I have a few general recommendations.
Find a designer who knows code well enough that he's able to think about how all the parts work together, if not actually build it himself (or herself). I've worked with designers who don't have code experience and their designs inevitably lead to quite a bit of reworking once the site actually starts to take form.
Go with a designer who works iteratively; that is, in iterations. If a designer wants to give you a once-and-for-all, "pixel perfect" design, it's very likely not going to be flexible enough to accommodate your real needs if your project has any level of complexity. Further, the iterations actually work best if they're revised in the browser rather than a graphics application. Websites simply feel and respond differently as HTML in the browser than they do as a static image. The obvious translation of this is to work with a designer who is also a developer or who at least works closely with a developer.
Use a designer whose style comes close to matching what you're looking for. Most good designers are going to strive to be style-agnostic but the reality is that we all see things from a certain perspective and what we make shows that. Work with that tendency. Also, if you choose someone specifically for their vision and ability and they know that, they're going to tend to work even harder for you.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when talking with potential designer/developers is how they communicate since this is essentially what you're hiring them to do. A responsible designer is your representative to your customers/clients since he's helping to craft your message and presentation but, just as importantly, he's coming at things from *their* perspective back to you as well. *A good designer should necessarily be a good listener.* Further, he should be someone you're willing to listen to.
This probably goes without saying but it bears repeating: don't just choose the cheapest option. Websites are complex, not just as coded documents but as crafted experiences. An experienced designer is going to be able to recognize potential snags or areas of complexity that require strategy and more involved decision-making. Feel this out before you commit. Also keep in mind that if you're doing a large-scale redesign you're establishing a foundation on which you can build later so get it right. Have a budget in mind before you start talking with folks. A lot of the best designers won't even talk details with you unless you generally know what you have to work with. (If you think that you don't have a figure in mind, try the following test: Imagine a range of estimates coming back to you. Notice the point on the scale at which you say, "That's more than I was planning to spend." Obviously your feelings can only tell you so much but even those can help you and the designer in the pre-contract discussion you'll need to have.)
I also want to echo what Esther Nelson said in her answer: detail out what you think you need from a site. It's so helpful as a designer to get into the vision of a client when they actually have that vision worked out themselves. However, keep it flexible. Remember that good designers are going to bring a perspective from your potential customers' needs/desires back to you and you should be ready for that to have an effect on the final product.
One more suggestion on your side: be respectful of the time of all the designers you talk to. As a fellow business person you already understand that they build in this business development time but that doesn't mean that it's not costing them. Get back to their questions quickly. Don't leave them hanging, even if you choose to go with someone else. Once you hire someone, make sure you're getting them access to the files and accounts they need as soon as possible. Be quick to pay their invoices. It's a relationship not just another pay-for-service arrangement. This person/group is getting into your business and vision so give them the respect that will enable them to really invest and not just feel that you're trying to get away with the minimum. It will pay off, and you'll possibly even end up with a friendship at the end. And remember that getting a site live is usually just a first step, meaning that you'll hopefully have an ongoing relationship with this person as your business changes and grows and your needs become more clear.
There are certainly more things to consider but hopefully these points get you on a good track. The web is an awesome place to be working right now so have a great time and best wishes on your continued growth.
Well my company also specializes in website design. I would recommend you to talk with few companies & get the quotations. Then you can easily decide which company to go for. For any help contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll be happy to help you & guide you.
Why not put out your website requirements as an RFP? Specify the scope of the project, what you are looking for in a finished product. Then tender it and you can then look over the proposals you will recieve and pick the one that suits you the best.
Right now, your question is a bit of a shot in the dark. Is the re-design for your branding? Would this involve a simple graphic makeover or a complete rebuild of your website?
I have a team of professionals who can help with your web and social media needs, but I can't recommend anyone until I know exactly what area you need help in.
