Web design

What to Look for in a Web Designer or Design Agency

Google for Singapore web design or web design firms and you will get millions of results
for companies all promising very similar things: timely delivery, budget-friendly,
search engine optimization and cross-browser compatibility, etc. Now if they were
all so great, why are there so many crappy websites you may ask. Here are some
qualifications that will help you to weed out the good web designers from the
bad ones.

Great Portfolio

A great portfolio displays creativity, style variety and most importantly has
examples of real client work and not just spec work from school. Ensure that
the web design Singapore‘s overall style in their portfolio matches what you are looking
for. Test out their previously launched websites to ensure that they are user-friendly,
error-free, suitable for their target market and fast-loading.

A great portfolio always trumps web design Singapore experience or education. Web designers
with too much experience could be set in their ways and less open to new ideas
or trends. And just because someone took a few classes for design does not mean
that they have an eye for it. We have encountered many websites offering web
design services with hideous websites.

Customer Service

No matter how stellar your designer or agency is, if they cannot respond to
your calls or emails in a timely manner during business hours, they most likely
cannot meet your deadline. This can mean death to your business if your project
is time sensitive due to something like a product launch. Some freelance web
designers are moonlighters meaning that they have full-time jobs and they pick
up the odd project here and there for extra cash. Be wary of those folks because
they will likely not be around when your project goes awry forcing you to forfeit
your deposit.

Required Skills

Whoever you select should be proficient with the web technologies your project
requires. If you need Flash for an animated clip, ensure that your web design company singapore
is proficient in Flash Actionscripting 3.0. If you want to convert your website
into a CMS, ensure that they are well versed in your chosen CMS and the web
technologies that support it. Most open-source CMS’ are controlled by PHP. It
is always better to hire an expert who can excel at the things you need rather
than a jack of all trades who is just mediocre in everything. Usually, you should
be able to evaluate this based on their online portfolio.

Their Timeline Fits your Timeline

All projects have a deadline or some preferred time range in which you would
like it to be completed. Inexperienced web designers often quote overly optimistic
timelines. No matter how simple your website design or redesign is, it is almost
impossible for the design process (from concept to completion) to take less
than two weeks because there will always be revisions. I always laugh when a
potential client emails me and estimates that their new website is very basic
and should take no more than 2 days. It is much more professional to quote a
longer timeline and deliver earlier than expected. However, if your web designer
says it will take much longer than their competitors, they may be moonlighting.


Full-service is usually offered by design firms because it requires a team
of developers, designers and marketing experts. Full-service means that they
offer all-encompassing web solutions like SEO, ecommerce, branding, mobile compatibility
and social media marketing all in one place. Rarely will you find a Singapore web design
who is an expert in all of these categories, which is why some companies hire
design firms if they have the budget.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are just as important as Singapore web design and programming skills
because if your web designer communicates with bad grammar or spelling mistakes
so will your website. Do they articulate issues well? Can they translate complicated
technical jargon into laymen terms? You can easily evaluate their communication
skills through your initial calls, emails and project proposal.

Marketing / SEO Experience

What good is your website if your target market cannot find it? Your web designer
or design firm must understand how to promote it. If you found your web designer
by via Google with industry-specific keywords then they must know something
about SEO. Here are other simple SEO techniques your web designer should implement
to build your web presence:

Generate fresh content relevant to your target market with a blog

Write a meta title and description tags

Include your keyword search terms in your headings and subheadings (H1 and H2
tags respectively)

Sprinkle your keyword search terms throughout your content

Create a sitemap for search engines to crawl

Add your website to online business directories

For more SEO strategies, refer to my blog post about Driving High Quality Web

Customer References

Ask for client references and make a point about calling them. Ask their clients
whether they were responsive, on time and within budget. Some web design firms
look for work through freelance websites such as Guru where you can find reviews.

Social Media Presence

Social Media helps you respond to people talking about your brand and understand
how they perceive your company. There are so many social media networks but
the ones to monitor are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. A good practice is to
post a status update whenever you publish a blog post or new web content.

Cost / Budget

It is key to consider all of the above and then consider cost or budget if
everything else falls into place. The cheapest quote is rarely the best.

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