How do I Choose the Best Ecommerce Website Design?

Erin J. Hill

To choose the best ecommerce website design, you must first compile a list of designers. You can find names of businesses or individuals offering these services by looking online or in the yellow pages, or by speaking with other ecommerce professionals who have a site you admire. Once you have your list put together, call or email each company to ask about their ecommerce website design services.

Open source website software often contains e-commerce and other features.
Open source website software often contains e-commerce and other features.

The first thing you should consider when speaking with each company is their past work. Check out other websites they have designed, and consider which designers have done the type of site you are looking for. Be sure when you are looking through each site that you go beyond the home page. Click through each page, look at how easy each one is to navigate, and note which products are organized in the best manner.

An Ecommerce website designer may be found in the Yellow Pages.
An Ecommerce website designer may be found in the Yellow Pages.

Tell the head designer at each ecommerce website design company what you are looking for, and have him sketch a mock-up of what your site would look like. You could also direct him to a site you like, either one of his or another one you find, and have them look it over to see if he can do something similar for your site. Most professional designers are experienced enough and have sophisticated enough software to handle any website design you may find appealing.

Once you have narrowed down your list of ecommerce website design companies, you need to compare prices to find the one that's right for you. Some designers charge by the hour, but they will likely give you an estimate of how much the total project may cost. Just remember that designers who charge an hourly rate may or may not stick to budget, so be prepared for the final bill to be higher than originally quoted. Other designers charge by the number of web pages. Prices will likely be similar to those of hourly paid designers, but your quote will be more firmly set once you have an accurate sketch of the final site.

Don't be afraid to let the designer you choose know what you expect, and ask for references up front. Since many designers work remotely, you can't be there continuously to ensure that a designer is working on your site properly and in a timely manner. Ask for an estimated time of delivery of the finished product for you to inspect and approve, and make sure you know exactly what you are getting for the price. If marketing the site and copywriting services are not included for the pages you have agreed upon, make sure you save room in your budget for those things to be done.

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