I’m in over 150 Facebook groups – local sunshine coast community groups, gardening groups, business groups and many many more. In the local community groups, each week there are many people asking for recommendations for a website designer.
With SOOOO many website designers on the Sunshine Coast, how do you choose the right one? How can you be sure you won’t get ripped off?
What do you want your website to do?
I tell my clients the best way to find the right designer or developer is to firstly work out what you want your website to do.
This might change after you have talked to a few website designers. Each designer has different skills, some are focused on quick, short and sweet websites. The aim is to get you launched as quickly and cheaply as possible, others are marketers, and will be focussed on setting you up with a full functioning lead generation machine, others are graphic designers and will be looking at bringing a beautiful arty masterpiece to life for you.
There are many web design basics, such as design, being mobile responsive, having contact details and having some basic information.
But what else do you want your website to do???
But you may also want your website to do other things, like take payments, book events or showcase your products.
Before starting your project, you need to treat it like any other project. List out your objectives, budget and time frame.
Take a look at some other peoples websites, make a wish list. Speak to other business, friends and family and ask for recommendations. Make a list of websites you like the look or function of. Many websites have the designer’s details in the footer (the bottom) of the website. You instantly have that designers details and that could be the first designer you call.
How to work out the right designer for you?
Once you have figured out what you want your website to do, the next decision is to find the designer.
You can do this by asking in Facebook, asking friends and family, looking at the footer of a website, googling website design in your area, such as “website design sunshine coast”
Once you have a few recommendations, check their websites out, read their reviews, google their name than “review” for example “Plinkit review” that way any negative reviews are displayed. Obviously, a few negative reviews are normal but if there are a heap of reviews then maybe it’s a bad idea.
Then give them a call. Some designers, such as myself, will be happy to have a quick chat, and may send you a questionnaire to get more details. After getting all the details, they will be able to provide you with a comprehensive proposal, listing all the features and information that the website they are building will include.
You can check out all my inclusions here.
You can also look at the websites that the designer has built. Most of us have a portfolio with case studies or details of the website we have worked on. Some more suggestions on how to find a website designer or what the website design process is can be found here
Local businesses I have worked with
I’ve bought website’s to life for a number of local business websites to life. You can see my portfolio here, but below is a quick snapshot.
Website Design Case studies – Sunshine Coast Local Business
The Funtastic Tour Company Website
The Funtastic Tour Company is a local tour company on the Sunshine Coast. This website design package was implemented in two phases was a custom, Professional Package. The first phase included a 10 page + website, with SEO Foundation, pop-ups, newsletter sign up, links to social media, custom contact form, downloadable itineraries and more.
In Phase 2 we implemented a full E-Commerce Booking System for listing and booking tours. All their tours listed, filters added and the ability for clients to book and pay online.
Pilates on Centre
Pilates on Centre is a successful Pilates Studio in Maroochydore that was founded over 20 years ago. With a strong brand and customer base, the busy owners put together a quick DIY website that they were never happy with. Although constantly booked out, the owners felt embarrassed to tell anyone or promote their DIY website. Amanda reached out to me to get a professional website design for her business.
I created a starter website, that was focused on design – the visuals being very important to showcase the studio and customer experience. This design included the use of short videos to truly show potential customers around the studio and increase the feeling of luxury.
Rene Michelle is a Sunshine Coast local author and coach. With an established website, she came to me for a website audit, potential makeover and to implement a new membership she was launching.
This website makeover included integrating Mailchimp with automated emails after signing up (sales funnel). We also added a plugin called “cart flows” which added the upsells, downsells and order bumps to the checkout process. She had professional copy written for her sales pages, and I set up a membership area with the ability for customers to pay and subscribe on a monthly basis.
Why choose a local website designer?
There is NO reason you need to choose someone local. Often we get business because we are out in the community talking to people who then become customers. Many of my clients I NEVER meet in person. I talk via the phone, chat or zoom. I have clients all over Australia and the world. If you choose someone in a different time zone this can be trickier, but it’s still not a problem.
But do I even need a website?
Yes! If you are just operating on social media – what happens if you get banned, it goes down or someone hacks your account?
A website is YOUR property and you will always have a backup. You can change hosts, website developers or even redesign the whole thing then but with social media you can’t do that. I just read about a local sunshine coast make-up artist who’s Instagram was hacked and Instagram took her whole page down with all her followers and will not reinstate it. Her entire customer base she had built up over the past three years gone, overnight.
A website shows you are serious about your business and in it for the long term. It isn’t just a hobby. It isn’t just a side hustle and you are serious enough to invest money into it.
You also have control over what is shown. With Instagram, Facebook etc you are only as current as your latest posts. You are at the mercy of the “algorithm”
Your website lists exactly what you need and when. You arrange the information as much as you want, you can express your business personality through its design. It is also a tool so you can book event, sell things and most importantly be found on google.
How to get started with a new Website Design?
If you are looking for a website designer based on the Sunshine Coast or just have any question please feel free to reach out, my website design prices are listed here, my full portfolio here and more about me and my credentials here.