Looking for a professional web developer or designer in Singapore who you can count on to create a stellar website for your business? Here are some tips to guide you through the entire process. Web design and development has emerged as one of the most lucrative careers in Singapore. This has led to the mushrooming of agencies that purport to offer web design and development services. Similarly, building a website is easy given the fact that there are numerous web design platforms such as WordPress.
Choosing such platforms may be attractive for those who intend to build simple sites for sharing content with their friends and loved ones. If you are a business owner who is in need of a serious website that will attract customers as well as convert site visitors into paying clients, you will need something that is more sophisticated and professional.
This highlights the significance of working with a creative web developer who is not only experienced in web design but also marketing. You have to keep in mind the fact that creating a professional website is just as important as any other aspect of running your business.
To figure out which web developer works for you, you should assess the needs of your business before gauging them against the expertise of agencies that are under consideration. This should be the driving force behind the decision that you will ultimately make.
Similarly, there are certain vital questions that you should ask web developers to ascertain that they can undertake the project at hand and complete it within schedule. These are some of the questions that you should ask a web developer in Singapore before hiring.
What is Your Approach to Website Design?
When it comes to web design, each agency has a unique approach and processes. You should find out the approach that a web designer uses while undertaking web development projects. This is the surest way of differentiating between novices and professionals.
Professional and experienced web designers are likely to have a stipulated approach pertaining to how they will handle the project from the start from start to finish. On the other hand, novice web developers may not have a clear roadmap on how they will manage the project. As a result, they are likely to experience lots of challenges in the course of the project.
How Will You Incorporate My Ideas in the Design Process?
Indeed, you are an expert in your industry, and you are looking for a way to present it to potential clients. Even though no one understands your business ideas more than you do, it is imperative that you find out whether the web designer that you intend to work with will listen to them and find a way of incorporating them in the design process and the entire project.
If a web design company can’t find a way of incorporating your ideas into the project, it probably won’t give you the desired results. A good web developer should not only have the ability to put all your ideas into action but must also have a guideline for doing so. It is good practice to avoid web designers who are likely to create their pet projects without incorporating any of your ideas.
Likewise, you also need to establish whether the web designers under consideration have their own ideas. In as much as it is essential that a web designer listens to you, a yes-man is likely to ruin the project. Even though you might know everything pertaining to your business and the industry within which it operates, your site needs to be built by someone who has an in-depth understanding of web design.
If a web designer doesn’t bring any ideas on board, he/she is likely to only produce a replica of your ideas. When this happens, you won’t get your money’s worth. A designer should not only have the ability to incorporate your ideas into the project but must also bring exciting ideas on board. Such a symbiotic working relationship will go a long way in helping you build a website that reflects the needs of your business and its clients.
What Technical Skills do You Possess?
Website designers in Singapore possess different technical skills. Some of these skills might be relevant to the project that you intend to undertake. Likewise, some of the skills that web designers possess might be irrelevant as far as your project is concerned.
If you are looking for a web developer in Singapore, you need to find someone who possesses a wide array of technical skills, which are relevant to the specifications of your project. Keep in mind the fact that different websites perform different functions.
Someone who is well versed in building e-commerce websites may not be the right pick for you if you are looking to develop an informational website in Singapore. There are several basic technical skills that you should look out for when choosing a web designer to work on your project.
To determine whether the technical skills of different web designers match the objectives of your project, you must define your technology needs. This simply means establishing how you want your website to function. This will go a long way in helping you determine the kind of web designer that you want to work with, and the skills-set that he/she must possess.
Can You Work within My Budget?
Just like any other project that you undertake, web design must be guided by a budget. You need to ask web designers under consideration whether they will be willing to work within the budget that you have set aside for the project. A good web designer will go ahead to explain to you crucial aspects that your budget will cover, and those that are likely to be left out.
Professional website designers understand that designing a website is an investment rather than a cost. Therefore, the approach that they use when undertaking the project focuses on minimizing costs while providing the desired outcomes as far as designing your web pages is concerned.
Even though you might want to get the most significant return from your investment when creating a website, you should not be too frugal when it comes to web design. Crucial aspects are likely to be left out all in the name of minimising your investment. Regardless of your budget, the web designer that you choose should have the ability to explain how each penny will be spent.
