Good web designers do more than make websites look pretty. They interview clients, write code, optimize photos, create mock-ups, develop site navigation, organize page hierarchy, help develop content, take care of search engine optimization, test everything, do updates, keep records, and make sure everything meets current internet standards.
Web designers usually start by using their people skills. Before accepting a project, they ask many questions.
- Do you have a domain name?
- Is it secure and accessible?
- Do you have a hosting plan to store the website files?
- Is this a new build or a re-design?
- How many pages will you need?
- Do you have a theme, a favorite color scheme, or a logo that can be incorporated into the design?
- Do you have digital photos and other graphics for the website?
- Will your website be a billboard site, an e-commerce site, or something else?
- Who is your intended audience?
- Who will provide content?
- Who will be responsible for updates?
- Is there a deadline?
- What is your budget?
What happens during the design process?
Once a project is underway, a web designer works closely with the client. Basic website elements like banners, navigation bars, main content blocks, headings, and footers are put in place. Colors, fonts, and other front-end items are also added.
Once the initial design template is approved, the fun stuff starts. Writing code, creating pages, developing content, adding images, inserting meta tags, and testing are just a few things that must be completed before a website can go live. Many web designers are also expected to provide file back-ups and cyber security!
Lots of web designers also provide photography and graphic design services. They write and edit text, decide on keyword strategies, submit new sites to search engines, promote new sites on social media, do regular updates, and teach basic updating protocols.
Web designers need excellent design skills and they must also deal with people. Successful web designers not only ask lots of questions, they also rely on intuition to find out what someone really needs. Web designers need technical savvy, artistic talent, and the ability to adapt quickly to changing technologies. Free-lance web designers really are Jack & Jill’s of all trades.