the onus is on you to exert some form of diligence to ensure you are receiving value for money. So, what might “caution” look like?
A face-to-face (in person) interview with key design team members is a great way to assess who you are hiring. If that’s not possible, at minimum, a Skype or FaceTime session is in order
Don’t just ask your prospective website designing agency for references – verify those referrals and confirm they are legitimate.
Ideally, have a tech-savvy employee, colleague or friend sit in with you during your interviews. Make sure you (or your fellow interview panelists) ask the web designer pertinent questions related to the tools and technologies that your company uses.
An ounce of caution can go a long way in ensuring you have the best web design team working for you.