Finding out whether your preferred web designer can work within your website also involves asking them about the functionality, design choices, and features that will prioritise. It similarly helps you avoid unnecessary costs and delays in the course of the project.
Can You Provide Proof of Your Past Work?
If you are looking for a web developer in Singapore to design a website for you, it is advisable that you ask whether those that are under consideration have a history of undertaking similar projects in the past. This will help you determine their suitability to handle your project.
In this regard, you should ask them to provide proof that they have worked on similar projects. This is the easiest way of proving that web developers under consideration have what it takes to complete your project. You also need to ask about their specific niche.
Web design is a diverse area with different niches. When looking for a web designer, it is good practice to find out about his/her specific area of expertise. You should only work with someone who has the experience of working on projects that are similar to what you wish to undertake. The knowledge of those that you are considering should meet the goals of your project.
After establishing that a web designer has undertaken a similar project to yours in the past, you should inquire about the challenges that they faced while at it. This will give you an idea about what to expect while you undertake your project.
You have to keep in mind the fact that a reputable web design agency is likely to have positive reviews from past clients. A web designer should not be afraid to show you a proof of its previous work or its past clients’ reviews.
Can I Meet the Team?
Most web design agencies either outsource or have permanent project implementation teams. It is advisable that you work with web designers who have an in-house team rather than those that outsource.
If you choose an agency that outsources web designers for its projects, you will be dealing with third-parties. Therefore, it may be difficult to point fingers in case problems arise in the course of your project. Asking to meet the team while at work will help you determine whether the web design agency outsources staff, or has its own employees.
Web design agencies that comprise ad hoc teams of freelancers who probably haven’t worked together before should never be considered. There is a possibility that those who worked on your project might not be there in the future to address any problems that might arise.
By observing an agency’s team at work, you will be able to gauge its expertise and how important clients’ projects are to them. It is equally important to establish how long the team members of an agency have worked together and whether they have undertaken similar projects in the past as a team. This way, it will be easy for you to determine the suitability of the agency to work on your project.
Do You Offer Follow-Up Services?
One of the most fundamental determining factors when choosing web designers is whether they will offer follow-up services once your website is up and running. Keep in mind that your site needs to be tweaked regularly to reflect the ever-changing needs of your business.
Your in-house IT team cannot handle some of the changes that you will be required to make on the website. Some companies do not even have in-house IT teams in the first place. Therefore, you should find out about the types of follow-up services that different web designers offer. This will give you an idea about the cost of setting up and running your website.
How Will You Measure Results?
You need to measure the performance of your website on a regular basis. Therefore, you must ask web designers under consideration how they will measure the performance of your site once it is up and running.
In this regard, you should ask about the analytics tools that will be used to measure unique visits to your site, bounce rates, and conversion percentages. Similarly, you must be shown how these appropriate website measures ought to be tracked.
To determine the performance of your website, your web designer should give you an idea about the numbers that you should expect once the site is operational. This is a complex query, which may be challenging even to the most experienced of web designers. However, if a web designer has undertaken projects that are similar to yours in the past, he/she is likely to have a general idea about the benchmarks involved.
What to Consider When Selecting a Website Design for your Business
Now that you are aware of the specific things that you should ask the website developer before hiring, the next important thing that you need to do is select the right design or template for your business website.
There are thousands of pre-made templates that you can use but the downside is that chances are that other businesses in or outside your niche are already using it. It will be difficult to stand out with a pre-made template. Even if you are on a tight budget and have no option, but to use one, make sure that you transition into a custom design as the business grows.
The preferred website developer will present several designs to you for selection. Choose carefully to successfully launch your business online. Keep in mind that the design will communicate your brand’s vision and voice to the target audience.
Here are golden tips on how to select the best website design for your business.
1. Design for Storytelling
The goal when creating a website is to create lasting memories. That is, your website should be memorable enough to the audience that they visit regularly or refer you to other prospects. One of the sure ways of achieving this goal is by designing for storytelling.
Research shows that marketing messages that are conveyed as stories are 22 times more rememberable than mere text and facts. Finding a compelling aspect of your brand and focus on it when designing the website.
