Finding and choosing the right web designer for your health, wellness or beauty website is much like finding a good therapist. They should be a good listener and ask lots of questions. You should feel like you have a good connection of trust and that you're well taken care of. You should be and feel in control of the process. It should be fun!
Your website through its design should be a reflection of the owner and the business in order that it projects the right impression which aligns to the overall brand.
For example, a chiropractor who's focus is on natural and holistic healing may wish to integrate a softer colour palette and use natural visuals all to reinforce and support the overall image and focus of the business and brand. A nutritionist who's focus is on youth eating and health may wish use to a bolder colour scheme with sans serif font pairings to resonate more with the target audience. Lastly, a high-end modern spa may want to use a darker colour palette with serif and calligraphy font pairings to reinforce a classic and high-quality establishment to its exclusive clientele.
Whatever the design needs of a health, wellness or beauty business they need to reflect the owner and the business and align with the overall impression and feel of the business and brand.
OK, how do you achieve this when looking for a web designer for your own site? Here are some tips.
#1 Talk with the Web Designer
After you've asked some friends and colleagues for some referrals , browse some potential web designer sites and narrow it down to a short list, it's crucially important to schedule time to talk with the potential designer. If they don't offer to chat themselves to better understand your needs and provide you an op to ask questions, then move on. Chat directly with the web designer who would be working on your site, not the sales manager or anyone else. A good designer needs to get a sense of who you are, your business and philosophy, and your design and functional needs and desires. If you can't chat directly with the designer, move along on your short list. When searching, look for designers who focus on the health, wellness or beauty business as they have the knowledge, experience and expertise and can often suggest ideas for which you may not have even thought.
A good web designer will want to talk with you to understand your needs (who you are, your business and philosophy) and offer you a chance to ask any questions you may have about the process.
#2 Is the Web Designer Listening To You?
Related to above, talking directly with the designer is important so they understand you and your needs which can be reflected in the design. If you talk with anyone else, such as the sales manager, you will miss out on this vital aspect. When chatting with the designer, they should be asking you questions AND listening. Questions like, "Tell me about your business and how you ended up here"; "Why are you looking for a new or updated site?"; "What aspects of your current site do you like, not like, want to add/remove?"; "Do you prefer to maintain the site yourself?"; "What, if any, were some aspects of your previous web designer relationship you liked and didn't like?".
A good designer will want to understand you and your business, your business philosophy, what aspects you'd like to see in your site (e.g. online booking, online store, virtual consultations, a blog, etc.), and also how you prefer to work (e.g. are you looking at maintaining the site yourself?)
#3 Browse Their Portfolio
Web design is a very subjective area as everyone has their own likes and dislikes when it comes to any kind of design. A good starting place in narrowing down your short list of web designers is to browser their previous work to get a sense whether their style resonates with you. Often, a web designer has a unique style or flair of their own so matching your needs with their design strengths will help you to have a beautiful and organized site of your own!
#4 Understand The Total Costs
Make sure you ask for a written quote and understand all of the costs. Web design is only one aspect of getting a new site up and running and there are other costs involved such as if you need to purchase a domain name (e.g. leblancwebdesign.com), a hosting plan (where the site files sit on the Internet), and if you need a site maintenance plan or not.
A hosting plan is charged by the web service provider (e.g. Wix, WordPress, etc.) as these are your website files which are made available on its web servers. They range in price depending on the plan you need. A basic one with little functionality (e.g. no e-commerce, no online booking, etc.) will be less expensive.
Website maintenance plans are offered by the web designer in order to make the changes you want to your site, typically on an annual basis. If you think that you will have several changes such as pricing, images, text, new services, new pages, new/changing functionality and don't/can't do the work, then a maintenance plan can be very worthwhile. Prices vary depending on the web designer and the anticipated maintenance.
#5 Overall, Do You Get a Good Feeling?
After chatting with the web designer and a few of their references, did you have a good feeling about them? During your conversation, did you feel that they listened to your needs and asked questions to truly understand you and where you want to go and need? Did you feel like they have your needs as their primary objective? Was this reinforced by the references? You should hear feedback such as he/she took the time to ask me what I wanted and it was translated in my site; he/she was patient with me in that I was able to make changes along the way and didn't feel pressured; he/she met the project timelines and answered my hundreds of questions along the way!
Building your own health, wellness or beauty site is often thought of as an intimidating experience and process as it seems technical and foreign and you're vulnerable while being in the hands of someone else whom you only just met. Perhaps you have a limited budget and you can't afford any re-dos or epic failures. In addition, you may have had a negative previous experience (i.e. the designer didn't listen to your needs and you paid for a site you didn't like and can't even maintain!) leaving you hesitant to move forward.
If you are looking for a new or upgraded web site for your health, wellness or beauty business, get in touch today to see what's possible for you.