5 skills your web designer should have

In order for your business to have a professional presence online, you must seek the services of a web designer. Professional designers have the necessary skills to build industry standard websites that not only meet your business objectives but also launch your brands reputation online. However, to ensure this you need to hire a designer that is skillful and competent; otherwise, you will be throwing your heard earnt money down the drain.

If you’re in the process of hiring a web designer for your website or you’re questioning the ability of your current designer, then it’s important to know that like most things, the level of skill will vary from one web designer to another.

As a website designer with 17 years of experience under my belt, I certainly know what skills designers need in order to create a successful website. To ensure you work with a designer that is capable of creating a professional website that meets industry standards I suggest you ask if they have the following skills.

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1. Design fundamentals

The first and foremost thing you should look for in a web designer is knowledge of design fundamentals. At Ignition Media, our web designers are well versed with design theory and this helps us build highly successful websites for your clients. Before choosing a designer, you should ensure that he or she is well versed with the entire design process and this includes the principles of colour theory, balance and proportion, flow, spacing, form and function and marketing and advertising fundamentals. Only when a designer has solid grasp over the fundamentals of design will you get a great website built.

2. Knowledge of HTML and CSS

While coding is not really a necessity for a web designer, knowledge of basic HTML and CSS is a must. HTML forms the foundation of how websites are built and how the web works. Designers with good knowledge of HTML will build websites from scratch. On the other hand, knowledge of CSS helps with the visual appearance of a website. You must hire a web designer who has knowledge of these two languages, as they are better equipped to build effective and interactive websites. Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS means that a designer has a better grasp over design abilities, scope and limitations.

3. SEO fundamentals

While you may be looking for a separate agency to handle your SEO, it is an added advantage if your web designer also has an understanding of SEO fundamentals. At Ignition Media, we always design with SEO in mind. Some of the SEO factors that your designer should be aware of when building a website include mobile friendliness, inbound links, page speed, performance and content. You should always give preference to designers who are aware of SEO fundamentals.

4. Graphic manipulation and use of photo editing software

In my opinion, every web designer should have some knowledge of graphic manipulation and how to use photo editing software. This helps bring even the simplest of designs to life. At Ignition Media, our designers work with layers, paths, customising typefaces and retouching photos to increase the visual appeal of a website. Ask if your designer makes use of these techniques as these skills allow a designer to build you a beautiful looking website that catches the attention of your users.

5. Mobile design

Today’s user accesses the internet from a variety of devices, including desktops, smartphones and tablets to name a few. When your web designer is designing your website, you need to ensure that they are capable in designing it in such a way that it responds to any device. Ignition Media’s websites are each mobile-friendly and responsive, so that they work perfectly on any device in which they are viewed on. You should only consider a designer who is capable of building responsive mobile-friendly websites.

Also see: 6 epic mistakes to avoid in web design


Before you jump into hiring a web designer for your business website, you must check whether the person you are hiring has a few skills. Make sure that your designer is well versed with design theory fundamentals and has a working knowledge of HTML and CSS. Also, consider if your designer understands the basics of SEO and incorporates this into your website design. Choose designers who can use photo editing and graphic manipulation software and always ensure that you hire a designer who builds responsive mobile-friendly websites.

Here, at Ignition Media, we are a Gold Coast firm who specialise in web design. I personally have been designing websites for well over 17 years and our clients range from local businesses to international agencies. Whether you need a WordPress website, an ecommerce website or any other type of website for your business, you can count on us to deliver.

To find out more about our web design services, contact me, Nicole Brooke. I’ll be happy to assist you in every way that I can.