If you’re in the market for a new website (or to redesign an existing one), it’s important to know what to look for when hiring a website designer in Melbourne.
There are many factors to consider, such as how much to pay, ongoing maintenance and support services, SEO services, and website security. But don’t let all these things overwhelm you.
You have enough to worry about when it comes to running your own company. That’s why it’s essential to partner with a web designer who has you covered when it comes to web builds. You want to be able to work with someone who can help with your website creation (or rebuild) and turn it into an asset for your business.
A good quality website designer can add value to your company by taking into account that every business is unique and has different needs. Your website needs to stay current and in good working order while ranking well in search options so customers can find and do business with you.
Your web designer needs to understand how a well-designed website not only helps you with your target audience but is user-friendly with your customer front in mind.
To help get you started on this journey, we will discuss some of the most important things to keep in mind when hiring a website designer in Melbourne. Let’s dive in!
What You Should Consider When Hiring a Website Designer in Melbourne
There are several factors to consider when hiring a website designer in Melbourne before signing on the dotted line. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and request a consultation before agreeing to anything.
Here are a few important things to consider that can make a difference when choosing the right web designer for your company.
The Cost – Not Too High and Not Too Cheap!
We’ve all heard the saying “you get what you pay for”, right? Well, this goes both ways.
Too cheap, and you’ll likely end up with a website that is hard to navigate and update and not user-friendly for your customers. A cheap web designer may not offer ongoing support and maintenance packages to continue the growth of your website.
On the other hand, there are options out there that are way too over-valued. These web designers promise everything but often under-deliver for the cost.
To ensure you get the right fit for your needs and budget, choose a web designer who offers custom packages tailored specifically to your company’s needs and future growth plans.
Should I Use a Web Designer or Web Developer?
This is another area that most businesses don’t consider when choosing a web designer.
A web designer is someone who only focuses on web design (how it looks). A web developer focuses more on how it functions without too much regard for design and user experience. So, it’s important to realise the difference between the two.
The ideal scenario for your business is to choose someone who can do both. You want a web designer who creates beautiful, functional websites that simplifies the user experience for you and your customer.
Having your website be easily searched and used on mobile is also important because the majority of searches now are on mobile devices. So, ensure your web designer is also experienced in optimising websites for mobile.
Using The Right Content Management System (CMS)
You need a CMS so your website can be managed and easily updated by you or your web designer.
There’s nothing worse than your website being delivered, and you don’t even know how to ‘drive’ it. This wastes your staff’s time and energy.
Talk to your web designer about how a CMS can benefit you and if they can manage any ongoing maintenance or content updates as a package for you.
Maintenance and Ongoing Support Services
When building a website, it is important to talk to your web designer about what services they offer. You want to partner with someone who can look after your website and keep it up-to-date to continue functioning well. These services include:
- Website hosting
- Website security and backup
- Content updates and content marketing strategies.
Remember, your website is a living, breathing resource. It’s not a static site, so it must be continually monitored and updated for backups, security and plugin updates.
Your website also needs to be able to move and grow with your business and your customers. Ensuring that your website functions and is up to date is crucial to it remaining an asset to you.
Again, look for someone who can offer customised packages to look after the ongoing maintenance of your website. That way, you can continue to do what you do best – concentrate on your business.
Do I Need a Website Rebuild?
Does your business already have a website?
If you own a medium-sized business or corporation, then chances are you already have some form of website. But – is your website building credibility and driving leads for your business?
70-80% of business is lost when websites do not deliver a targeted message to their ideal audience and when they do not function well. A well-built website that performs well and remains relevant to today’s market is vital.
So, even if you already have a website, maybe it’s time to rebuild it. Rebuilding an existing website can get messy if it’s not managed well. You want to choose a web designer who can handle your redesign and provide a seamless transition to your upgraded site.
Select someone who has proven they can take the hard work out of the upgrade for you. Whether you need a redesign, or a complete rebuild, who you partner with is important. Work with an agency that can provide a custom plan suiting your needs for now and in the future.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services are more important than most people realise. Building a website is one thing, but can it be found on search engine platforms like Google?
Thinking with the end in mind, you want your website to be found online. People are always searching for services and products like yours online. And if your business isn’t showing up, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Remember, it’s one thing to be found online, but you also want to be found by your ideal audience.
Whether you want to implement SEO now or not, there will come a time that you need it. So, when choosing a web designer, you want to ensure they set your site up for SEO success. They need to know what it takes so your web build caters for ongoing SEO functionality. This will save a lot of time and money later on down the track.
