Choosing a local web designer

These days you can hire a web designer from anywhere. Outsourcing has taken off no doubt so why choose a Brisbane web designer?

I still find there are a lot of businesses who want to stay local.

My business is now based on the Gold Coast but I was born and started my web design business in Brisbane and because of the proximity we have maintained a good healthy client base in Brisbane.

My business also works a lot with clients from other cities (and even countries from time to time). And while working remotely works very well for us, it’s not really the same thing as ‘offshoring’ or outsourcing as it’s become known.

We offer a personalised, local, friendly and professional service. We drop everything when our clients need us to and we are a team, not an individual freelancer. For these reasons there are a lot of businesses that are happy to engage us ahead of cheaper contractors but I thought I’d go into a bit more detail in terms of the reasons.

These days the web is increasingly complex. It’s not a case of finding a developer who can code. For your site to work, your provider needs to understand your business and understand your market. Communication is critical and in a lot of cases it helps to be local.

If you are evaluating providers, have a look at past examples of their work. Look at the quality of the design and pay attention to how the site is structured and how it would appeal to the customers of the business. This insight is critical there is no point having a website that is not appealing to your customers, it will do more harm than good.

Ask for references from other local companies who have worked with them if you are unsure whether they are suited to your market. Most local web design companies will have worked with other companies in Brisbane or around Australia and shouldn’t have any problems giving references. We happily give references for any capital city in Australia – well actually maybe not Hobart, don’t think we’ve done any work there (any Hobart companies listening?).

In terms of the technical skills web designers need to know a lot these days. Here’s a sample:

  1. How to develop themes using popular CMS platforms like WordPress or Joomla!
  2. How to configure newsletter subscription forms (critical for building a list of potential customers)
  3. How to encourage engagement through the site
  4. Perhaps setting up videos to engage visitors (videos are exploding right now)
  5. Facebook, Twitter and Google + integration
  6. Ability to develop interactive contents like forms and forums.
  7. Programming with languages like JavaScript and PHP (which are used on pretty much every website these days)
  8. Working with website security.

You may not need all of these things on your site but it’s important for a web designer to have a decent knowledge about things like this and possibly a lot more.

These technical skills are hard to acquire and it’s hard to stay on top of things as things are changing so quickly. Sometimes it’s hard to find someone who isn’t local that has this broad level of skills.

In general to build an effective website you need to have a good process as well. A local Brisbane web designer should have structured procedures for constructing sites that are tailored specifically for the local market.

Local knowledge also helps a lot with the search engines. In Brisbane and around Australia for example there are loads of local directories you can be added to which may not be known by non locals. These can be a great source of backlinks.

Well I might not have convinced you but I have at least outlined some of the reasons why you might consider a local web designer.

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