Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to Choose Your Website Design and Designer



Do you find yourself obsessing over the websites of your favorite bloggers and brands? I definitely get it. Your website is your first impression and you want your first impression to really stand out! When I decided to create Kelley With Love, I refused to launch without a website that I was not only proud of, but that really drew in my ideal audience. For me, it was important that my website grabbed your attention. In the past I was all about DIY design, but I was honest with myself when it came to Kelley With Love. I knew I did not have the time to dedicate to learning the things I would need to to create the design I wanted. For the longest time, I let my website design stop me from launching. Then one day I decided enough was enough and I found a professional to design my website. I was terrified it would go all wrong, but it was THE best experience ever. What's  even better is that the result was everything I had imagined. She was able to create exactly what I wanted when in the past no one else could.  I know that choosing a designer to work with can feel overwhelming. That's why I want to help you through the process. You don't have to let your website make or break you. Choosing a designer and communicating what type of design you're looking for does not have to be hard. I'll walk you through an easy step by step process to make deciding on your design, finding and website designer, and working with that designer feel like a breeze. Check it out below and download the My Website Design worksheet.

How to Choose Your Website Design and Designer

1. Decide on a budget

The first thing you're going to want to get clear about is how much you are willing to spend.  Remember, hiring a designer is not frivolous. Is is an investment for your business/brand. Sit down and come up with a price that you are comfortable with and a price that you would want to be paid if you were a designer.


2. Get clarity about what you want

Here are some questions that may help you find clarity......

What platform do you want your website to be on?
Is your website self hosted?
Will you want to tweak on your website design in your own in the future? 
Do you want your site to be compatible with mobile phones 
How soon will you need your design to be done?
Do I want social media icons
How many edits am I allowed throughout the process?
What questions will you have for your designer about the overall design process?


3. Know your brand style

It's always a good idea to go into the process of working with a web designer with knowledge of your brand style. Your brand style needs to be apparant as soon as a new reader lands on your site. The only way to make sure this is the case is to be able to effectively communicate your brand style to your web designer. To create your own brand style guide download the free worksheet. 

4. Go on a website tour

It's always a good idea to brainstorm for your website design. A fun way to do this is to visit your favorite brands/businesses websites and write down what you like about their website designs and which parts are your favorites. This will help you and your designer get a better idea of how you'd like your design to be executed.

5. Create a mood board 

Creating a mood board can be very helpful in establishing how you want new visitors to feel when they visit your website. It can also help you if you're struggling to find your brand style. A fun way to creatw a mood board is by creating a board dedicated to your brand and how you want it to feel on Pinterest. Be sure I share this board with your designer. If you want to keep it top secret until your reveal your new website design, be sure to select private when creating your board!

6. Research website designers

Do your research! Do not just hire the first designer you come across, or the cheapest, or the person you know that dribbles and dabbles in design. Hire the person that is going to give you the best experience and design! Believe me, it pays to be proactive instead of reactive (I.e. - your designer got your design all wrong)! Being proactive means researching designers to find the right for for you. Think of this as an interview process. Ask around, read reviews, look at their portfolios, read through their process. If you're having a hard time finding website designers, go to your favorites sites and scroll down to the bottom of the home page. The designer of the site is often listed there with a link!

What is your biggest fear when it comes to choosing a website design and designer?

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