So either you need a new website, or, you are looking to refresh your current ones. Many times as a local business it is easier to hire someone to create a compelling and beautiful website for you. These four types of web designers apply whether you are starting an informational website or an e-commerce site. Mind you, there are always exceptions to the rules, but this is what I have found to be the case 90% of the time. So let’s take a look at the four types of web designers and see which one is the proper one for you to hire.
This is what most people think about when they talk to someone to recreate their website. These guys are gonna use all their skills to find the perfect visual representation. They are going to talk about colors. They are going to want to choose the font that represents the mood you are looking for. They are artists and they will have a vision in your head. At the end of the day, you will have a beautiful website, with colors that either match your mood or company colors and a stylized font that reflects your company.
Because technology is not their game, they can sometimes end up putting you on horrible web hosting. This you have to be careful about as it can affect the user experience. Sometimes they like to use lots of graphics and pictures instead of the text that search engines want to see. Some are slow to update their skills and you can find your website outdated the minute it is finished. Many are still using straight HTML which is fine (you pick up speed) but realize you will be paying them by the hour for every minor change that needs to be created.
These designers are network engineers and programmers first, and web design folks, second, third or even last. Many times they are the same people that are doing your computer and network maintenance and use web design as a nice easy filler to their existing services. Your best case are the designers that will know web hosting so you can bet your website will be fast and secure. There are mainly two downsides to the Technologist. One, because they love technology, they may put you on technology that is over kill. The best example of this is a 10 product ecommerce store and they put you on Magento instead of something easier like Shopify. Second, their designs are horrible to look at, and the menu structure looks like it was designed by an engineer. I always recommend against having your network and IT folks creating your websites.
The Internet Marketer
These guys can be both good or bad for you, depending on which one you get. Your best bet, you get an Internet Marketer who understands that a website is not just a fancy brochure, but a lead and sales generation tool for your business. They are going to design your website around capturing emails, making reservations and calls to your venue. There designs won’t be as pretty but they will have a plan for you. The worst ones are the guys that bought a $7 course on local internet marketing and think they can help you build a world class website, which of course you will pay them thousands for. You will be using wordpress, regardless of whether it is the best solution because in the IM world, wordpress is god and to use anything else would be herasy. You also have to be careful that they don’t try and sell you on outdated IM techniques (i.e. link building) that if not done right can actually hurt you (see Google Penguin as an example).
The Business Analyst
The Business Analyst is best described as a business person that happens to know technology. Many times they take some or all the best aspects of the other three designer types. While their websites will not be nearly as pretty as the artists website, you will have easy to use navigation. They will be up o date with the latest design principals. You can bet that they will choose web hosting that is fast yet affordable, and have taken the time to vet different web design companies. Unlike the technologist, they will pick the platform that best fits your needs. And they will want to make sure it is easy for you use and update.
Like the internet marketer, they understand the importance of using a website as a sales driving tool, not just as a pretty brochure. Most likely they have either run their own business or worked for larger companies and understand what those companies do to drive sales.
Which one is best for your web design project?
There is a need for all types of web designers but for most local businesses, your best bet will be The Business Analyst as you get the best of all three designer types, with someone that will want to understand your business. If you are a larger scale project, you might want to have a Business Analyst that will work with an artists. If you are doing things like a complicated e-commerce website, a good quality technologist will be able to implement the tech you need, with a Business Analyst able to help guide you on proper site set up.