Thinking to make a new website? Or, thinking to redesign your years old website?
Thinking how to find a good designer? Having trouble to decide whether to go the same designer who made your last website or to find someone good in industry?
Let me give you some tips on not only how to find good designers, but also on how to work with them and get a good website designed.
Finding a designer
Word of mouth
Try asking your colleagues or your friends in the industry if they know any good designers. Real reviews from real people is always more reliable than reading “about us” section in any designer’s/design agency’s website. So if your trusted friends or colleagues have personally worked with some good designers then they might refer them to you.
Try surfing your competitors’ or friends’ websites, if you like any sites, check on the footer, who made the site. Then you can check their other work portfolio and their detail profile and contact them for an enquiry.
Try searching google. Some keywords you might wanna use are :
- web designer nepal
- web development nepal
- web design company nepal
- web agency nepal
- design studio nepal
RFP ( Request For Proposal ) in social networking sites
There are some quite good social community of designers and developers in Nepal right now. If you search for web designers nepal, graphic designers nepal, wordpress nepal etc in Facebook, you can find some really nice and active groups. What you can do is post your project requirement and RFP in those groups. You might get several proposals and options to review and choose. And moreover if you post your budget range then chances are, you might receive competitive quotations too.
Before you start your project.
Check the background of study or work
One of my recent clients told me he had hired a designer few years back, without knowing much about him. He hired him just after seeing some of the sites he designed. But later only he found out he is working as developer in some company and he took the project as freelancing project. So the project took around 6 months, yet unfinished, the time and money both went in vain.
You must check some detail background about the guy(or the agency) you are hiring for your project, the academic/work experiences, the successful projects he/they had done, what are some big clients they have, etc.
Ask the potential agency about their working methodology. Ask them straight forward about how they will handle your project. Ask them about their brainstorming processes, original design, understanding your business properly, helping you on your website goals etc. Asking these questions will oblige the designers to commit the seriousness and originality in your project. Because most of the designers and agencies simply get inspired by designs found in internet and copy (or, in nice word; gets inspired from) them.
But what you must insist is, they should understand you and your business personally, envision you as a brand, and create something original and unique that matches your brand value and your goals
Usually Nepalese designers / design agencies do not sign the contract for web design projects. But this is something you must ask before you start the project. The contract should clearly mention and describe terms and conditions like: Project description, tasks description, estimated timeframe, estimated delivery date, prices and payment terms, taxes and other costs, deliverable items, support and maintenance, cms training service, post-launch support etc.
A contract will help to reduce at least some volume of fear/insecurities from both you and your designers. It will be the start of a professionally obliged relationship.
Working with a designer / design agency.
One thing i personally suggest to my clients is, to participate actively in your website design process. Start by researching a bit yourself, give your ideas, your requirements to the designers. After your designers come up with some design samples, review them and sit with designers to give your feedback. Brainstorm together.
Do not just wait for your designers to come up with some design and don’t just judge the design by its colors and images. Ask your designer about his vision, idea or reason behind the design.
You can also brainstorm the design with your trusted friends and families to know different perspective. But bottomline is, you should work as a team with your designer with maximum participation and communication for a successful project.
Basic SEO foundation
During the web development, one thing you should ask for is, basic SEO foundation. SEO itself is a separate service package and a detail subject itself. But one thing we do not understand is, during the development of the website, there are some minor but very important methods that should be done. A website must be a SEO friendly website when it is completed.
So ask your designers to complete these steps during the development. Remember this is not a separate package, this is a standard method of developing a website, so this should be included in your web development cost.
- Follow proper content hierarchy ( proper use of formatting tags, like H1, H2, H3, P etc as per html standard ).
- Adding ALT text in all the images.
- Usage of texts rather than images for headings/titles etc.
- Keyword density in headings/titles.
- HTML/CSS validation.
After project completion
Ask for all login details
- – Domain/Hosting management login detail ( if any )
- – CMS admin panel login detail
- – FTP login detail
- – All other login details used in your website
Ask for source files
The project you paid for is complete your investment. So ask for all the source files of the website as a backup. This will help you to keep your website securely without having to worry if something goes wrong with the designer and if you do not want to work further with them, you can go to another designer with the files you have.
Once the site is uploaded, you will be requiring frequent support for stuff like updating the contents, adding images, etc. or, you might find out some errors/bugs in your site after few months. In these cases what will be the customer support terms? This is something you need to make clear with the designer/agency.
Even if your designer/agency fill up all content in your website, please ask them for a CMS training on how to update your contents. So that in future you don’t have to call and ask them for minor changes that you can do yourself. It’s your right, if you wanna ask them for a CMS manual guide or documentation, which you can keep safe for future reference.