It’s probably impossible to say about a site right away “That’s the best website in the world!” However, one can always tell if the site looks great and if a web designer has done his job properly.
I’ve been in web industry for roughly a decade and I’ve arrived at a conclusion that there is no legit definition for “quality design”.
The unquestionable truth is that we always grow, master new aptitude and develop better and more original sites. Besides, new technologies and clients bring new types of great quality web sites that we haven’t seen before.
Every new feature introduced into web programming and design becomes a desired component for a site. For example, when sliders came out, everyone wanted to have one. Sliders have made it possible to view the site content from different parts and even services right on the front page. That’s exactly what puts newer sites ahead of the older ones – young blood, new methodologies and new IT opportunities.
We can look through a portfolio of a web designer and take a note of his progress over time. A lot of the older websites would definitely need updates to look more modern and attractive for the eye of a visitor. Media, video, animation, etc. are the components which add appeal to the sites and make them easy to navigate.
But can we actually call a site a quality one, all fully equipped but ranked at the bottom of search results page? Obviously, no. It takes so much more than just a look for a website to be called professional and quality. The entire design is expected to be functional, easily navigable and compliant with modern standards.
Today an unknown Internet seller has got just little chances to become successful in the modern competitive web industry. There is a big number of professional web companies and affiliates who promote the same sort of products and services on the Internet. Therefore, if you want to make money on a regular basis, you need to stand above the competition and present yourself in a confident and professional manner.
It’s not just a website that you need. What you need is a beautifully designed website that could tell everybody about the product or services you promote and the nature of your business.
The abundance of information on the Internet, advertising gimmicks and automatic processes have bored people by now and made them want to look for the “human factors”. It’s the connection with a real human being that is needed, but not only snazzy flash menus and multiple pictures. Think about it when designing a website.
Of course, it’s not going to be an easy task to think of the innovative and unique concept of your first website. I’d like to give you a piece of advice: don’t worry about being not unique. Don’t worry about innovative techniques; just start with your personality and what you’ve got to offer.
What’s important is to make sure that people get used to your brand, photos, product and logo of your company and website. The more frequently people see your brand attributes, the more chances you’ve got that they will have a desire to take a close look at the products and services your company offers. Reaching as many people as it’s only possible will help your company to acquire a sense of familiarity and popularity. That’s the strategy which is used by famous successful companies every day.
Always remember, that you are unique and despite the fact that our planet is inhabited by more than 6 billion people you do have certain traits and things which set you apart from the rest. Thus, a key to success is to be yourself and express yourself in a clear and honest manner. That’s the way to build an effective website presence.
Web industry is full of technical specs and terms which may seem meaningless and quite confusing. It’s easy to get an impression you can get lost in all this terminology, industry jargon and design specifications. But hopefully, the following tips will help you to understand the design process better so that you can feel more confident about what you want and what you really need.
The first thing to do is to define the purposes of a website. Before starting to learn the market of competitors, think of the fundamental reasons why you need a website and what you’d like to achieve with the help of it. Are they the sales that you want to boost, or maybe you’re interested in generating more enquiries? You may need a website to achieve brand recognition and thus, your business credibility and trustworthiness. There can be dozens of reasons why you would need a website to assist you in your business niche. But you should have a clear goal and certain expectations in your mind.
Plan your functionality from the beginning. You do need to know how to achieve your business objectives with a website. In the simple essence, website functionality is what a site is actually supposed to do. The important things to provide website functionality are:
- its content management system, usually abbreviated to CMS, which enables the website owner to regularly update the information on a site;
- registration forms. These online forms help to generate new leads which are used to convert chance-comers to prospective customers through mailing various offers, discounts, catalogs etc;
- forums. They are good to entice your customers to the website and make them return to it again and again;
- e commerce which is indispensable when you use your website to sell items online. People can purchase things using their credit cards with a single click within moments;
- image galleries that are useful for the websites which store portfolios and numerous pictures.
