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6 top tips for choosing a great web designer

When it comes to making the most of your great value LetsHost Irish hosting and domain registration, crafting a quality website comes pretty high on the list.

No matter what your online project, getting your website right is a crucial element in its success. You need too find a great web designer to work on your website project. But where do you start?

Here are a few suggestions.

  • Check out their website: the best place to start when assessing any web design company is with their own website. Does it look professional? Is it functional? How well does the site address the needs of its target audience (in this case, that’s you)?
  • Check out their web design portfolio: examine the portfolio section of their website, but go beyond the designer’s site and click through to the websites themselves. Think about the client site’s goals, and how well the designer has addressed them.

That should help you whittle things down to a manageable shortlist… now dig a bit deeper.

  • Get recommendations: check the contact details on the best of the portfolio sites for your shortlisted web designers. Drop them a line by e-mail or pick up the phone and ask for some honest feedback on their web design experience.
  • How is their online reputation?: web forums, online communities and peer review sites are another good place to find information about your short listed web design firms. Is the online vibe positive or negative? What are people saying about them?
  • Are their sites search engine friendly?: go back to the portfolio sites of your short-listed designers again. Pick a few relevant keyword phrases and type them into your favourite search engine. Do the portfolio sites appear on the search results page?

    NB. Low ranking doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem with web design – there are many components that contribute to search engine ranking – but it’s something you should ask them to clarify before making your decision.

  • Does your web designer adhere to web standards: go to the W3Cs website validation page and enter the address of your short listed web designers’ sites through the MarkUp Validator, Link Checker and CSS Validator. Are the sites web standards compliant?

    NB. You shouldn’t necessarily discount your favourite designers because of this – but it is something else you should ask them about before making your final decision.

If you’ve run through the above you should have eliminated all but a few competent and professional web design companies you’d like to quote / tender on your website project.

The final decision is, of course, up to you.