When developing a website, you are investing a good amount of money because you want it to work and generate ROI over the long haul. Website design is a crucial part of web development because it helps ensure a stunning user experience that can convert traffic into a loyal fan base.

That means you need to hire a seasoned designer that knows how to create magic with their creativity and professionalism. They know website design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about functionality, user experience, and achieving business objectives.

But a Google search reveals there are hundreds and thousands of individual designers and design agencies all claiming they are the best. At that point, you start wondering how to choose a website designer from so many options!

Follow our guide and make sure your investment does not go in vain.

The Importance of a Well-Designed Website

  • First Impression

Your business website is where your online prospects make the first contact with your brand and offerings. This is your chance to make a great first impression because this helps establish trust and credibility.

  • Excellent UX

Good design directly impacts the user experience. A well-designed website ensures the visitors can navigate easily, find their desired information quickly, and make other interactions (e.g. transactions) comfortably.

  • Ranking and Visibility

Things like clean code, appropriate headings, and image optimization make it easier for Google to index and rank your site. As a result, a good design has a direct impact on your SEO.

  • Responsiveness

Smartphone users are growing rapidly and you can be sure that mobile web traffic is the future. You have to make sure that your site looks and functions well on a variety of screen sizes and devices for a consistent user experience.

  • Brand Identity

An elegant website integrates the brand’s visual elements, uniqueness, and color seamlessly so the users can memorize and remember your brand effortlessly. Sooner or later, this allows them to relate to your brand identity.

  • Conversion Ratio Optimization

It’s a well-established fact that design influences consumer behavior, including their purchase decisions. If your website has the different elements such as call-to-action buttons, contact forms, subscribe options, and notification choices put in the right place the right way, you will get to enjoy more visitors with better conversion rates.

How to Choose a Website Designer? : 9 Steps to Follow

Step 1: Identifying Your Goals, Audience, and Features

The first step is to determine what kind of website you want to develop – an Ecommerce or a blog or a company website?

The purpose of the website determines the roadmap of the design. Also, you have to point out who your target audience is and what type of interactions you are expecting.

What’s more, it is essential to list all the features and functions you want. If you can’t decide on all these, the designer will help you pinpoint everything that aligns with your goal.

Here’s an example.  Suppose you want to design a travel website. In that case, you have to determine the following:

Goal: Developing an online travel agency

Target Audience: Travelers, business persons, honeymooners

Features: Online flights, hotels and train tickets booking, including deals and promotions listing

Step 2: Estimating the Budget and Timeline

You need to decide how much you can afford and when you want the design to be ready before you approach any web design agency.

Some agencies do not share their pricing on their websites and ask the prospects to get in touch with them for a custom quote. If you have a limited budget, you should share all the features and elements you are expecting so you can be sure that the agency will be able to incorporate them without charging more halfway down the process.

With that in mind, you have to start looking for a UI/UX design agency.

Step 3: Researching the Designer

Before searching for an agency, you need to ask yourself two important questions – what kind of designer you want and where to search for them?

There are two types of web designers available – the freelancer and the agency. Each one comes with different features and pricing options.

Usually, the freelancer is a cheap and one-person band. You can hire them from different freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com. Compared to an agency, they are more flexible, communicative, and attentive to detail, mostly working for one client at a time.

However, there are lots of beginners and non-professionals available on these platforms looking to make some bucks. You have to be careful when hiring a freelance web designer.

On the other hand, a UI/UX design agency is usually a small-to mid-sized firm that can work for multiple clients simultaneously. They are a bit more expensive than freelancers but are capable of handling a broader range of tasks and design aspects with other benefits like quick delivery and quality assurance.

There are also full-service agencies that offer more services like web development, SEO, digital marketing, and brand optimization. The pros are that they can tackle large and complex projects while you can get all the services from one place at a competitive pricing.

But the downside is you may have to pay more for small projects. Sometimes, the communication may take time because of the corporate hierarchy.

Your ultimate choice will depend on the type of project you have and your budget.

Now, the question is where to find them?

As said before, you can hire freelancers and agencies from marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr. You can post a job on Upwork or contact as many sellers on Fiverr as you want.

For full-stack agencies, Google “ best website designer,” list down a few top agencies, and check on review sites like Clutch for their ratings, pricing, and testimonials.

Some top search results may be ads and we recommend that you ignore them.

For an agency that you can visit and have a face-to-face conversation with, Google “best website designer [your location]” e.g. “best website designer California”

After looking into the profiles of at least 10-15 individual designers or design agencies, narrow down your list to 5-8 based on their experience, hourly or base rate, and portfolio.

Now you have to get in touch with and interview them one by one.

Step 4: Understanding their Design Methodology

Every freelancer or agency has their unique design processes. If you can understand their approaches, you will know whether their methods will align with yours or not.

A good web designer will listen to your ideas and share their own insights to make things smoother. Remember, they should be collaborative, not a one-way street.

Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Do you have experience with similar projects?
  • What is your UI/UX design approach?
  • What technologies and tools do you use?
  • Will you reconsider the design halfway if I find any critical errors?
  • Do you offer post-launch support and maintenance?
  • How do you handle website security and data protection?

Step 5: Looking into their Portfolio

Usually, professional web design agencies showcase their most successful projects on their websites or other media like Dribble or Behance.

