Web Designer Qualifications
You’ve decided to hire a web designer to create your first website or redesign your current website. What web designer qualifications should you be looking for?
First, narrow your list of web designers down to two or three and create a checklist or spreadsheet for each to compare them to make your final decision.
Here’s a list of web designer qualifications to consider.
- Creativity and Design Skills: A web designer must have a strong sense of creativity and design principles. You’ll want them to create a visually attractive and engaging design that aligns with your brand identity and target audience. Review their portfolio of past client websites they’ve built to get a sense of these skills.
- Although your website design may begin by selecting a professionally created layout, your web designer should customize it to reflect your brand, is unique and presents the personality of your practice.
- Technical Proficiency: A competent website designer should have a solid understanding of web design technologies and tools. They should be able to describe the process of how they will design your website from beginning to launch. Knowledge of a content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and eCommerce (catalog / shopping) are important.
- User Experience (UX) Focus: A good website designer considers the user experience. They should prioritize intuitive navigation, clear calls to action (CTAs), and mobile device responsiveness to ensure that visitors have a positive and seamless experience on your website.
- On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Your website designer should have the skill to optimize each page by helping you select keywords to optimize each page for. Besides keywords and where they are on your pages, Google’s ranking algorithms also consider metrics such as page-load speed, the time visitors spend on your website, how deep they go into your website, how many and from whom you have backlinks from. The goal of this optimization is to attract visitors to your website by getting your website on the first page of Google for your targeted keywords.
- Understanding of Branding: Your website designer will need to grasp your brand’s identity (logo, colors, fonts styles…, values, and target market. Ask them how they will incorporate these elements into your website design.
- Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication is crucial in any design project, as you and your designer will likely have lots of conversations as the design progresses. Your website designer needs to listen to your requirements, provide regular updates, and be receptive to your feedback and suggestions. Collaboration between you and the designer is essential to achieve the desired outcome. Agree on the prime communication channel you and your designer will use. Although phone calls and/or Zoom type meetings may be appropriate, it will be important for much of your discussions to be documented. Email will do that.
- Website Testing: Your designer should test the website to assure all links works and that it is free of all errors.
- Attention to Detail: A meticulous eye for detail is essential in website design. Your designer needs to pay attention to font selection, color schemes, spacing, spelling, grammar, content clarity and overall consistency to create a professional website. Although you may provide content (product / service descriptions and guarantees, “our story”, your tagline,…), your web designer must assure this information is appropriately placed into your website.
- Timeliness and Project Management: You and your website designer will agree on a time-table including items needed from you and when. A reliable web designer will manage the project and keep it on track.
- Post-Launch Support: Your website may not be finalized when it gets launched. Fine tuning and monitoring will likely be needed, especially to assure search engines are tracking your website and on-page SEO adjusted to improve ranking. In addition, after launch, it may require occasional plugin and/or content updates, maintenance, and support. A good website designer will offer post-launch help as part of their hosting / maintenance plan.
These web designer qualifications may vary depending on your needs and project. Much of what you discuss and learn during your due diligence process to choose a website designer will make its way into the final contract for services.
Email me for a free consultation on your website needs, to ask questions about these web designer qualifications and/or to explore how I may make your website work harder for you.
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