It’s best to partner with someone who knows how to use analytics and data to help your website rank higher in search engines. This element alone is a game-changer.
And, you want someone who is transparent in their SEO results. They should provide easy-to-read ongoing SEO reporting so you can see how you rank against your competitors. These tools help build your online business and are invaluable in making your website an asset that works for you.
Building a Partnership with Your Web Designer
Your website is an important extension of your business. With this in mind, working with a web designer that doesn’t just “pump-and-dump” cookie-cutter websites is essential. You want to have a designer that genuinely cares about your business and how it’s being represented online.
You should never just be another number to your web designer. Carefully select an agency that takes the time to truly understand your business’ goals and vision. This will allow them to really help bring your online goals to life. And continue to build the online presence of your business in the direction you want, well into the future.
What Are Some Common Mistakes When Hiring a Website Designer in Melbourne?
Getting your website built (or rebuilt) can feel like a daunting task. You need to trust the people building your website as the final result represents your company’s vision.
Here are some common mistakes people often make when hiring a web designer. These things can make a big difference to your company’s online success.
Being Unclear About Your Online Goals
If you’re unclear about the direction of your company and where you want it to go online, then you risk having a website built that doesn’t perform the tasks you actually want.
So, before starting any website build (or rebuild), your web designer should work with you in a Discovery Session to understand your company and what you want to achieve online.
An element of this also comes down to research. A good web designer will take the time to do market research (or due diligence) of the industry and your competitors to see what works and what doesn’t when it comes to achieving what you’re looking for online.
Building A Website For You, Not Your Customer
While it’s important you like your website, it’s actually more important that your customer likes it and is willing to engage on it. This comes down to two key points:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What problem are you trying to solve for them?
With these points in mind, making it as easy as possible for your customer to do business with you or buy your product is important.
Of course, you also want to incorporate your personality into this site. So, before your Discovery Session, think about what you like (and don’t like) about your current website design. You can also look around at your competitors’ designs for ideas.
You Don’t Control Your Website Domain
This is a common mistake we see many companies endure unnecessarily when working with digital agencies.
A lot of agencies will register and control the domain name for you. This may seem like an easy option at the time, but it does make it very difficult if your relationship with the agency dissolves (or you want to take care of it yourself).
Remember, your domain name should be your property, and you must always have control of it. So, how do you control your own domain name? Either:
- Register the domain name yourself, or
- Make sure the agency registers it so that YOU have the control.
Before partnering with a web designer, always ask how your domain will be handled so that you can avoid any ownership concerns.
Not Knowing Your Marketing Strategy
What comes first – the website or the marketing strategy?
You’ll get different answers to this question depending on who you ask!
When growing your online traffic, it’s important to consider (and plan) your overall marketing strategy. But, if your website isn’t ready to handle an increase in traffic (or isn’t converting well), your marketing efforts will waste a lot of money.
A better approach is to plan for your overall marketing strategy (including something you’ll likely implement in the future), but focus on building the website first.
To do this, choose an agency that understands your overall business needs and what you want to achieve online. They will work with you to determine the best way to balance your web design plus any future marketing strategies that will grow as your company grows.
Working with Digital Agencies Who Require Long-Term Contracts
Whilst online marketing (and website support) is an ongoing project; you should never be forced to commit to a long-term contract with a digital agency.
Yes, an ongoing relationship works because you get to know each other, and they know your brand, what works, etc. But, if you feel like you no longer want the ongoing services of that agency, then they should never enforce a long-term commitment.
When working with a digital agency for ongoing services, it is reasonable to expect a cancellation period of 30-60 days (depending on their terms). But if they require an ongoing commitment of months or years, this is a red flag.
Remember, your company website is your asset, and so you should have control over who you work with.
Not Communicating During The Web Build Process
Your web designer should keep you up-to-date throughout your web build project.
After your Discovery Session, they should send you a brief of what they propose to build. Take the time to review this and make sure it’s in line with what you want from your web build project.
This ensures your project remains as you envisioned. It also helps to avoid costly re-do’s later as you’re less likely to change your mind or not like what’s being built. At the end of the day, your website is an image of your brand, so you want to be happy with the outcome.
And, of course, your web designer should offer the opportunity to review your website throughout the build. This allows you to provide feedback that ensures they have the necessary information to finish the build.
One final point, when building a quality website, don’t expect it to be built overnight. It will take some time, so make sure you talk to your web designer about time expectations so that you’re both on the same page.
