by Kyla Camille Nievera, Negosentro.com | If you’re running an online business, or a traditional brick-and-mortar business with an online presence, your website is your virtual front office. It is the part of your business that interacts with your online customers. Therefore, your website must be user friendly. Users should be able to navigate through your web pages with ease and be able to locate information quickly. It is always advisable that users do not have to click more than three times before arriving at the information they are searching for.
Web design is a technical affair, and, for the best results you should never compromise on the quality of your website. The industry is also flooded with unprofessional web designers and therefore you need to vet the web designers you hire to develop your website. The good news is that you can easily tell an expert web designer from the wannabes. Here is how.
Lack of Proper Communication
A good web designer that knows what he is doing will always keep you updated on the progress of the web design project. He will also ensure that he asks for your opinion concerning a number of things he needs to incorporate into the design. For instance, he may ask the colors that you prefer for your website and a host of other preferences in order to incorporate them into your website. Therefore, communication is at the core of the web design process.
However, if you notice that your web designer is aloof and attempts to avoid your inquiries, it may be time to hire another web designer. If your e-mails consistently go unanswered and calls get directed to a voicemail service, you need to be really afraid. Chances are that the web designer you’re dealing with is not an expert and you can expect mediocre results.
It’s also better to work with a web design agency that is close to you. For instance, if you live in the Twin Cities area, then you’d be better off working with a Minneapolis web design agency if possible.
Lack of Compatibility
A good website must be designed to be scalable across the various web browsers. If your web designer provides you with references of some of the work they have done previously, try opening them across different web browsers. There are quite a few of them: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. If you notice that the organization of text and graphics on the webpage appears different in other browsers, you know that your designer struggles to make things compatible.
Your website will be visited by a variety of users and they will be using different browsers to open your webpages. If the site doesn’t perform optimally in all browsers, you are going to lose a chunk of your customers. Therefore, if your web designer appears to be giving excuses as to why your website does not work appropriately on some browsers, you can be sure that he is a novice in the web design world.
The best web designer will ensure that your website opens seamlessly across all browsers. He will test for this compatibility to ascertain optimal functionality.
Is Your Website Shareable?
Your website should also be compatible with social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg and the rest. Never take this for granted. Social networks are among the best ways of driving traffic to your website. This traffic is what is eventually converted into sales. If your website lacks integration with social media, you’re in bad shape and your web designer is an amateur.
Any online marketing guru will tell you that social media gives you access to a wide customer base and it’s the most effective way to launch your brand and also engage with your potential customer. Therefore, if your designer fails to mention the importance of social media integration, you can be sure that your designer is not a professional and it’s time you hired another, more competent web designer.
Does it Follow SEO Standardization?
Your survival online depends largely on how well your website performs in the search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy used by expert web designers to ensure that your website is visible online. In other words, when users are searching for services online using search engines such as MSN and Google, is your website among those that are returned to the user?
This is the most critical aspect of your web design and must be done by someone who understands how SEO works for the best results. Ask your web designer how they are going to make your website compliant with SEO standards. Counter check the answers they provide by searching for them on the internet to ascertain their authenticity or consulting with another expert.
If you notice that the information provided is inaccurate or your designer is finding it difficult to give you an answer in a manner simple enough for you to understand, he probably isn’t sure about what he’s doing. You should have reservations about web designers that find it difficult to explain how they will get things done on your web design project. Get rid of such designers.
Is Your Website Slow?
Your website will likely have lots of text and graphics, especially if you’re running an online store. After all, your customers need to see the items they intend to buy and perform a number of other transactions.
If your web designer tells you that your website will be slow because of the numerous graphics on your webpages, then you’ll automatically know that you’re dealing with an inexperienced web designer. A professional web designer uses tools to compress images so that they are light enough, while still maintaining a high quality appearance. Moreover, how the SQL program is coded also affects the loading speed of your website.
Your graphics and text must be well organized on the web pages and be appealing to the eye. Although this doesn’t alter the functionality of the website, it is an added advantage for your users.
You’re probably spending quite a lot of money on your web design project, so make sure you follow these tips to ensure it is a success.