If you notice that they have done similar projects to yours, ask them for some samples and look around to see what to expect from them.

There are other metrics you need to look out for, such as mobile-friendliness, aesthetics, clean code, strategically positioned call-to-action buttons, and fast-loading features.

Don’t forget to check out the designs of their official websites too. If their own websites are slow, hard to navigate, and unresponsive, ignore them so your project is not ruined at the end of the day.

You can ask the following questions:

  • What are some websites you have built recently?
  • What industries are you covering?
  • Have you done any projects similar to mine?
  • Can you make a responsive and fast-loading website?

Step 6: Client Testimonials and Reviews

You should have a look at the client ratings, reviews, and testimonials of your shortlisted agencies to check their credibility and trustworthiness. But be careful because there are many fake reviews that are hard to distinguish from the real ones.

When looking for the best website designer, go through their official websites, social media pages, Google Business Profiles, and other reliable review platforms like Clutch or Trustpilot.

Find out the answers to the following questions:

  • How many stars have they gained out of five?
  • Do they follow deadlines sincerely?
  • Are they cheap or expensive?
  • What types of results do they drive for clients – positive or negative?
  • How are their communication skills?

Step 7: Asking for Referrals

If you know someone who has worked with web designers before, why not ask them for recommendations? If they are happy with the solution, they will happily refer their best options to you.

Also, if you like the designs of your competitors, scroll down to the bottom of the website (footers) and check for the name of the developer. Often, many websites credit the names of the designers at the bottom.

This is a clever way to know which developers they used for their web design needs.

Step 8: Contacting the designer Directly

Giving your preferred agency a direct call or dropping an email is the best way to get to know more about the agency better. You will understand the quality of their customer service while picking up the phone.

This will allow you to determine whether they are worth your money and time.

Step 9: Requesting for a Quote and Discussing Your Budget

After considering the above steps and narrowing down to two to three agencies, discuss your primary goal, features, and budget with the finalists in detail. Ask for their quotations in this stage.

If they demand more for your unique features, try to negotiate and get a custom plan. 

Ultimately, adjust your budget with their price tag and hire the best agency that is within your range and can meet your requirements.

The Role of a Good Web Designer

Just like any other discipline, web design and development requires patience, dedication, and practice for a learner to become a professional. 

A website designer is responsible for building your online presence by crafting an intuitive, user-friendly, aesthetic, and functional design solution.

They have deep knowledge and understanding of user intention and interaction, niche trends, and search engine optimization (SEO).

If you know how to find a good website designer, you can expect the following from their services:

  • User-Centered Design

A good web designer prioritizes your target audience and their needs, behaviors, and preferences in each phase of a design process.

They then use their empathy, intuition, and creativity to create a visually pleasing and easy-to-navigate solution.

They also add different graphical elements such as font, image, color, and layout that align with the theme of your brand.

  • Mobile Adaptability and Browser Compatibility

Have you ever visited a website that didn’t fit in your phone screen? That means the layout was not mobile responsive.

Nowadays, it is a must that your website is mobile-friendly. The designer knows how to make your web design look good on all devices and screen sizes.

They also test your site on several web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge to confirm it loads smoothly.

  • Technical Knowledge

It’s better if the design has some coding knowledge like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript so they can build your site structure in such a way that ensures smooth functionality. But don’t expect that every design will have that.

  • SEO Best Practices

A good designer is well-familiar with SEO principles and the best practices, and implements them into the design process.

They add SEO elements like headers, metadata, image ALT option, footer, sidebar, and widget while ensuring that the site loads fast. All these factors help with your ranking.

Partner with Us to Craft Your Dream Website!

Here at UIExpertz, we build result-driven design solutions leveraging human intuition and cutting-edge technology.

Our UI/UX design solutions are crafted with one goal in mind – your webpages show up on top search results and maintain their position.

Responsive Design: We ensure your website looks and functions its best on all types of devices, from desktops to smartphones.

Information Architecture: We organize content in a logical and easy-to-navigate structure for enhanced  user engagement.

Visual Hierarchy: The layouts are designed in a way that emphasizes important content and intuitively guides the users through the key elements 

Call-to-Action (CTA) Design: We create compelling and strategically placed CTAs to drive user interactions and conversions

Accessibility Considerations: We design with accessibility in mind to ensure your website is also reachable to people with disabilities

Final Thoughts

Finding the right web design agency takes time and effort. You need to actively research and inspect the due diligence, such as experience, portfolio, roadmap, price, and testimonials to choose the ideal one.

If you follow the above steps, you can find the best designer who can optimize your website for better ranking, fast-loading, user-friendly, and well-structured interface. Also, they will ensure their solutions align with your ultimate goal.

Now that you know how to choose a website designer, it’s time to hit the road!

FAQs

The answer is no. They use visual editors like Photoshop, Figma, Adobe Dreamweaver, Sketch, Canva, or Illustrator to create images. Also, they use prototyping and animation tools like InVision Studio, Axure, Adobe XD, or App Builder to design layouts and mockups.

An intermediate-level freelancer charges about $75 per hour. On the other hand, the average hourly rate is $50 – $150. However, the rate can vary depending on the complexity and timeline of the project.

No, it is one of the popular programming languages that is used for developing web applications.