Making the Most of Your First Web Design Consultation
If you’re ready to get going with your chosen web designer, then you must have a consultation with them before you start your project. This is the perfect opportunity to share your vision, concerns and potential budgets for your project.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for your first web design consultation. We feel these are essential things to consider that will ensure your web designer delivers you a website that not only lives up to your expectations but provides you with a good experience during the build process.
1./ Book Your Consultation
You want to make sure you are in person, online or even a call so that you can discuss your vision, concerns and cost of your project. Plus, your designer can run you through the process and timelines of your project. So, take the time to have a consultation.
An online consultation is not an issue as we can share screens and get a feel for what you are after. Or, if you are in the Melbourne area, we can meet to talk about what you are after or your new website.
2./ Know Your Vision
Before your consultation, it is a good idea to think about how you see your future website looking and working. Do you have ideas for colours or functions you like? Bring your ideas and examples to the consultation so we can get on the same page to ensure your website is exactly what you are after. Your ideas can be from industries different to your own.
For example, if you generally say, ‘I want my website to be bright and light’, then ten different designers will build you ten different looks. Whereas if you show specific examples of what you like, your designer can see exactly what you are after.
Think about where your website fits into your current business. Is it the way your ideal customers find you? Does it help convert leads into sales, inform people, etc.?
Don’t worry – you don’t have to think of everything you need to tell your designer! A professional web designer should take you through a Discovery Session, where they will guide you through specific questions to get to know you and your business. They can then help you decide where your website fits into your company and where you want to take it.
3./ Ask Questions
Never be afraid to ask questions during a consultation with your web designer. It’s the perfect opportunity to make sure you feel comfortable about what you’re getting with your web design project.
Asking questions helps address any queries or concerns you have about your website and the build process. But it also enables you to gauge how well your designer can communicate in the way you need them to.
A good web designer will take the time to understand your question. But more importantly, they should understand WHY you’re asking the question, as that will help drive the outcome you really need from your project.
Also, it helps to take notes during your session with your designer. This will help you keep track of what was discussed, suggestions made, and things you may want to think about later.
At the end of the consultation, you should feel comfortable about what you’ll be getting from the process. And if that’s not the case, be sure to speak up.
4./ Collect Your Online Resources
Most companies will already have some form of website, domain, hosting, socials, software, or other digital assets.
One of the biggest components that can slow a web build project down is the lack of access for your web designer. As a result:
- They don’t have the full picture of what you already have set up and what you expect from your project.
- You experience unexpected (and often lengthy) delays as they try to recover passwords, access etc.
Remember, if your designer has the full picture of what you already have in place, they will be able to assess and make suggestions on how to enhance or improve existing structures.
To help keep the flow of your web design project flowing nicely, take the time prior to your consultation to round up things like:
- Media (images, videos etc.)
- Site files
- Hosting and domain etc.
- Google analytics or search console accounts
- Any existing third-party apps or logins
The more you prepare these things in advance, the fewer interruptions and delays there will be for your designer trying to access these during your web build.
And, of course, there are always safe and secure ways to share this type of sensitive data with your designer without compromising your IP.
Again, don’t worry – you don’t need to know everything! 🙂 Your web designer should guide you through the essential details they need from you to get your project started.
The Benefits Of Working With A Melbourne Web Designer
At Elevate Websites, we work with businesses and corporates all across Australia. Whilst we’re based in Melbourne, we know the landscape of the Australian market, whether your company is based in Sydney, Brisbane or Perth.
Our team is locally based here in Melbourne, so you know you’re dealing with us in real time and with a web designer who operates in the Australian market. What does that mean? It means you benefit from:
- Someone who knows the local market.
- A web design experience that speaks to your ideal audience.
- A web developer who ensures your website functions at its best.
- A website that provides a great user experience.
- Flexibility for ongoing support and maintenance.
- No lock-in contracts.
Are You Ready To Partner With A Website Designer in Melbourne?
Now that you have considered what you need for your website build or rebuild it’s time to contact a professional website designer in Melbourne to book a consultation.
By partnering with a professional website designer like Elevate, you know your company is being set up for online success. We can provide you with a tailored package that will help your website look great and function perfectly – leaving you to focus on what you do best: running your business!
Calem Koek is a web designer and owner of leading Melbourne-based digital marketing agency Elevate Websites. He has been helping businesses in Melbourne and across Australia scale their business online through quality website design and world class SEO services.