Hiring a Website Designer: What You Should Look For

Are you thinking about getting a new site for your business? Here are some key things you should know about what makes a great site, and what to look for in a website designer.
Estimated Read Time:  8 minutes
It’s a minefield out there in the world of website design. Everyone appears to offer slightly different styles, features, and services. As a contractor, you know you want a website that’s going to work for your business and generate leads. That’s why we’ve pulled together what you should be looking for in a contractor website.
Table of Contents

Why a Well-Designed Website Is Crucial for Your Business

Web Design Facts

You might feel like you need to have a website simply because everyone else has one.

That isn’t necessarily a bad point, but there’s far more to it than that. A well-designed website will also:

  • Become a professional face for your business that builds legitimacy and trust.
  • Deliver more customers and leads to your business.
  • Be great value for money in the long term.
  • Act as the core for all other digital marketing efforts, such as blogging or PPC.

What to Look for in a Contractor Website

Contractor Site

These should be standard features in any website that you have designed for your contractor business. When selecting a designer be sure to ask if these are standard.

Fast and Optimized for Mobile Devices

There’s no hiding from the fact that the majority of users now access websites through their mobile devices. Since the majority of all web traffic is now conducted through mobile devices, it’s important that your website is designed with mobile users in mind. Plus, fast and optimized websites work wonders when factoring in SEO.

The best contractor website designers will ensure that your website runs quickly on all devices as standard, but it’s worth checking during the process. Steer away from any designer that suggests you have to pay more for “dynamic” or “mobile-friendly” add-on packages. These should be included as standard, if they’re not you should ask why not, given the above.

You can check your mobile rating by visiting Google PageSpeed and running your website through it. You’ll receive a score out of 100, the higher rating the better. Lots of people are overwhelmed by some of the “fixes” that Google suggests, we’d recommend simply showing them to your designer and asking them to fix them. You’ll almost certainly have a better desktop score than mobile, which is fairly standard. But if your desktop score is great and your mobile one is low, don’t ignore the mobile score.

Responsive Design

In terms of the actual website design itself, it’s also important that it works on all devices. Many designers will produce websites initially based on a desktop design, as most people tend to work on desktop machines. At the same time, however, the designer should be ensuring that the design is completely responsive and functions well on all devices.

This usually means that you’ll want a website with:

  • A mobile-friendly menu system (usually the hamburger-style menu in the corner of a screen)
  • The content fits and doesn’t hang over the edge of smaller screens
  • Words and images aren’t oddly cropped
  • Elements don’t overlap, making them hard to click on (this is especially true for buttons)

During the development stage the designer should regularly show you what the website design looks like on different devices, this means you can be sure that a responsive design is being worked on.

Visually Appealing Layout and Design

Your website needs to look fresh and modern. What this means is up to you and what you feel your audience will most appreciate. Take inspiration from competitors and other websites within your sector. Your designer should be able to share ideas and suggestions during the initial conception stage.

Try to come up with a design that is as futureproofed as possible. This way, you’ll be happy with your website for at least a few years and you’ll save you some redesign costs down the road.

Navigation

The navigation of your website is one of the most important features. It’s how your users will move around and find information on your website. You’ll want to have a clear menu at the top of the site that gives users access to the information they want in a minimal amount of clicks. It should be kept as clean as possible without clutter.

Frequently visited pages should also feature in the footer of your site so that users have quick access when they reach the end of a page.

Functionality

The functionality of the website will vary depending on your requirements. Some contractors need very little in the way of functionality beyond a simple means for customers to contact you. Others request more interactive features such as quotation calculators or 3D render creators. Consider your requirements and then ask the designer to deliver accordingly.

Up-To-Date Security and Encryption Standards

The security of your site is a top priority for you and your visitors, for several key reasons. Having the latest security certificates and encryption standards not only keeps your site safe but also prevents situations where your visitors could potentially receive a warning when trying to enter your site.

(example site has been blurred)

Many contractors have outdated sites still using HTTP instead of HTTPS certification, meaning their visitors could receive a warning sign like the one above shown by Firefox. This could heavily damage credibility and result in a lot of lost traffic.

Optimized for SEO

A website not built properly for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is like a contractor out in the field without his tools. Making sure your website can rank highly in search results can make the difference between night and day in terms of traffic and generating leads.

It’s easy to do SEO when creating content for your site, but starting out, it’s always a good idea to consult with an SEO professional to make sure of the technical side of things.

Picking the Right Website Designer for Your Business: Key Things to Consider

We’ve covered what to look for in a website, but it’s also important to have criteria for picking the right website designer!

Here are key things to look out for.

Proven Track Record

You can find plenty of website designers online with offers to build your site at a really low cost with little to show in terms of experience. If you’re going to put trust in the hands of someone or a company to build your website, make sure they have a professional portfolio and several years of experience.

Highly Specialized

Websites come in all shapes and sizes, which is why not any professional website designing firm will be the right one. A company that specializes in building websites for your industry and similar niches will be a lot more capable at building a site tailored to your professional needs.

Transparency and Integrity

A good website designer will be honest and upfront about each decision they make, why it’s being made, and the associated costs. They should be able to let you know what features are beneficial and which ones are not. A professional website designer will also be realistic with deadlines and how long it will take for things to be up and running in terms of SEO.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

And that’s everything you need to know about what to look for in a website as well as a website designer. Building a website for your business is one of the most important steps you can take to rapidly expand and bring in leads, which is why it’s a good idea to take these into consideration:

  • During initial conversations refer back to the list above to ensure your designer will deliver everything you need.
  • Think about what your audience and prospects might need from your website before you start the design process.

Interested in launching your own contractor website? Need some professional advice before getting started? Book a free consultation with Contractor Gorilla.

Aaron R CEO

Aaron R. - CEO

Entrepreneur with 18 years experience launching and managing successful tech companies. As seen in New York Times, Inc.com, Smashing Magazine, Home Advisor and other various mainstream media.

Passionate about #seo #marketing #webdesign #socialmedia #blogging #family #texasbbq

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