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#1 Ben

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:51 PM

This is asked on a regular basis, so thought I would make this thread to help people understand the steps.

Website Designer / Developer! What's the difference?

There is a huge difference, and will help you define who you would like to work with. 

A website designer (or graphic designer) mainly deals with the graphics of a website, planning the design and the usability of the website.

A website developer is a code geek, likes to get their hands dirty and do the dirty of work of making the design come to life.

Finding a website designer who can develop is rare, my personal opinion is that they are two different types of skill which rarely do come together.

I personally recommend using a designer for the design, and a separate developer to do the build is recommended but this can make a project more expensive.

Website Designers! How to find One!

So you have decided your business needs a new website, and you would like to use a website designer / developer to develop this for you!

Finding a website designer / developer can be a fraught process, as there are so many around and there are no recognised qualifications, so how do you differentiate Web guy 1 from web guy 2?

Below are my main ideas on how to do this

Location

You can choose a website designer by location, so someone who is in local reach of your business. I personally recommend this option to many businesses as the processes when building a website can be made simpler with face to face meetings.

Skills

Are you going to be using a certain script / skill on your website (this would have come up in your plan clear.png), if so, then looking for a developer with those skills would be beneficial.

An example, you're looking to use WordPress for your new website, so you would look for someone who advertises the fact they develop with WordPress.

Portfolio

The main thing that will differentiate web guys is their portfolio. Almost all web designers should have a portfolio for you to peruse either on their website or by request (some clients may not want their work on their web guys portfolio).

When looking through the developers portfolio, have they done similar work before? Is their work of a high standard?

Clients

Ask any potential web designers for details for some of their clients, and then speak to them, find out how the project went, was it on time, was it on budget, was the webby easy to reach and was the job completed to satisfaction.

A previous client can reveal far more about a web guy than any other method.

Recommendations

Ask friends or other businesses in your local area who designed / built their website.
Look at competitors sites, see who designed it.

Getting a personal recommendation, is more likely to help someone to make a decision to buy than any other method so do ask around. A good recommendation is worth it's weight in gold for any service business.

Networking

Do you do business networking via a local club or one of the business networking organisations (fsb, 4networking, BNI, Chamber of commerce etc).

Ask members if they would recommend a webby, or speak to any webby's that go along, get to know them, knowing your webby on a personal level can help with making a decision to work with them.

Agency Vs Freelance

Now you have your list of ways to find your webby, how you do decide which type to go for? There are 2 main types of webby, an agency, which will be made up of a team of guys and gals who will cover a large range of skills (web designer, developer, marketer etc) and will be able to run the whole project themselves and mean you have a team to go back on.

Freelancers are generally a single person, working from home or a small shared office and generally have a limited set of skills e.g. designer. They will typically work as part of a bigger team for projects, where they will subcontract in work to do jobs they cannot do.

A freelancer is generally cheaper than an agency, but an agency will have a team of people behind them to work on the project.

A freelancer will have lower overall costs, and will be more specialised in their skillset and be able to be more flexible in regards to projects.
Choosing an agency or a freelancer will depend on your project, the budget and how you think you would work better, with a single person or with a larger team.

Conclusion

Choosing a designer / developer can be a minefield but if you do your research and plan your project it should go without too many issues.

There are many, many horror stories of webbies online, so my recomendation is to make a list of 3 webbies you would like to work with, then do your research on them individually (portfolio, client feedback etc).

This is a personal recommendation, but never pay for a project 100% upfront, always try and negotiate staged projects so you're semi-covered if something were to happen.

Always be vigilant and expect regular updates from your webby, with progress updates.

If anyone has anything to add, please do


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#2 Monika

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:55 PM

Hi there,

Nice post. I think it is always good to clarify the difference to other people in business. There has been numerous times I have found people are looking for a web developer when actually, they are just looking for one element of the whole project - the design.



#3 Michaelciz

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