If you have details, contact me at email@example.com
Us of course! We can handle redesigns, new designs, social media and SEO needs. Mobile is becoming increasingly important, so you may want to consider either a separate mobile site or get your desktop site redone with responsive coding which makes your site easy to view on multiple devices. There are many variables to consider, and I can help you figure them out. Feel free to contact me, even if you just want to ask some questions.
Echo what John says, apart from I would recommend my company :) So many things you can choose from, I would suggest you have a conversation with a few companies and find the right one for you and your business needs.
Hello, my company handles mobile-first web design as well as custom mobile and tablet sites to accompany any website. We feature both responsive and custom mobile and tablet websites. Additionally, we have our own cloud-based management platform; so that it is easy to manage your digital assets, review analytics, and make changes.
Would be happy to put together a proposal for you to review along with others; as well as explain our mobile-first approach.
We're based in the UK so take this as an impartial answer! There are hundreds of web designers out there who could do a great job for you. If you want to find the best one for you, you want to become a great client that the designers really want to work with. To do this you need to be able to provide a good specification that details exactly what you want. In this way, when you send it out to a selection of designers for quotes, you're going to get like-for-like quotes. Even though we're in the UK we can help you do this, so if its something of interest do get in touch.
=>> "I'm looking to update site to increase ROI and push our online classes."
I think you are going into a right direction by offering online classes. This is the next big things that is happening. Even top schools like MIT, Harward and others are offering online education to the world.
Your needs are very specific, it requires the training content management, e-learning website, e-evaluation and certification in addition to registration management and student life cycle. This will also require forums for discussions, multi-media web conferencing etc.
You would like to first detail what exactly you want to perform through this website and depending on your budget and approach you can choose any of the approach below:
(1) Get the development done from an offshore company
(2) Use any of the existing products in the education arena and implement the same
(3) Use a combination of google, youtube and udemi or other media for a cheaper option
(4) You can also expose possibility of offshoring content creation
Furthermore, you need to support your e-education through smart phone too.
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for redesigning i would recommend following few pointers:
1. list down your reasons for redesigning, is the site old? is it not effective?
2. get some data to support the redesign process. for example: marketing data or competitors and market behavior.
3. choose a company/individual with experience, specially in the field of your business.
4. the designer should also have knowledge and experience with UI/UX and responsive design. this will help the designer and you flan for the near and far future. designing for mobile devices, facebook etc.
and... good luck ;-)
I'm not going to recommend my company (that's not my business area). What I ill say is, try and find someone in the same city as you. Then you can meet them, and explain what you need, more easily. It does mean it is easier for them to come round to get money, but it also means that there will be less possibility for misunderstanding and you'll be able to keep a closer eye on the project.
I'd also suggest that you get recommendations from people you know and trust locally, and take the tie looking at some of the websites prospective companies have produced before making your decision.
I agree with what Adrian said. Speak to a few companies, check their prices and see who offers the best plan for your budget.
Roy, what type of business do you have?
I run a software development company in Oklahoma and I'd be happy to talk to you about a website redesign. If you need a fairly static site I can recommend some tools or other companies, but if you need a larger dynamic site then I would be happy to discuss working with us (http://www.outr.com).
It seems like you have a social entrepreneurial business model. I imagine this is a start-up?
What is the most critical objective you are looking to accomplish through a potential website? I work for a web design firm that invests in startups (by charging below breakeven point) to set up a website. I would like to explore what problems we can solve for you.
the website development is just one phase... of many to be successful with a website:
Whether its an e-commerce or content site- the " if you build it they will come" philosophy will not work!
The site has to produce value on a on going basis.
Sales- if ecommerce * payment system
Relating online and offline content and procurement
Backup & redundancy (the correct hosting provider- or self hosting requirements)
SEO- search engine optimization which is an art form in itself.
Intergration mobile, other data sources, etc...
You did not provide much info about your business or what kind of website. The right person/company should be able to understand your business and business requirements.
Dont necessarily go for the cheapest provider but to one which offers the best solution for your budget.
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