How to Find a Good Portland Web Designer

Posted by | October 12 | Web Design

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Portland is definitely a technology driven town. New companies emerge every day, with new ideas, innovative business practices and increasingly advanced technologies. Finding designers in Portland is not difficult due to the abundance of web design companies. In fact, the obstacles lies in actually narrowing down who you want to work with. You may not be able to differentiate a professional company from a freelance amateur. This post will explain the ways and means to find a good web designer in Portland.

Why is Your Website So Important? A company’s online presence is determined by its website. With more and more businesses realizing the importance of an online presence, websites are being developed faster now than ever before. However, not all websites are valued by customers, because most websites are falling short of their objectives. Only a few manage to attract customers and achieve the desired result. An appealing website is one of the best marketing mechanisms a company can possess, if not the best. It can be accessed from any part of the world 24/7/365 and never needs to stop for a coffee break. A website allows you to use far less marketing collateral, answer customer questions day and night, and build credibility among prospects and clients alike.

A website that has been optimized correctly is by far the smartest and most affordable investment you can make in your business. There are a lot of companies which provide promising website design and development solutions at affordable rates. The other side of the coin is the abundance of companies that promise you the world for a monthly fee, and horribly under deliver. So, how do you tell one from the other? Below are a few tips that may help you find quality, affordable web designers in Portland.

15 Ideal Ways to Find a Good Web Designer in Portland:

1. Identify your needs. Have a clear idea about your company’s requirements.

2. Decide on the budget. This is very important. The amount your company will be able to afford for that particular project has a direct correlation to how many bells and whistles can be included in your website.

3. Determine your project timeline. Discuss deadlines with everybody within your organization, and state it clearly to the Portland web design firms you speak with. If you have to rush a website project, this may cost you more in overtime billing.

4. Onshore or offshore? Decide on the accessibility of the designer or the company. While modern technology has certainly made the world a smaller place, you still want to consider time zone differences, potential language barriers and the potential risks associated with each.

5. Freelancer or a professional company? A freelancer would offer services at a lower price and will be more flexible. However, with a freelancer, you cannot rely on the quality of work unless you know the person extremely well. On the other hand, a professional company would maintain a long-term relationship with you, be trustworthy and highly reliable. A professional company’s pricing may be a little higher than a freelancer. Consider the pros and cons of each, and never make a decision based solely on price.

6. Find web designers through search engines: After deciding on whether you need a freelancer or a web design company, do a thorough search in popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. You can tell a lot about the SEO capabilities of a company by how they themselves rank in the major search engines.

7. Look at professional sites: You can also broaden your search by looking for professionals via websites like Elance.com, Getafreelancer.com, Guru.com etc. These websites provide a search platform for both professionals and clients alike.

8. Try advertising your requirements: You can also use free ads like Craig’s List or Google ads as a source for your search. Expand your search options by searching in famous design blogs and design forums like Smashing Magazine etc.

9. Filter from your list: After doing all the possible searches, limit your choice to 5 to 6 web designers. Review their websites again, and start a dialog with at least 3 of them. You will be surprised at how much you learn.

10. Check the portfolio: Visit the website of the web design company. Have a look at the company’s portfolio to size up the work yourself. Ask for client references or directly communicate with the clients listed on their portfolios.

11. Read through every word of contract: It is always a good decision to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the web designer you are going to work with, especially if you are developing something that has never been done before. Also, read the documents carefully before signing. Pay special attention while reading the package details of the designer company. Make sure that you are charged for the whole project and not page by page, as it would be expensive.

12. Register domains yourself: Ensure that your business website’s domain name is registered with your contact details and not the designer company’s. This has become easier than ever through companies like Go Daddy and Network Solutions.

13. Check for customer support: Check if the company has good customer support mechanism to support and address issues, if any. Confirm whether the company will be ready to provide you a long-term maintenance support with reference to the new updates, change in the pattern, design or content.

14. Have control over the project: This is a common mistake made by first-timers. You do not have to micromanage every aspect of the project, but you should communicate your objectives clearly and receive regular status updates on work that has been completed since your last meeting. Don’t worry about the technical jargon; just focus on the objectives, and have your project manager demonstrate functionality at each phase of the development process.

15. Ask for ideas: A good web designer will readily advise you on the changing marketing scenarios and the recent trends. Also keep an eye on the promised delivery date, standards of practice and check whether the whole project is focused towards your marketing objective.

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