Though there are many web designers in Uganda, not everyone who designs websites is really a good web designer. But most people, when they need a website for their businesses, they focus most on the beauty to determine who will design their website. Effective web design is not only about how good a website looks (beauty), but also how easy it is to use it (functionality).
As a business owner, when you are looking for someone to design for you a business website, what should you do? One thing I know most people want is to have a website that will lead to more business. They want to establish their businesses online so that they get more customers. Getting customers online is not easy. Not everyone who designs websites can make for you a website that will bring you, customers. It’s only a professional web design expert that can do it for you.
In this article, I would therefore want to share with you some of the key aspects to consider in selecting a good web designer for your business website. But before I go into the detail, let’s first understand what web design is all about. And I will say that everything you see about a website – including how it looks, the content and how it works – it is determined by the web design.
Web design is therefore a process of conceptualizing, planning and building a collection of electronic files that determine the layout, colours, text styles, structure, images, graphics and use of interactive features that deliver pages to people who visit your website. It’s only a professional web design that can make your business appear and be found on the World Wide Web. And it’s only a good web designer that will give you a professional web design.
As you read this article, I want you to know that I am not talking as a person who went to school to learn web programming languages. I just acquired web designing knowledge and skills through self-education. I taught myself because I wanted to manage our business websites. Though I didn’t acquire this knowledge in a formal setting, I have over time learnt so many useful things. And I would like to share my experience to help you know how to select a good web designer so that you don’t waste your resources designing a website that won’t help you.
How Do You Select a Good Web Designer?
There are 12 qualities you should consider as you select someone to design for you a business website because not everyone who positions himself as a webmaster is really a good web designer.
These qualities, not organized in their order of importance, include the following:
- Good appearance
- Pay attention to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- The loading speed of the website
- Good navigation
- Mobile friendly
- Effective communication
- Guidance on effective domain name selection
- Knowledge about online marketing
- Properly organized content
- Good mastery of the web programming languages
- Having a business sense
- Plans before designing
Having listed the 12 qualities I consider to be important when selecting a good web designer, let’s now look at each in detail to throw more light for you to understand.
#1 – Good Appearance
Though most people will argue that the website’s appearance isn’t all-important, I would still attach some importance to it. Why? It’s because it sets the tone of the website. If a website is terribly ugly, visitors are going to click away without hesitation. In many cases, an ugly website drives away visitors. The visual design of the website can hold a visitor for more than 5 seconds.
When selecting a good web designer, try to look at some of the websites they have ever created to find out whether they appeal to you visually. If they don’t, do not discard him immediately before you look at other important aspects to make an informed decision. You may find he isn’t good at visual design but very good at other aspects. Besides, it’s not only the visual appearance that determines a professional web design. Just read on….
#2 – Pay Attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is a technical term that can best be understood by web designers. But let me try to simplify it for you to know what it is.
What Is SEO?
Briefly, it’s a practice webmasters use to increase the quantity and quality of the traffic (or website visitors) to your website through organic search engine results.
Not understood yet? Okay, let’s first understand what search engines are. Search engines are websites with a software program that searches documents and files stored in the database and return the results of any files containing those keywords or keyword phrases. These websites include Google, Yahoo, Bing and many others.
For instance, if you want to look for people in Uganda who make wedding cards, you may enter in Google search engine a keyword phrase like “Wedding Card Makers in Uganda”. Google scans its database and returns a list of results, listing websites with the keyword you have entered.
So what happens is that if you have a wedding card business with a website, you attract people in the world because Google is telling them that you are a resource for wedding cards in Uganda. The quantity of those visitors clicking through those Search Engine Research Pages (SERPs) is what brings customers to you.
Secondly, organic traffic refers to website visitors that you don’t pay for to come to your website. Paid traffic is the traffic you pay for to get to your website. A good website designer creates a website bearing that in mind. He designs each and every page of your website with keywords relating to your business so that when people enter them in the search engines, your website is visible in the first 10 search engine research pages.
How Do You Check to Find Out on the SEO Aspect?
As a business owner, you need to check on whether the web designer integrates the aspect of SEO in the websites they have designed before. Just select 2 or 3 websites and study them to find out what their core business is all about. For instance, if you get to know that the business website is about laser engraving business in Uganda, like for our case, and just enter keywords like “engraving businesses in Uganda”. If you see the website is listed among the first 10 results, that could be an indicator of SEO integration.
The easiest way to do it is to use an SEO Analyzer over the internet. There are many SEO analyzers you will find if you make your research. I have personally discovered the Neil Patel SEO Analyzer, which I recommend to you to use. Websites created by a good web designer will have a higher SEO score ranging from B to A as you see for golaserengraving.com in the image below.
#3 – Loading Speed of the Website
Professionally designed websites load very fast. A web page should load in not more than 8 seconds. Usually, a website loads slowly because the server is slow or because your internet connection to the server is slow. But if both the server and your internet connection are not slow, then the problem is on the website itself.
A slow-loading website makes the visitors unhappy and they click away. When they click away you lose business because you will not get customers. People are so impatient nowadays that they cannot wait for a website to load in more than 8 seconds.
