Your web designer is a genius. You know this, because he’s told you himself. And you know what, you probably do not need a new web designer if your site is doing everything you want it to and updates are coming along as and when you need them, then that is great.
But sometimes you may start have doubts about your web page design. If you’re ticking off quite a few things from this list, it may be wise to find a new web designer.
You need a new web designer if their work does not yield tangible results
Now, before we start, let’s be clear that there are jobs a web designer does that don’t automatically show results. Coming up with ideas, particularly if you want something that’s going to look original, can be hard, research takes time and SEO doesn’t work like magic.
But a good web designer should be able to show you clearly what they’ve done with every hour they invoice for. If they spent it coming up with ideas, then they will be able to show you a number of rough sketches for different website concepts. If they’ve been researching they’ll be able to put together a profile telling you what they’ve learned about the competition. If you’re web designer is handing in invoices while saying things like “I’m just getting the initial requirements sorted”, then you should find a new web designer because it’s entirely possible the initial requirements they are working on are a better high score in Call Of Duty.
You need a new web designer when deadlines are seen more as suggestions
A brief is made up of three parts. The requirements, the budget, and the deadline. The requirements are what you want the designer to do. The budget is what you’re able to pay the designer to do it. The deadline is when you need it for. These three things should all stay constant in relation to each other. If your requirements increase, then expect it to cost more and take longer. But if the requirements stay as previously agreed, the designer should be able to get it done by the agreed date. Sometimes accidents happen, sure, but if deadlines are getting missed on a regular basis then your web designer is either giving you unrealistic expectations or worse, just messing you about.
Your website isn’t the be all and end all of your marketing strategy (I hope) and that means that there will be other parts of that strategy ready to roll out. So you want to make sure the website is ready to accompany that.
If your web site looks amazing… when it actually loads, you need a new web designer.
Still, let’s assume your web designer has done the work and it’s all turned up on deadline and it looks amazing. They’ve gone the whole nine yards and built a visual feast that is both innovative and stylish. Or at least it does when it finally loads up.
Sometimes in indulging their creative vision web designers can forget to think about things like bandwidth, and web page loading times, and this is a problem because most web developers agree that a visitor will get bored and go elsewhere if your site takes longer than five seconds to load. Personally, I think that’s too kind. If the little spinning wheel is still going after three seconds you need to cut some bulk from the site to squeeze down your average user’s bandwidth. No matter how cool the site looks, it’s not worth it if nobody gets to see it.
You need a new web designer if you don’t know how to update your own website
Now, maybe you prefer to outsource all your web content to the web design company, and have them run the entire site without any interference from you. But really, you want to be able to edit the site yourself, even if it’s just to update the news feed.
A good web design ought to come with an easy to use CMS (content management system). Even if it’s just the standard WordPress interface, you ought to be able to go in and change things easily on your own. If the CMS or web design software is unreliable, or worse, indecipherable, then you may want to bring in a new web designer who is better at working with you.
photo by: jm3