Your website design is your international presence. It’s your brand, presented to local consumer bases, and your services, provided for ever expanding demographics. That means your website should be carefully planned and religiously serviced. Neglect will kill even the most successful website, and while it may take months to reach the first page of Google, you can drop from that spot overnight. Who should you trust for your website design? Should you go with a big firm with lots of features, or a smaller company with a smaller staff. Here are some things to look for in your website design.

Look For Real Production

Any web designer should have a portfolio. This portfolio should contain actual, working websites for honest-to-goodness companies. You can learn a lot from this. First of all, you can know, for sure, that the designer can actually put a website together. But there is even more that a portfolio can tell you. It will tell you that the designer can, indeed, communicate with customers. It means that he can initiate and complete a job. The contents of the portfolio will also show you the designer’s flexibility. Does every site look the same, or are there examples of collaboration.

Look For Communication

If you have a hard time understanding what the designer is trying to do with your site, you’ve got a communication problem. You might want to look for a different designer, because it’s only going to get worse from here. If you find yourself waiting for days to hear from him, or he doesn’t make the process understandable to you from the beginning, he’ll probably never be able to do so.

Ask Questions

Your web designer should be able to answer questions about operations. Does he understand what you’re looking for in your site? Can he make the navigation crisp and intuitive? Find out if he has any experience in getting your brand out there. He should know some strategies for increasing your conversion rates, too. Most business owners want to generate leads, and that takes some attention from the designer. If he is inexperienced, or too busy to bother with your little site, you can get lost in the shuffle.

Check References

This speaks for itself. Maybe you have a friend or two who has had website design done, and can recommend a designer. Or, maybe the designer himself has given you references. Follow up.

Features

What features does the web designer offer? There should be a selection of packages that will offer various services and guarantees. Large companies, for instance, may have several different levels of service. Check these out carefully. In many of these situations, you’ll find yourself on your own with the less expensive packages. Customer service is often undependable. Smaller firms usually offer more individual attention and customization, but may have server issues.

The best balance in selections of web designers is one who can offer you personal service, and who also has backup systems, and dependable servers and customer service.