Such a design will grasp the attention of the website visitors and seamlessly encourage them to scroll through the pages with the promise of value. The more time they spend on your website, the more chances you will get to encourage them to convert.
Picture your homepage as the main appetizer that communicates the brand’s values and vision to prospects. The main course is the service pages and other elements on the page that further highlight the product or service unique selling points.
In the image above, Bearbrand, ingeniously uses its Instagram page to add storytelling feature on the website. Each image is a reflection of the company’s values and what the target customers are looking for when they land on the website or use the products.
You don’t have to transform your entire website for storytelling, you can achieve the same goal by using the right buttons, icons, and fonts. More importantly, you need to use the right words in the call-to-action buttons.
2. Design for Emotion
Internet users come across a multitude of ads and information that often tend to make the shopping process simple and equally confusing. Every day, they experience multiple emotions which influence their buying decisions. Negative emotions such as anger and sadness will not work well for your online business.
When designing the website, you should put into consideration the mindset of the target customers and work around it. If you are selling products that are meant to help the audience lose weight, use a website design that relays optimism and friendliness.
Effective emotional design will elicit a sense of security and pleasure whenever they visit. Concisely, your goal should be to get a clear perspective of the emotional utility and purpose of every web design decision that you make. Understand that any bad decision that you make at this stage will haunt you in the near future.
For instance, when selecting fonts, use the ones that resonate with your corporate image. Make sure that all the elements are in tandem with each other to convey the intended message effectively.
The TOMS is a good example of a website that is designed to ignite positive emotions by strategically using the peace sign on the home page.
You can achieve the same goal by making sure that your design is in line with the interests of the ideal customers you are targeting. By igniting the right emotions, you will give them an opportunity to experience the personality of your brand and share in its vision.
3. Consider Navigation
How will the website visitors get from one point to another on your website? NAVIGATION.
The right navigation will help your website visitors find the information or product that they are looking for quickly. They won’t have to contact the support team or spend hours scrolling through the pages looking for a product or the shopping cart.
The quality of navigation can make or break your user experience. Failing to provide proper navigation is equivalent to dropping a potential customer in a complex maze with no frame or map to help them find the way out. It can be frustrating and overwhelming to shop on such a website – so make sure that your navigation is near perfect. When selecting a design, consider the movements of your ideal customer from the moment they land on your website to when they convert.
Nowadays, there are usability and heatmap recording tools that you can use to understand how users interact with your website. Using the report generated by the tools, you can come up with a plan on how to organize the content.
Check out KitchenAid website navigation and borrow a leaf from it as you evaluate the different designs offered by the developer. Instead of using text, the company uses images to direct customers through the website. This works well for busy shoppers who don’t have time to scroll through the plethora of products available.
Concisely, navigation should be one of the core factors not an afterthought when designing your website. Choose a design that has a professional and well-organised layout to provide the best user-experience to the customers.
4. Design for Accessibility
Accessibility is one of the most important yet neglected factor when selecting website designs. Many brands are keen on attracting as many potential customers as possible to the websites. But they fail because they don’t factor in the varying customers’ needs.
Designing for accessibility means that your products, services and brand experiences matches the needs of all your customers. For example, if you hand a brick-and-mortar shop, you would definitely construct a ramp to cater for customers who use wheelchairs, right?
The same principle is true for online customers and website design. Making sure that all images have alt text will enable customers who are visually impaired and using screen readers to shop. Use different colours and symbols to pass the message effectively. You can also use exclamation points to channel their attention to specific pages and to signify importance.
Nike is a perfect example of a website that is designed with accessibility in mind. You can actually use your keyboard to move from one section of the website to another.
Accessibility is not just an add-on, it’s the element that will ensure you cater for the needs of your target customers amicably.
5. Design for Shopping
Online shopping should be memorable and enjoyable. Your customers should feel secure and comfortable browsing through your product listing, adding items to the shopping cart, and checking out.
The customers do not hesitate to patronize businesses that are trustworthy and credible. Negative reviews are inevitable, but no customer enjoys writing such reviews.
Exude reliability and trustworthiness by adding testimonials to the design. The pricing page should be honest, that is, no hidden charges. Don’t shy away from also highlight brand achievements such as awards that you recently won. All these elements will build up your brand integrity and encourage the target customers to shop.
