iStock_000012546628XSmallIf your business doesn’t have a website, or the current website is in need of an overhaul, just getting started can seem like a daunting task. The first question to ask is “Who is going to design the website?” If you have a web designer on staff, then great – problem solved. If not, you’re going to want to get someone who knows what they are doing. More importantly, you’re going to want someone who can make your website work for your business. Whether it’s a big web design firm or your friend’s kid who will put the site together for a bag of Cheetos, there are certain things your web designer must know.

They must know about your business
wand-fairy-cmm“If a web design company is planning to make you a website mock-up before they understand your business, they are building your site backwards,” says Isaac Campbell of And he’s absolutely right. If your web designer doesn’t understand your business – what you do, who your target market is, what is considered the norm in your industry – your site for a service sold to other businesses may end up looking like a site for a product sold to 13-year-old girls. I’m not saying you should only hire a web designer if they are an expert in your field. Just make sure the designer you do hire is willing to learn enough about your business to know if digital glitter is appropriate.

They must know your goals

The point of a business website is to turn leads into customers; to turn website visits into money. However, how that conversion happens is not always the same from business to business. Your web designer needs to know how you want your website to work for you. Do you want your customers to call your company to set up an appointment? Then your designer should emphasize the “Call now” call to action and better not be making a website that has customers looking for a “Checkout” button.

They must know what you’ve already tried

If your business already has a website, your new web designer should show a lot of interest in it. They should find out what about your old site worked and what didn’t. They should find out what you liked about it. If they are really good at what they do, they should want to understand your old site. You know what they say about those who don’t learn from history…

Finding the right web designer is a lot like hiring someone for any position; they have to be the right fit for the job that needs to be done. If a web designer is focused on making your website look nice, but can’t adequately explain how the design of the site will help you accomplish your goals, they aren’t the right fit.