I guess an alternative title for this article could be “What your web design company expects from YOU…” as building a website is a 2 way communication between designer and client.
Firstly it’s important for you (as a client) to understand that a web designer probably knows very little about you or your business, so giving your designer as much info as possible from the start will help them… but it’s equally important for designers to note that the majority of their clients know very little about web design or owning a website so it’s equally as important for the design company to explain everything in PLAIN ENGLISH to their clients.
Here’s a brief list of what you (as a client) should expect from a web designer / web design company:
A good looking design.
This is a real no brainer, we might as well just skip this one as it’s obvious!
A responsive website will be fluid in it’s design and construction, by fluid I mean that it will respond to the size of the screen it is being viewed on and adapt automatically – this is very important for small screen devices such as tablets or mobiles. The design should not require the user to scroll left and right to see the whole page or zoom in and out to read text. Google is having a big push on respsonsive design at the moment and is penalising websites that don’t respond well to different screen sizes.
All websites are made up of code, this code is then turned into a web page by the browser the visitor is using – all sounds simple enough… but wait – not all browsers are exactly the same, so some browsers may interpret some code differently which means that some parts of your website may look different depending on the browser being used… This may not be a huge issue – if someone using Internet Explorer see’s a line of text in bold when others don’t then who cares – right? Well ok that isn’t the end of the world but what if someone using Internet Explorer doesn’t see your menu so can’t click on the different pages of your website? What if someone using the Google Chrome browser get’s a huge black box where your text should be? Now it’s a problem right? Your web design should thoroughly test your website on all the major desktop and mobile browsers before your site goes live.
A Quick Website
I don’t meant that the designer should be quick in building your website, I mean that your website when finished should load quickly on a visitors device – waiting for your website to load up will turn people away very quickly. If your web designer / developer is a decent one then he will already have site speed in his mind when building your website, there are various things that can / should be done as standard anyway to help speed up a website – these including reducing image sizes, using caching techniques etc…
This should probably be at the top of the list but seeing as I am very much typing as I think here I haven’t really planned my list too well!
If you have had dealings with a web designer or developer in the past then you may well have been the victim of “web design techno babble” – the use of words that have no real purpose except to confuse and annoy people unless you are a web designer. An example might be:
“During the construction phase we have noticed that you are lacking in a destinct contact call to action message in the header” – this translates as “it’s a good idea to have your phone number at the top of your website”
If your web designer speaks a weird techno language that you don’t understand then maybe it’s time to switch designers…
I really really really HATE this last one – sure a designer needs to be competitive but there are so many web designers out there on the internet these days that maybe design websites in their spare time or outsource the work to India that it is getting hard for good, decent and honest companies (like us) to compete – so I am making a stand for all the hard working web design companies out there… if you are a potential client looking for a web designer and you think you can get a good website with great support for less than £300 then good luck to you… Here is a link to Google so you can find someone to build you a website that professionally represents your business on the net and will not leave you high and dry when you need them…
Still here? Good – you are the kind of client we like to work with – you want good work for a honest, decent price… 🙂