Sure enough you should listen to the advice of a professional and keep your mind open, but at least now you’ve got an idea what you need to look for.
The other important thing is to work out your set budget. The pricing rates greatly vary in the web industry. There are cheap websites which can be quickly developed using website builders and there are really costly ones with the complex structures and programming codes. Therefore, when you plan the whole budget of a website, realistically assess its purposes and functionality. If a website serves just as a virtual business presence, you can keep the price quite low. But if you need it for selling products, something like Auction Online, for example, there would definitely be more funds involved.
So now you see what the right website means. It is such a website which satisfies needs and demands of business owners and their customers. It doesn’t have to have the same functionality, look or cost, but it definitely should serve its purpose.
Whether you’re just looking for the good web resources to find a freelance web designer or already dealing with a certain website, you need to make sure that you can completely rely on quality of the provided services. You may need to be convinced that the web design will be finished within the set time-frame but you never know what guarantees the designer can ensure you with.
However, dealing with freelance web designers can be beneficial for your company in case you’ve got the limited budget. Multiple freelance websites offer various offshore workers who are ready to take on a project for the reduced cost. You will greatly save the funds and still purchase the product of high quality. Besides, hiring a full-time designer can be quite pricey for a small company when a freelance designer doesn’t have to become a part of your working staff.
So, the simple job in the first place appears to be quite difficult. The only thing you can do is to try the tools provided by the freelance websites and see whether you run any risk. A sensible idea would be to see how difficult the previous projects were. A web designer can be really good to implement a small website, but to complete something more complex such as a corporate website wouldn’t cope with. Take a look at the entire portfolio, read as much additional information as it’s possible, review the comments, check the ratings etc.
Hiring a freelance web designer, you also need to get acquainted with a work area to be able to fairly judge quality and proficiency of an expert. Of course, you don’t need to be trained in the web industry, but having a basic technical understanding is helpful nonetheless. If the web design industry is absolutely beyond your knowledge or capabilities, then you can always ask somebody for help or for some advice.
It would also be helpful to share your visions on the website project with a freelance web designer and ask him if he’s ever designed something similar. He may have samples or references to offer you to choose from.
Before purchasing a website, make sure you sincerely answer the following questions first.
In what way your company is unique and how your offers differ from the others. Why should the customers use exactly your service? What benefits will they achieve? How can your company help them?
Upon answering these questions you will clearly see whether you honestly need a website, what’s its main purpose, what’s the targeted group of customers and how many funds you can invest in your business project.
If you thought of all “pros” and “cons” and made a decision to go for your own web design business project, think of creating a proper portfolio to showcase your abilities and professionalism. When creating websites, don’t forget to keep the screen shots or the copies of the sites to show your work to the clients and insert the links. The description to each web project will help your customers to see what’s what and at the same time promote your site in the search engines.
It goes without saying that to have a print material is definitely a good idea, especially for those who visit different meetings to demonstrate colorful visions of the websites. But at the same time the online material is also precious. It vividly shows the dynamic aspects of various interactive applications such as Flash pages, Ajax etc.
If you’re at your career start, don’t neglect to do “free jobs”. It’s not like you’re portraying yourself as a bad professional. No. But firstly, you definitely need to make a good portfolio to start charging people for your work. You may work for little money, offer various discounts and reduced costs for a period of time, but eventually your professional level will rise up and your reputation will be indisputable in the web industry. This is where real earnings begin. Besides, if you can both, share some advice on how to improve a website in general and create an interesting web designer blog to post recommendations and leave professional remarks, you can get your career off to a brilliant start.
Don’t feel intimidated to post your business information on the website. You might not want to have a logo on each page to officiously promote your web design business. Nevertheless, the About us page should contain at least something which will tell a user about your professional activity and the career history. Besides, the contact information on the website is a necessity. The potential clients need to know how to contact you in case they are interested in your services. Several ways to contact you would be a massive advantage to suit everyone’s convenience. You never know which communication means is more preferable for your customer and still you should be oriented to increasing the amount of your potential customers.