Web Design

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Engage a Web Designer to Build Your Contractor Website

Val Okafor
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

As the world continues to get more digitally inclined, every business, no matter the sphere, is required to make solid plans to take advantage of the internet's opportunity.

As a home-service business owner, it’s essential to use the internet to showcase your peculiar contracting services to potential customers. One of the best ways to do this is by setting up a responsive contractor website that indicates the services you offer and provides every necessary information that customers will need.

Whether from scratch or revamping an existing website, building a website is a daunting task that can only be done appropriately by a professional website designer. While different categories of website designers exist today, it’s essential to know what

If you’re ready to engage a website designer to help build a website for your home service business, then here are some essential things you should first consider.

Web Designer vs. Web Developer

A lot of times, web developers are mistaken to be web designers. While they’re both in the same industry and business of building, constructing, and maintaining responsive websites for business owners, the paths through which they achieve this are entirely different. Web designers are more concerned with the visual and conceptual aspects of the websites, while web developer are focused on the technical aspects like coding and programming the websites.

A web designer is a graphic artist that designs the layout, visual appearance, and usability of a website, ensuring that it looks good and feels great to use.

On the other hand, a web developer is a programmer who takes the designs made by the web designer and converts them into functional websites, using software and coding languages such as HTML, Node.js, JavaScript, Python, PHP, etc. ASP.NET.

Like their titles imply, a web designer ‘designs’ the outward look of the website, while the web developer ‘develops’ the invisible aspects of the website to ensure the smooth running and functioning of a well-designed website.

Things you should know before you engage a web designer

If you’re considering hiring a web designer to build your website, here are the most important things you should consider and the essential questions you need to ask before hiring one.

1. Your target audience and their preferences

Your target audiences are homeowners and property managers looking for experienced and local contractors that they can trust with their home improvement needs. Your website needs to address this audience as soon as they land on your web pages, and this could require compact images and videos to show portfolios and completed projects. Also, keep in mind that there’s a large market for home service and home improvement contractors out there, so anyone visiting your site is looking for a page that loads quickly, has a positive user experience, and is easy to navigate, or they’ll move on to the next. For this reason, you should ensure that you invest in a web designer that can give you these. Page load speed, design responsiveness, and high-quality designs are some of the most critical needs that your web designer needs to check.

2. Your defined website goals and priorities

The primary goal of your website is to attract leads and this needs to be prioritized over other goals. Before engaging a website designer, ask yourself, “What is the primary goal of my website?”

You should have a particular goal (or goals) that your website is geared towards. It’s not enough to just have a website because every other business owner has one. The vision for your website should align with that of your business. With a contractor business, your goals should be about selling your home service business to visitors.

Your web designer has to have this in mind when designing. Not only do you have to provide the necessary information, but the designer will also have to ensure that the website includes the necessary information, pages, and features that will fit into your business goals.

3. A target budget you’re working with

This is probably the most popular criteria that people have in mind when planning to get a website.

It’s important to carry out your research to enable you to know the price range that web designers charge for standard websites. A lot of times, home service business owners discover that the predicted cost for designing websites may not tally with the current reality in the market.

However, when you carry out due research, you’re better equipped with the knowledge and you can make more realistic budgets that’ll fit in with the quality of work you’re looking for.

Also, keep in mind that investing in a top-quality website designer gives you a higher chance of getting a website that will stand the test of time.

4. A proposed website map

This is another important step that can’t be skipped in the process of procuring a web designer for your contractor website. A website map is an outline that helps you plan your website and how it’ll align with your brand story. In a website map, you’ll plan for every aspect of your website – from the layout, page titles, and structures, web copy, images, videos, and graphics.

Usually, when you eventually engage a web designer, you’ll have to review this website map together. This is important because the designer can bring an expert point of view to determine the best possible path to take for your website design.

One reason why you shouldn’t skip this step of the process is that if a website structure isn’t properly done before the website is designed, it’ll be tougher and attract extra costs to redesign, restructure and update your website. However, with a proper baseline website, time-to-time information update will not require any form of structural changes.

5. The customer relation level of the web designer

This may seem like a farfetched step in the process, but it’s also an important one. It’s vital that you remain in constant communication with your web designer as the design process goes on. It’s not a one-time thing, so it’ll require inquiries, updates, and attention with time.

That’s why a number of business owners decide to go with web design agencies that can stay accountable during the process. Also, before engaging a web design agency, take time to observe how they relate with you during the inquiry stage and find reviews about them that can give insight as to how they deal with their customers.

Questions you should ask and why you should ask them

After you must have put the above factors into consideration, there are some necessary questions that you need to ask your potential web designer before you hire them. These questions are important because they make your selection process easier and faster. Also, the web designer you decide to work with plays an important role in how the end product of your website plays out and its usability amongst your website visitors.

Here are questions you should ask potential web designers and their companies to get the best possible results;

1. Do you offer other services besides web design?

Oftentimes, web design companies offer other services like SEO strategies, content writing, and brand photography. A lot of times too, they can just be as good as you’ll prefer with these other services. It offers you convenience and options when you work with a web design company that offers similar services.

However, it’s not in all cases that you should hire them for other coexisting services. Ensure that you carry out due diligence in this regard before deciding.

2. What is your design process?

A web designer with a documented design process or standard operating procedure indicates experience and professional efficiency. It also helps you understand the route your designer will take to expertly and efficiently design your website, as every step of the way will likely be documented.

3. Should I provide a written copy and images that’ll be used for the website?

This is very important to ask because copywriting is typically not a part of a web designer’s portfolio or skills. However, designers have the option of outsourcing this part of the project to professional copywriters to create market-focused content.

Most of the time, you’re also allowed to provide the potential copy piece for your piece, which can be refined by a professional copywriter to fit perfectly. Whichever way you decide, a written copy is just as important as the design of the website itself, because they work hand-in-hand to promote the use of the website and convert visitors.

4. Do you work in-house or outsource projects?

This question is important because it can determine if you need to ask further questions about the other people involved in the designing project. Oftentimes, some agencies are only there to outsource projects to freelance professionals. So, asking a question like this will help to eliminate any form of misunderstanding that may occur during or after the project.

5. How long will it take to complete my project?

When planning a business launch or rebranding, you’re more likely to work with timelines and dates. This is why it’s important to know how long it’ll take the web designer to complete your project. When you get a timeframe from the web designer, you are better equipped to make plans around that and create content that’ll be pushed out.

As soon as you have put these points and questions into consideration and you’ve reached an understanding of what you want for your web design, you can now go ahead to hire a web designer that fits your criteria.

We at Okason are indeed particular about providing you with high-quality, highly converting, and lead-generating websites that can convert your contracting business goals into reality through our outstanding website design services.

Contact us today, and let’s make those dreams possible!

Val Okafor

Val is a Software Engineer and business builder creating software solutions for home service and home improvement businesses.

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