How to Choose a Web Designer

Why Choose Us?

Choosing a web designer is one of the biggest decisions you will make when starting your business.  How do you choose?  Who can really deliver what you want?  Here are some things to think about when you are choosing:

  • First, look for style.

Look at their portfolio.  Do you see anything you LOVE?  If not, move on!  Of course most designers who would love your business are going to tell you that they can do exactly what you want.  You will send samples, they will say that they “get it…perfectly,” but you will find your dreams a bit dashed when they just can’t come through for you.  Why?  Because as much as they tried and truly wanted to, they never did share your style.

  •  Original Illustrations are so important.

Where are the illustrations for web design coming from?  Are they clip art, royalty free illustrations?  Or, did they draw them?  Don’t hesitate to ask! This is very important, particulary as your business expands and grows.  This is because you may want to trademark your logo and you can’t do this without the copyright.  Many designers who DO draw their own illustrations will NOT give up their copyright.  Again, you just need to be aware of what you are getting.

Ink Puddles draws all of our own character illustrations and logos, so that you are assured that you are getting an original.  We also transfer the copyright to you once final payment is made.

  • Revisions or Time Limits? 

Does the designer limit your number of revisions?  Many designer do. Does the designer give you an exact number of hours that they are willing to work on your design without additional fees? Are you willing to risk that is will take exactly 3 revisions or 10 hours to get your website design exactly as you want it?  This can become very costly for your business.

We do not have set number of revisions or any time limits…we work on your new design until you are thrilled!  We are able to guarantee this because we have never had a problem delivering a client compatible design, many times on the first mockup!

  • Find a good, Ecommerce Shopping Cart that meets your needs.

We offer several shopping carts.  There are many good carts out there, but there is simply not a one size fits all type of cart.  You really need to consider what you need in a shopping cart, such as wholesale capabilities.  But, you also need a cart that you can handle.  It is important that you get a shopping cart that you feel comfortable maintaining.  This is something we discuss when your project starts and we offer several carts with unique features and advantages.

  • Find a designer that can provide you with professional quality Print designs.

We will prepare your print documents according to the highest print industry standards.  We can design anything you need for print, and have experience in designing wall menus, signage, business cards, tri fold brochures, catalogs, and more!

  • Transferral of copyright to you.

Many web designers retain the copyright to the graphics they create, and only license the use of those graphics to the client.  This is actually somewhat common, so keep this in mind when choosing a web designer. How will this affect you? Will you ever want to print your catchy designs on tees to sell? Will you ever want another designer to rework those graphics in the future…it goes on and on and, believe me, it is best to own the copyright to the designs, so you can decide what can be done with them!

While many web designers use stock/ royalty free images within their web designs, it is unlawful to use those graphics within your logo, since it infringes on the rights of the artist who created them.  Many people don’t realize that.  So, it is really best to have the graphics created for you and to own the copyright to them in order to avoid any future problems.

  • XHTML/CSS design. 

Any contemporary web design company should be designing websites in xHTML and CSS.  Why?  These designs load much faster for your customers and are better for search engine optimization.  Web design has come a long way, baby!!

  • Do they have great references?

Were their past clients happy with their work?  Did they finish the job in a timely manner?  Were they quick to respond to emails, whether they were pre-sales or a year after their site went live. This is all so important.  If you cant get a prompt response via email when you are inquiring about their services, what type of response can you expect when they have been paid in full?

  • Should your design be mass produced?

Good design shouldn’t work like an assembly line.  Your business is important to you and you should have a thoughtful design that represents you and your business. Many design companies push your project through in about a week.  That week is supposed to be just for you.  But, is it really possible to get the kind of one on one, thoughtful design in 5 business days? In my opinion, it is not possible. And, design is just a small part of the process, what about the rest, such as your shopping cart, merchant accounts, tax, shipping, advertising, etc. Are you fighting for time with the designer’s new clients in the next few weeks?  So, is that initial design time you had really just for you?

I put aside about a month for a truly close knit type of design collaboration with you.  In this way, you can be sure that I am with you every step of the way and always have your specific project in my mind.

  • How long has the designer been in business is a good thing to know.

It isn’t unusual for a web designer new to the business to realize that they have gotten in over their heads and shut down business completely.  Unfortunately, this leaves their clients scrambling for new designers who are proficient with the shopping cart they are using.   Many times, this leads to a client having to start over with a new shopping cart, which can be very frustrating.

Ink Puddles has been in business for over 8 years and we have loads of experience!

  • Phone Convo?

This is such an easy thing and a great idea!  Most of us gals have a sense of people and their personalities, right?  If things don’t seem comfortable over the phone, it really is a good indicator of how your web design project will go.  You really want it to go smoothly and comfortably.  This is supposed to be fun! And, it will be if you have the right designer!

Email me to set up a phone convo!

  • Why Ink Puddles?

We are AWESOME to work with! We love our clients and go above and beyond for them. You will be in the best of hands!

I wish for you and your business everything good and prosperous, whether I am your chosen designer or not.  Just keep in mind these basic principles and you should do GREAT!