Shopify is a leading ecommerce business platform for small and medium size businesses that don’t have big budget to invest on ecommerce website designing. Shopify provides cost effective option for creating user-friendly online stores that not only attract buyers but do well on search engines as well.
Easy-to-use and customize, Shopify is immensely helpful in organizing products and personalizing store fronts. Also it packs a long list of advance features that make it just perfect for every need. It runs well on all browsers and it is easy to install and upgrade from time-to-time without breaking the theme or complete site like WordPress and Magento. If you are focused on quality and want to make sure that your store shouldn’t look like a template based cheap store then you should hire an experienced Shopify designer that understands your business fully and also that is capable of designing stores that not only attract website visitors but also convert them into customers.
Could you spot a reliable Shopify Web Designer? What qualities would you look into while determining reliability of a Shopify designer?
Some qualities to consider when choosing a Shopify designer
Q: What should you look in a Shopify designer?
A: While choosing the right design style for your store is important but the designer should have good understanding of your business and have good ideas to target your audience with great design and features. Your designer should help in setting Google Analytics, Facebook pixels and multiple sales channels such as Facebook, eBay, Amazon and Etsy. Finally, he must be able to setup the shipping as per your requirement and help building basic marketing strategy using different Shopify marketing apps.
Q: How will you find a designer that has all?
A: There are several ways of finding web designers. While Google is the best place to find Shopify web designers, you can also look into Shopify Experts Directory. You need looking beyond search results to make any opinion on any Shopify designer.
Here’s what you need considering before making an opinion on a specific designer
1# Ask for Portfolio
It is experience and creativity that weigh more than academic qualification and technical knowledge on web design tools. While information regarding qualification of any candidate can be obtained from his CV, for determining his creativity, you need looking at his work. Today there is hardly any web designer without a portfolio. A portfolio is a detailed document regarding the professional life a designer. Visit portfolios of as many designers as you can and see their work like sites, apps, GIFs and pictures. Use your knowledge on designing to narrow your search from many to a few.
Things to see in portfolio:
- Does the style of work and level of knowledge fit into your needs?
- Is the designer able to maintain quality throughout his projects?
- Can he handle your store and meet deadlines while delivering quality?
2# Interview the designers and also go through their reviews
Interviewing is the best way to make an opinion on a potential candidate. For interview, you can prepare a detailed questionnaire to ask. But before you list candidates for interview, you should go through their reviews on Google and Yelp. Know what clients have to say about those Shopify designers and try understanding what clients want to convey through their reviews. Since you are also a client, you can reason with other clients and get real help in locating right designer from the reviews.
Reviews would tell about following things:
- Ability to understand needs of the designers
- Client service prior and post project delivery
- Capability of meeting deadlines
- Response time
- Maintaining transparency in the process
Regarding questionnaire, you should include everything from how the designer would work and the post design services. Keep the questionnaire relevant to the job work. For instance, you can ask whether the designer has worked on any project like yours.
We have created a small list of questions you can ask your shopify web developer
Are you able to meet this timeline?
If you have a timeline in mind for your project it is good to ask this question in the beginning and get an idea whether the designer can deliver the project on time or not.
In your opinion, what are the most important features and functionality I must have in this store?
Considering the scope of project, you should ask the designers what are the must have functionality or features your store.From their ideas, you can judge how well they have understood your business and project scope.
Are you an agency or a freelancer?
Hiring a shopify web design agency or a freelancer, that’s the dilemma for many entrepreneurs especially startups. Answer is simple, if you are looking a team of experts in design, development, marketing and much more then go with agency because they have the team of talented people and everyone is expert in their own field, but if you just want the help with design only then go with a freelance shopify web designer.
How many design revisions are included in the price?
It’s important to know how many revisions are included in the price so you can know that how to make sure you get what you want in fewer attempts. It’s good to do some research on your own – find the competitor sites, design style you love, what you want on the home page, what should be the color scheme or atleast the colors resonates with your brand, what type of font you like (thick, thin, italic, vintage, comic etc).
What kind of maintenance will my site need? Can I do that myself or will I have to hire a shopify experts for store support and maintenance?
This is one of the most important thing – Support and Maintenance. Like everything else, your shopify website also need regular support and mainteance so make sure you ask this question, do you need to hire a shopify experts for maintenance and pay on monthly basis or you can do maintenance yourself with no or very less professional maintenance. Shopify is very easy and most of the time you can handle the store yourself but if there was some custom functionality built in your store then you might need professional every now and then.
3# Communication skills
You aren’t going to have personal meetings with your designer every day. For every day communication and work reports, you have to rely on digital communication that is through emails and chatting platforms. You can also use phone calls for communication. The designer should be able to communicate his ideas in layman language so you understand that without spending lots of time in what he actually wants to say.
Price is a biggest concern as everyone has a fix budget for his tasks. No designer would reveal his fee without understanding your needs. You have to ask for price quotes for your project. The designers would quote the best price to get your job. If needed, you can even discuss budget with your designer. But the budget can never be a determinant. If you want to get quality then you need spending more than others.
5# Trial job
The best way to cross check your findings and the reviews on a designer is to assign a small job to the professional. If he completes the job on time and delivers satisfactory results, you can consider him as a potential candidate for designing your Shopify store. Here it is necessary to mention that you should keep a couple of options so that you can switch the designers, ifyou don’t find a suitable professional for your needs.
Q: What after a designer is found?
A: There should be no hurry in hiring the designer as you signing a contract to hire the professional. Here you should be very careful regarding the terms and conditions of the work and the payment terms. The objective should be to get the work done on time and payment should be divided into multiple milestones.
Once everything is decided and the project assigned, you need keeping a close eye on the progress. The web design company or freelancer, if you are working with a freelancer, would provide timely report in week or fortnight to highlight the milestones achieved. Study every report and determine deadlines for the designer.
Q: How much time do I need investing in locating a reliable Shopify designer?
A: There are many ways to look for web designers but you should give time to your search. Keep all your options open and explore every option before making any opinion on an option.
Shopify is a great platform for making ecommerce websites. This feature-full platform is just perfect for making fully-functional online stores. Its advantage is that it can easily be customized to suit to individual needs and upgraded to add new features. But you need an experienced Shopify designer to create a perfect online store that works like a brick-and-mortar store. Success of your ecommerce business depends on the knowledge and experience of the Shopify designer working on your website.