Making the Most of Website Designers

by Kevin Gibbons

MacBook - image by DaveOnFlickr on FlickrWho makes the vast storehouse that is the Internet palatable to look at and digest? The answer:  website designers.  Combining many of the commercial sphere’s creative challenges, website design constantly attracts new recruits.

Copywriting, graphic design and audio-visual technical skills are key aspects of website design. Professional-looking moving image technology, clever use of sound, and easy cross-referencing in the form of hypertext links (XR) are all indispensable ingredients to a good web page design. Running concurrently with these in the website designer’s repertoire is a good grounding in the relevant IT processes.

The Extensive Toolkit at the Website Designer’s Disposal

Embedding web forms and an auto responder to collect your viewers’ email addresses and then verify these is often a vital element in a business website. The use of the most up-to-date XHTML, making pages load quickly, is similarly important. Cool graphic elements, such as purpose-designed logos, backgrounds, illustrative images, and scrolling banners, “lift” the website and give it an air of authority. Professionals know how to limit these to the bandwidth at your disposal to maintain the speediest loading time possible. Accessibility aspects, ensuring that no targeted viewer is disqualified due to physical impairment, need to be considered too. All of these and much more will be in the toolkit of a good website design service.

Websites need to Attract Bona Fide Customers

Boosting online traffic is not the only goal to pursue, however: it’s important to work on conversion. Put simply, conversion occurs when a prospect visiting your site opts to do what you were hoping they’d do – sign up for your newsletter or free offer, ask for a quote or for more details, or actually buy your product. Expressed as a percentage, this figure ideally needs to reach somewhere above the oft-quoted average of a mere 0.5%. Look for website designers who have a proven record of achieving impressive conversion rates for their clients.

Facing Up to the Competition

A major problem for the majority of average-size businesses is the slick appearance and fast performance of some of the big, popular corporations favored by web users. To have any prospect of competing with these, besides using all the traditional marketing at your disposal, you must also be smart when hiring a web design team. Most important is to check out their portfolio, visiting the websites contained therein and verifying with the owners that the work was really done by the designers in question. Examine their history, ask about follow-up support, and only sign them up when you are sure that they’re capable of creating a fully-featured, professional, easy-to-navigate, and easily comprehended website.

If your own budget constraints do not run to all the possible animated and interactive features, you should as a minimum ensure that any visitor knows what is offered and with one click can see how to order what you are promoting and how to contact you.

Conducting the Website Litmus Test

Once designed and launched, your website, no matter how good-looking it is, will benefit from the scrutiny of a professional appraisal or review service. Their job is to pinpoint the weaknesses that your website still possesses. Indeed, it makes sound business sense to build in a measure of retention when negotiating with your website designers. In other words, agree on a sum of money to be kept for fixing the gaps that may be discovered during the testing and reviewing phase. Almost all weaknesses centre on the low number of users finding your site. This is usually a matter of insufficient or inadequate SEO strategies.

If you’ve chosen wisely and paid for quality design, then your website creator should be happy to sort out any glitches. Your designer or design team should be on hand for future improvements to the site.

Article by Kevin Gibbons of Approved Index

Approved Index is a leading online service provider that connects buyers and suppliers for a range of services and equipment such as ecommerce web design.