What makes a website load slowly are the following:
- Non-optimized images. Heavy images load slowly taking people’s time
- Excessive usage of adverts
- Useless redirects
- Wrong server location
- Non-optimized CSS
- Excessive use of java scripts
- Too many http requests
- Failure to leverage browser cache
The above points are not easy to be understood by a person that isn’t a webmaster. Surprisingly, many webmasters don’t pay attention to those big mistakes. They just design websites to make money. If you really care about the success of your business online, you should look for a good web designer.
How Do You Check the Speed Aspect?
It’s quite easy. First, you can just try to open any of the websites the webmaster has ever designed to find out the time it takes to load. If it takes minutes to load with a fast server and fast internet connection, it means the website’s speed is slow. That implies that the webmaster isn’t a good web designer because he doesn’t pay attention to the load time. If you use him, you risk not succeeding with your business online.
Another easiest way is to check the websites by performing a speed test using the following online tools:
A slow-loading website will have a low score in all the above speed test analyzers. This means the person who created the website is not a good web designer. He isn’t professional at all. The images above depict the speed of golaserengraving.com as tested with all the above speed analyzers.
#4 – Good Navigation
Navigation is about how easy it is for people (website visitors) to take action and move around your website. Good navigation includes logical page hierarchy, usage of clickable buttons, menu navigation and internal linking. It helps the user to move from one page to another in search of the information they want on your website.
If a website has poor navigation, people will not find it easy to explore what you offer. This is not good for business purposes because your aim is to get customers.
#5 – Mobile Friendly
People now access websites from multiple devices with different screen sizes. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you risk losing customers who would search the internet using, for example, mobile phones.
To find out whether a website is mobile-friendly, you can use your Smartphone to access it. If it’s not viewable properly on your phone, then it means that the person who designed it lacks the know-how of building responsive websites. It also means that he isn’t a good web designer.
You can also perform a Google Mobile-Friendly Test to find out whether the website is viewable on all multiple devices like mobile phones with multiple screen sizes.
#6 – Effective Communication
People on the internet want to get information so quickly. It’s therefore important to communicate precisely so that your information is easy to read and digest. Some of the tactics a good web designer uses include the following:
- Using clear good English free of jargon.
- Organizing information using headlines and sub-headlines.
- Knowing to create website headlines that compel web users to take the desired action.
- Use of bullet points.
- Avoid using long winding sentences.
- Avoid using big paragraphs – a good paragraph should generally not exceed 5 lines.
- Usage of font types and sizes that are easy to read online
Effective communication is one of the skills that can break or make you in any field. A good web designer should be conversant with that, if not, you risk having a website that will not help you to do business.
#7 – Guidance on Effective Domain Name Selection
The name you select for your domain name matters a lot. It may not be necessarily the name of your business. For instance, our business name is Goleza Designers Ltd, but our website domain name is golaserengraving.com.
A good domain name is short and memorable with keywords relating to your niche. It should not have numbers or hyphens. It should have an appropriate name extension.
Failure to select a good domain name for your business is the beginning of failing to succeed with your online marketing. The webmaster you select should guide you in this aspect after making good research. And it’s only a good web designer or a professional web designer that can help you in this aspect.
#8 – Knowledge About Online Marketing
Online marketing, also known as internet marketing or online advertising, is any tool or strategy for getting your business out to the public on the internet. Reaching out to the consumers and establishing your brand are some of the things that lead to business success. Without marketing, your business is destined to fail. Online marketing is a strategy people use to get exposure online using a variety of internet tools and solutions.
A good web designer is one with some knowledge of internet marketing because he will integrate the internet tools and solutions right at the start of designing your website. Secondly, after designing it, you may continue to engage him to develop it. Without online marketing skills, he won’t do you a good job. Consequently, your effort to establish your business online will be fruitless.
#9 – Properly Organized Content
A good web designer organizes the content in a way that provides the reader with a good user experience. This means that before embarking on the actual designing of your website, he has to plan first. This is when he will be able to organize your website in a way that matches not only your niche but also your business brand.
#10 – Good Mastery of Web Programming Languages
Surprisingly, there are some web designers who just design websites without focusing on quality. What you see visually on a web page is different from what is hidden behind the curtains. Behind the curtains are codes, which most people don’t like to look at. If the webmaster is not a good web designer, he may use the programming languages in a way that slows down your website. For instance, using obsolete codes if the webmaster doesn’t keep himself up-to-date with the dynamics of modern web designing.
#11 – Having a Business Sense
There are many web designers who will just design a website without factoring in the business mind. A good web designer does not only design websites for their customers. They create business solutions for their clients. It’s therefore important to look for a web design professional with a business sense. That’s when you will have a website that will lead you to success.
#12 – Plans Before Designing
A good web designer plans before the actual web designing process begins. But some webmasters approach web designing in a way they don’t focus on the planning bit of it. Planning involves doing some research. Planning involves:
- Researching about the customer’s company
- Asking the client what he wants and expects from the web
- Looking at what the client’s competitors are doing
- Researching on the related industry trends
As you look for someone to establish your business online, think about getting a good web designer. The above points are some of the key aspects that you should focus on. A professional web design will help you to satisfy your customers because it will meet the needs of your website visitors.
Secondly, it will attract search engines. No matter how appealing your website design is, it won’t show up in the search engine results pages if it’s not coded in a way that search engines can read. This is why you should consider using the services of a good web designer.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a simple professionally designed website for your small business at affordable prices, get in touch with Goleza Designers.