Picking the best website designer

Pick a website designer is not that difficult. I’ll show you a “trick” that at least will give you an idea of their skills and knowledge, which is, by the way, the same that Google uses to rank websites in the search engine.

Google says that there are at least 7 parameters that contribute to gaining positions in the Google Search Index.

Using the Chrome extension Lighthouse will help you verify if a website is compliant with the first 4 parameters. The other 3 are more related to the website content, and they are relatively important in your search for the best web designer.

Pick a Website Designer

How to pick a website designer in Oslo

Search a web designer online

Let’s say that you use Google to do a search. These are common words that people use to find a Website Designer in Oslo:

  1. Web design in Oslo

  2. Web design agency in Oslo

  3. Website design around me

  4. Webdesign Oslo

  5. Web designers around Oslo

Those search terms are very popular and website design companies usually buy ads from Google to appear in the first place. You can easily spot those because Google must add the AD label on top of the website link. In that way, you have the first 4 links and the last 4 links. Then depending on the term, you may have the Google Maps insert with other links.

The remaining positions in the index are divided between the websites that position better via white SEO and black SEO, and depending on it, the position will be less or more volatile. There are other positions where the domain name is exactly the search term, which also helps.

However, those remaining positions, or those with the ads, don’t necessarily shows the websites of the best web designers, but those indexed via SEO o paid ads.

How Google rank a Website in 2022

Google says that there are at least 7 parameters that contribute to gaining positions in the Google Search Index.

  1. Performance

  2. Accessibility

  3. Best Practices

  4. SEO

  5. Expertise

  6. Authoritativeness

  7. Trustworthiness

The first four parameters can be checked using the Google Chrome extension Lighthouse. Once the extension is installed, open an incognito view in Chrome, then go View/Developer/Developer Tools. Find the Lighthouse menu on top of the right panel. Open the website as you usually do, and click on Analyze page load button.

What does mean Performance?

Performance means how fast a website is ready for visualization and use. It depends on some variables like software installed, the main technology used, and hosting. Some of those variables are out of the control of the web designer, but it should be a number between 90-100. By the way, these tests were done using desktop view because the mobile view is a very tight test in current European conditions.

Why Accessibility is important in 2022?

More and more people are using the internet every day, and more Accessibility features are added to newer smartphones, tablets, and computers.

On the other hand, competence between websites pointing to the same target is getting higher, and Accessibility is gaining importance in some countries as Privacy: in some cases, it is mandatory the compliance with Accessibility rules.

The Accessibility capacity of a website is totally controlled by the web designer, values very close to 100 are highly recommended when you decide to pick a website designer.

What are Best Practices in web design?

This is related to the whole set of rules of the website’s underlying technology, which should be compliant with the newest standards of web development. This is 100% controlled by the web designer, and you shouldn’t expect less than that. When you see values under 100 in Lighthouse in Best Practices means the website uses old or deprecated technologies, most of the time found in cheap web themes for example, that will cause errors and low overall performance in search engines and user experience.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Although is quite obvious why the SEO should be 100, it is incredible that some web design agency websites fail on this parameter, and as consequence, they probably are not able to design websites for customers with SEO value of 100 either.

Transparency is being Ethical: technology exposes the distance between people, that’s why some people use it and others create it. In the case of these parameters that measure the quality of a web design, being transparent is crucial if the web designer really wants to avoid additional “maintenance” payments to the customer.

Examples of Lighthouse tests

Google’s Lighthouse Chrome extension measures how well a web page is built against current standards and technologies. Of course, you can have a plain text page with high values in Lighthouse, but that’s easy to notice.

If you have a finished web page, which looks good visually but with a low score, there is less chance of ranking in the search engine index.

How do websites with low scores rank? will wonder. Most of it is due to an aggressive backlinking strategy (black SEO). However, that is a topic for another post. Keep reading.

The following are examples of Lighthouse parameter values of the remaining positions on the search “web design in oslo“:

What content ranks better in Google?

The other 3 parameters are related to the content. Whether qualify a website by the pictures is not a good idea today, the design is important for the aesthetics of the website, which can improve your user engagement. A very nice picture makes a photography website appealing, for example, but new website designs are focused on the newest generations (Y, Z) that tend to be less subjective and poetic, and more direct and eager to precise answers immediately.

In that sense, the text, and its structure, is decisive because is the way search and Artificial Intelligence engines “talk” with the website. Even though those engines can read a picture and extract some information (for example using one of our AI add-ons), the way the information is useful for the positioning of your website is more content (text) oriented. So, that’s why these three parameters are important as well: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

An external URL address that link to a website (backlinks), can contribute to gain or loose, position, in the search engine indexes. Websites with high Authoritativeness, like Wikipedia for example, transmit high value to a website. Today is quality over quantity, too muck backlinks can make a website suspicious in the eyes of the search engines, and in the worst case Google and other companies can ban those website of the indexes. We will talk more about this subject in the next post, let us your question in the comments section. For the time being, check these 5 tips for content creation.

Five tips for content creation

  1. Content that really help the users.

  2. Created by an expert writer.

  3. Authoritativeness of the website is important.

  4. Content must be from a trustworthy and original source. 

  5. Content should be updated regularly.

 

Pick a website designer: 7 questions

  1. Where is the website data, in which country will be hosted your website? European regulations are very strict about where you store the information of your users. Where is the backup of your website (it should be included), email server if any, etc.
  2. How is the designer’s website privacy protection? Do you see any Privacy acceptance toggle, when they are collecting data?
    Check their contact form, verify that its Privacy Policy says who they are, where they are registered as a company, and how they will manage your data. Do they have a popup for Cookies acceptance?
  3. Check some samples of what he/she can do. Do they need your input or they can deliver a high conversion website from zero. You input is important, but remember that you are paying the service of a website designer.
  4. Do not accept WordPress theme customization as a website, go for website builders or frameworks like Elementor, and Premium licensed software, which guarantee an original and hassles-free website.
  5. Do they offer an operational website? If not, they will charge you for any possible “software fix” installed on the website.
  6. Do they offer free maintenance? If not, they are planning to charge you additional payments later when the website “breaks”.
  7. How standard is their technology or what they are offering to you? Use a Chrome extension like Wappalyzer to verify what is the technology behind a website. If you don’t see WordPress, Elementor, and WooCommerce (only for e-commerce), which are the standards today, at least check the user base of that website technology: it is widely adopted? how easy and affordable you can find a trusted designer with skills

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