Only 55% of small businesses have a website. And the rest?
Well, they should be looking for one.
Websites are the top marketing tools for small businesses. They’re an important digital storefront that can bring attention to your products or services through search engine optimization, convert potential customers with informative webpages, or can offer online shopping outright.
But the main reason these small businesses don’t have a website is that they don’t know how to hire a web designer.
It doesn’t have to be an excruciating process. You just need to know where to look, how much to budget, and what questions to ask a web designer.
Don’t have a clue about any of this?
We’ll answer these questions and more, and put you on a clear path to the various benefits of owning a website.
1. What Does Your Website Need?
Before you approach or even look for a web designer, you’ll need to know what to ask for. You know you want a website, but how many pages should your website have? How will the information be organized?
Will there be pictures? A blog? Customer comments and reviews?
You’ll also want to make sure you have a web server to host your website unless you trust your designer to suggest one for you.
Depending on the size of your business, you may only require a handful of essential pages:
- About Us
- Contact or Visit Us
- Product Information
While it may seem like a small list (and it is!), even a collection of simple pages will require a significant amount of time for a website designer for hire.
Our list also doesn’t touch on the use of stock images, backgrounds, fonts, and other elements of design. The more information you can give to a designer upfront, the less time he’ll have to work on the project, and the more you’ll save.
What if you’re not really sure what you want or need?
The best suggestion is to visit websites with memorable and user-friendly designs. Make a list of a few websites you fancy. Consider the spacing, the layout, the use or number of images and pages.
Organize your wants and desires. Now you have the information you need to give to the best web design agency or website designer you can find.
2. Where Do I Find a Web Designer Or Agency?
The search for the right web designer is the hard part.
But you’ve already done some of the work.
Review the list of well-designed websites you want to emulate. On the bottom of those websites, there could be a “Designed by” tag that links directly to the designer’s site.
If your favorite websites are missing this designation, why not contact the site owners directly, and ask them who designed their site? They were reliable and trustworthy for this project, so why not yours?
Since the designer obviously utilizes layouts you enjoy, this should be your first option.
But it isn’t your last.
There is a variety of freelancing websites that contain designers from around the world. Check out some options such as:
Once you’ve made contact with a website designer of your choice, you’ll want to ask them if they’re available and have them show you some reference works to make sure they’re fit for the job.
But what if you want to find a web design agency instead?
Web design agencies have teams of several designers, illustrators, and more, and are likely to offer you superior service and quality compared to a single web designer.
Of course, superior quality comes with a price.
Search for a variety of web design agencies. If their website looks good, it’s a sure sign that they know what they’re doing. The next step is to read company reviews.
If everything checks out, make sure you contact multiple web design agencies that appear good on paper, to see which are best for your budget.
3. What Is a Website Going to Cost Me?
The business of web design is still in its infancy. What this means is there’s a lack of standards, and with a lack of standards comes a wide range of different practices and prices.
Both web designers and agencies are going to handle prices differently.
Some may offer fixed prices for the project. After a bulk payment, the entire website project will be covered, which means any unexpected troubles shouldn’t cost you any extra.
The more popular payment plan is an hourly price, for every hour a designer or agency spends on the construction of your website.
Web design can typically run the gamut from $40 to around $200 an hour, at the very high end.
Let’s say you want a fairly simple website with the suggested four essential pages. How long is that going to take?
Typically, you can expect a simple website to take about two hours of work per page. At $80 per hour and four pages, you could expect to ultimately pay $320 for the creation of your website.
Consider also the hosting fee, and additional surcharges.
What if your website encounters a difficulty after the project’s been completed?
Many web design agencies have post-launch support, but a web designer will require additional payments to touch up your new website.
You Know How to Hire a Web Designer–What’s Next?
Now that you know how to hire a web designer or web design agency, your small business will be better prepared to utilize the best marketing tool available: Your own website.
Interested in more business advice? Check out some of our other articles to improve your bottom line.