Wix Website Designer Caitlin Pieters

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How to find 'the right' website designer to work with for your small business website

One of the biggest decisions a small business owner needs to make is choosing the 'right person' to design their website.

You've poured your heart into this business, and you know you're good at what you do. You just need a website that reflects that!

Your website is your shopfront and works for you 24/7. you want a website that's on-brand, truly aligned with your values, and that attracts your ideal client and turns them into paying customers, then you need to find someone to work with that not only has the right skillset, but who also really gers you and your brand. They need to take everything that you stand for and believe in, and translate it visually onto a website that really connects with your ideal client and turns them into paying customers.

When it comes to creating a website, there are so many decisions to make. Not only do you need to choose a domain name and which platform to use, but you also need to decide if you want to build it yourself or hire someone to help you.

And one of the most important decisions you can make is choosing the right person to work with.

And it can feel pretty daunting. You don't want to make a mistake, or waste time and money. You've already put so much time and effort into building your business, and you need a website that gives off the right impression of your brand and shows you off in the best light so you can look professional, attract your ideal client and be able to charge worth.

A good designer will help you clarify your message, and translate it visually.

It's important to find a designer with the right skillset and experience but who also really GETS you & your brand...

In this blog post, I explain how to find a website designer that's a good fit for you.

1. Ask your friends and peers who they used

Finding someone that's easy to work with and comes highly recommended by someone you know, is a really good starting point. If you have any friends or peers who have had their website designed for them, ask them for recommendations.

2. Ask for recommendations on social media

Post on social media and you'll be sure to get plenty of recommendations. The best place to post is on Facebook groups in your particular niche, whether you're a small business owner, female founder, coach or consider yourself a 'mumprenuer', you'll find a group of likeminded people who run a similar business to you.

3. Visit websites

Make a short list of your favourite websites: find some in your industry and others who might not be the same industry but that you just love. Visit each of them and scroll to the bottom of the page. It will usually say who designed the website in the footer so you can click on the link and view the designer's own website there.

4. Check out the web designer's portfolio

Once you have a shortlist of designers to check out, visit their websites and take a look through their whole portfolio. Make sure to click on the websites themselves so you can get a proper feel for them to make sure the quality is what you're after.

5. Read testimonials and case studies

Read all the testimonials, reviews and case studies on the web designer's site to see what people say about working with them. Also check out their profile on Google My Business and see the reviews people leave them there.

6. Book a discovery call with the website designer

Once you find someone you like the look of, book a discovery call with them. These should be free and no obligation to you. This is the best way to suss out whether you gel with the designer and see if you're a good fit. Do you connect with them? Or do they bamboozle you with technical jargon? Make sure you'll feel comfortable asking them 'silly questions' when you're working together so you feel calm, organised and in control of your website.

7. Trust your gut

Pay attention to how you feel when you speak to the designer. Often it's a case of going with your gut instinct. If you find the designer was warm, friendly and open then that's a good sign!

8. Pricing

Some designers will include things like your domain and website hosting package with their design fee. Ask them to send you a price break-down: you want someone who's transparent with their pricing so you know exactly what you're in for. In many cases if you're investing in a website, you'll be able to pay it off over a couple of months which can help with your cash flow and also ensures that you're 100% happy with the results.

9. Own your domain

I'm a firm believer that you should be the owner of your own domain. This is your website address, and you can easily purchase one from GoDaddy or 123 Reg yourself before you start designing your website. This means that you have full control over your domain, and you're less likely to be held hostage by a designer who goes missing-in-action (oh the horror stories I've heard!).

10. Freelance website designer or small business owner

Working with a freelancer designer or small business owner will help you keep costs down as they don't have the big overheads that a traditional agency would have. Many of these designers will have previous experience that they are bringing with them, and the skills and qualifications to back it up.

When you work 1-to-1 with someone, you often get a higher level of personalised support. The success of your website build means a lot to small business owner, because you're not just a number: you're a livelihood and also an important piece of work in their portfolio.

11: You get what you pay for

It's really easy to find a cheap designer on platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. But I'm guessing since you're here that you know cheap isn't always good! Everyone and their dog with a laptop and internet connection can claim to be a designer these days. So if you're purely price-shopping and want to go with the cheapest option, it's pretty much a race to the bottom (there is always someone who will do it for cheaper!) but you will soon realise need to pay twice once you realise your website isn't converting. I see this all the time!

12: Enjoy the process

You'll be working closely with the designer for a period of time, so you need to get along well with them and you want to enjoy the process

Remember this is your brand, your vision, your future. You want to enjoy the process of designing your website and bringing it all to life!

Have you checked out my FREE 20 minute video showing you exactly HOW TO PLAN A BRILLIANT SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE (even if you have no experience)? It comes with an editable workbook too so you can create a simple action plan and finally make some progress with your website.

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