Please, for the love of all things great and small, never let your designer build your website.
I have seen an influx lately of websites that were recently re-designed, but the client let the designer build the website too. Then they come to me because they need help ‘tweaking’ things on their site, and then I have to deliver the bad news… “A tweak is not going to do it”.
The most recent example was pretty shocking. It was even built on WordPress, so you could practically just get lucky and have it work out okay, oh no, not this one. The site looked very nice on desktop, it was obviously a custom design and the design itself worked very well for the type of website it was, BUT the site was built in such a way that it has absolutely no responsiveness. Zip, Zero, Zilch. You would literally have to build an entirely different website for mobile and have one of those “Click Here to View The Desktop Version” / “Click Here to View The Mobile Version” buttons at the bottom. There was no real structure, lots of fixed width elements and it was basically a nightmare.
Google hated it, and if Google hates it, well there goes your search engine rankings…
Designers are great at designing, but do not let your designer build your website. The two tasks are not even remotely similar and I have never, ever, met a person that was formally trained and proficient in both design and development. It is sort of like asking the guys that pour a house foundation to decorate the interior too, it probably would not turn out well. Likewise if you ask an interior decorator to put on some rubber boots and grab a trowel to help pour your new house foundation, they will probably just laugh because you MUST be joking.
So that begs the question, if you can only afford one, a designer OR a developer, which do you choose…. Being a developer I think you can guess what I will say, but it is not because I want your business, it is because a well built website is more important than a custom design. That is not to say that the website build is more important than the design, the two go hand in hand and truly need each other to function optimally. But a well built website, in my opinion, will always be more important than a custom design. Custom being the key word.
I am a developer, I am not a designer. I CAN design you a website, but I will tell you upfront that it is best to use a designer to create a custom website design. If my client does not have the budget for both, I will ask the client to provide examples of other websites they like and then I will create a design that makes sense for the type of website it is, starting from a template. From there the client generally requests further customization based on their own needs and likes, which I then custom code. I highly recommend hiring a designer, but I also know some people are on a tight budget, and for those people I can crank out a pretty good design, with a solid, well built foundation.