A website matters to any business looking to gain an online presence or reach a larger number of potential customers, whether they offer products, a service or any other kind of resource.

However, it’s fair to say that e-commerce is an area where a fantastic website is absolutely essential, and will directly impact the level of profit you can make as a business. This means recruiting a trustworthy and talented web designer is a vital step when you’re getting started in online selling or looking to make drastic improvements.

1) The right specialist for your platform

A crucial consideration is that design agencies often specialise in one particular platform. For e-commerce websites, businesses will usually have an idea of what functionality they want to have on their website, and the kinds of requirements that must be fulfilled for their vision to work.

This will often restrict you to particular platforms, and therefore you will be better dealing with a designer who specialises in the one you need. We wouldn’t recommend choosing a developer with limited experience, because they will struggle to troubleshoot problems, the process will most likely take longer and the results may not be good enough.

2) Someone who’s completed comparable projects before

The best way to determine whether a designer can handle your project is to take a look at a portfolio of work they have done in the past. It’s not necessary to see evidence that they have produced a similar design to the one you’re hoping for, which is a common mistake that businesses make. This actually increases the chance of your business ending up with a rehashed template rather than a truly bespoke creation.

Instead, you should be looking for examples of the developer incorporating difficult requests into an e-commerce website design, and doing it seamlessly. You should also ask them about the problems they overcame in their earlier projects. These kinds of factors will have a much greater impact on the standard of work you can expect from them.

Someone who comes highly recommended

3) Someone who comes highly recommended

If your developer is willing to take it one step further than showing you their past work, and actually provides details of real former clients you can talk to, this tends to be a positive sign for obvious reasons. By talking to their references, you can learn more about what they are like to work with before making a commitment. Someone might be able to show off their fantastic work, but in practice they would be difficult to work with in a way that’s effective for your business.

4) Someone who shares your objectives

A key distinction between e-commerce websites and other types is the need to turn a healthy profit. The purpose of this project is to make money for your company, so your web designer will need to be conscious of this and willing to tailor their approach to you. Sometimes this will mean a willingness to abandon an idea they personally prefer, or opting not to include flashy and complicated features just for the sake of it.

5) Someone who actually does the work

Although this may sound obvious, it’s not uncommon for specialist web design agencies to outsource practically all of their actual design work to freelancers and external companies. They may be charging you a high premium, but employing a budget-level technical team to work on your website, which tends to spell disaster for complex e-commerce projects. It’s a far better plan to make sure the person you speak to is the one doing the work.