The design that you choose should make shopping effortless for both new and returning customers. Get ahead of the competition and move your brand forward by giving first-time customers a reason to return and refer you to others.
Fenty Beauty is one of the companies that have a brilliant website that offers an exceptional shopping experience to its customers.
6. Keep it Simple
Having hundreds of website pages that serve no or little purpose is counterproductive and expensive. Regardless of your niche, you should only focus on what you need. These are the pages that your website cannot do without and customers need to shop or complete desired actions.
If your business doesn’t need a photo gallery, then don’t instruct the website developer to create one. If the customers are niche-specific and want to read as much content as possible about the industry before doing business with you, add a dedicated blog page to the design.
The better fit a website design is for your company, the more valuable and useful it will be to your clients. Having unnecessary pages will also make the buyer’s journey unnecessary long and even confuse the customers who are ready to shop. Don’t give them a reason to ditch your online store for your competitors.
7. Pay Close Attention to the Colour Scheme
Colour scheme is important to the functionality of your website. Different colours evoke varying emotional responses. As you analysed the different designs presented to you, consider your business niche, branding, elements of colour theory, and the target customers.
The colours are grouped in three categories namely, neutral, warm and cool.
- Neutral colours do not elude much emotions and include brown, grey and other neutral colours
- Warm colours elude warm positive emotions and include orange, yellow, and red
- The cool colours are meant to make the target audience think of cool and include colours such as green, purple, and blue
The colour that you choose will be associated with your brand for many years to come or until you decide to rebrand. So, take time to think through all the options before making your final decision.
8. Page Load Time
The probability of a website visitor leaving your website increases by 32% of the page load time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds. Having too many elements on the design will compromise the page load time significantly.
Settle for a website design that is devoid of clutter and as mentioned earlier, simplicity matters. Test the website before fully launching it to determine if there are sections affecting load time that should be either optimised or deleted.
Fixing such errors before the official launch date will ensure that you start on the right foot, offer the best user experience and profit from a high customer retention. Once the site is launched, you need to do the speed test regularly to be sure that everything is working fine.
Ideally, short load times provides the information customers are looking for at the right time or rather when they want it fast. If your website is unable to meet this need, rest assured that the competitors will and you will lose the customers.
9. Clean Code
The code is the heartbeat of your website. There are SEO experts who are of the idea that its one of the factors that Google uses when ranking websites. This is partly true since the code determines how the pages appear and function.
Make sure that your design has a clean and SEO-friendly code to secure a high ranking on search engine results pages. The code guides the search engine bots as they index and try to understand what your website is all about.
WordPress and other content management systems provide plugins that you can use to clean up the code fast and without any programming skills. Engage with the developer if you are unsure about the code, and its always good to seek a second opinion from an independent website developer who has no vested interests in the project.
10. Content Management System
The content management system will help you add or remove content from the website once its launched. 39.5% of all websites are powered by WordPress. Make sure that the website design you select has a content management system that matches the nature of your business. It should also be simple enough that you can upload or remove content without necessary contacting the website developer after the launch. Here is an article that we wrote on how to choose the right content management system for your website.
The most fundamental aspect of website design is choosing a web developer whose expertise matches the needs of your business. There are many web designers in Singapore, and therefore, choosing someone who will offer the highest quality services may seem like a tall order.
The aforementioned questions will help you partner with a web designer with whom you can build a long-term working relationship with. Someone who claims to be good at everything pertaining to web design should be avoided since he/she is likely to be unprofessional. Asking around among those that have built a similar website will help you make the right decision when choosing a web developer in Singapore.
Furthermore, the above ten website design tips will help you get site that matches your brand and has the capacity to compete with other businesses not only for customers but also for a high spot in the SERPS. Our website developers are on-standby ready to create a custom website design for your brand. We will help actualise your ideas and the vision of your brand in the best way possible. Get in touch with us for more details.
What are the common question before you hire a Web developer in Singapore
3. What Technical Skills do You Possess?
4. Can You Work within My Budget?
5. Can You Provide Proof of Your Past Work?
6. Can I Meet the Team?
7. How Will You Measure Results?