How to Find a Good Web Designer – Developer

Choosing a good web designer is not just about getting some guy to build you a good-looking website. Many factors can and will affect the success of your site. It would help if you were educated to know what qualifies as a good designer/developer. That is the intention of this article.

I believe that your website development begins with a plan- a solid plan that incorporates search engine optimization (SEO) and usability as its foundation. Building your website this way will make your SEO much easier with just minor tweaking and updating. At the time of this writing, it is still not yet possible for search engine spiders, a.k.a: robots, to make sense of everything you have on your website.

Spiders love to text. They don’t read JavaScript, and they cannot read complex flash text or images. The spiders ensure that your entire website, including all its pages, is indexed. If they can’t see your pages, it may as well not be there.

Web Designer

So, what does all this mean to you in your search for a web designer or developer? In case you’re wondering why I refer to designer and developer as if they’re two different things, the fact is that they are. (if you want to be technical). Web designer seems to be the general term thrown about as one who makes or builds web pages. However, this is usually the person who designs the website’s physical appearance. He usually works with images. Since there’s more to building a functional website than just pretty pictures and fancy moving graphics, it may surprise you that a web page can, in fact, also be a computer program, or more appropriately, a web application.

This is the behind-the-scenes code that gives the site its intelligence. Some web designers are only responsible for completing a physical design for your site. Suppose they don’t code in HTML or CSS. In that case, the plan is usually Photoshop or Fireworks, then go to the coder, who puts it all together using HTML, CSS, and, in some instances, scripting languages like PHP,, or Ruby for back-end programming. The result is a web page that renders in the user’s browser and, depending on whether some scripting was included, also allows the user to interact with the page and make choices and decisions. This is an abridged version of a somewhat complex subject.


Keeping this in mind when you go over the contract will help you understand why the programming aspect (developing) of your site is usually pricier. Any serious web design company will have an in-depth agreement and should not hesitate to explain the contract details to you. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines standards and best practices for web design and development, and you should make it a point to ask your web guy whether they will be designing your website with standards-compliant code. This means adhering to the W3C standard. If they say that they intend to create the layout of your web page using tables, insist that they don’t. For two reasons:

Using tables for layout is not standards-compliant and could adversely impact page loading times. (not good) The more code on your page, the larger the file, and the larger the file, the longer it takes to download. Updating and maintaining web pages will be much harder and could take longer, translating more being more expensive. When considering your website project, try planning for the long term. You want a site that is extendible and can be managed more easily. Best practices are not called such for no reason. I stress this point because it’s an important one.

A portfolio will give you a glimpse of what the designer/developer can use to see the design style. Any web designer with sense won’t include customers in their portfolio who are not happy. It isn’t good for business. Searching for a good designer in reputable online listings is a good place to find a web designer or any other service where the public will rate the company or individual.

It is of greater importance to that firm that they perform well since their rating is available for the public to see. An example of such listings would be Yahoo’s Local Search or online Yellow Pages. A good source for finding a good web designer is to speak to people you know who have had first-hand experience and built their websites. If people have been given good service, they usually don’t have any problem recommending their designer to you.

It is OK to ask for a mock-up site. Usually, designers will make two mock-ups for you to compare, and sometimes, they may even show you various web styles and templates before commencing. This is a way of narrowing down the class and how many columns, colors, and themes he must design.

The web developer needs to advise you on every aspect of the design process. He should educate you and explain the reasons for doing things in very plain terms. Don’t just take his word for it. Ask why. He also needs to pay attention to what content you intend to put on your site because SEO is all about content, keywords, and relevance. The content decided on is ultimately the client’s decision, but a responsible designer should inform you of optimizing your content. It is important to note that some web designers are usually not SEO experts, and specific SEO companies or individuals do just that. However, it is best if they work hand in hand with the designer of your website. If you find a web designer who can do a good SEO job, you stand a better chance of your website being easier to market and rank.

So here are a few points I believe would make a good choice for a web designer/developer overall. Expresses the importance of planning your site for user-friendliness Understands good web design that is standards-compliant Can think through the eyes of the potential visitor of the client’s site Uses colors well and researches the target audience. Educates the client and explains web terminology in layperson’s terms. Plans a site from an SEO perspective, focusing on file structure and naming schemes. If doing any programming, all the above applies, and there is a strong focus on the application’s usability. The easy user interface is secure and full-featured, to name a few. These points are not the hard and fast rule; they are just a guide. However, I believe, most importantly, above all, you should get good service. Good quality service is the best marketing tool for any business, and you should expect it.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.