When you start shopping for a new business web designer, one of the first things you’ll notice is that every creative team has a portfolio they can’t wait to show you.

Business owners have told me again and again, however, that they find the process of looking at web design samples to be a little bit overwhelming. They aren’t always sure what they should be looking for, and admit that many of the example websites they see start to look the same after a little while.

Web design portfolios are important to making good decisions, though, so you should pay attention to them. When you do, here are a few things to look for…

A Web Designer’s Artistic Style

Although business web designers are marketers, we are also artists. That means each of us is going to have our own style and preferences. Some of those stylistic choices are going to match up with your own tastes, and some are not. It’s not a big deal if you have a style that differs a little bit from your web designer, but if their instincts seem to be much different than your own, that could lead to conflicts and delays later on.

How Text and Space are Arranged

A great web designer is going to have a portfolio that shows a strong understanding of textile layout and white space, not just graphics. This is only important from a stylistic perspective – balancing the elements on a page makes a website less overwhelming and easier to understand. First impressions are incredibly important on the web, so you should only work with someone who can communicate your ideas very clearly.

A Variety of Layouts and Approaches

Every once in a while, I come across a website for another design team that has professional but incredibly similar -looking samples. In other words, all of their pages and designs have the same basic structure. That’s not necessarily terrible, given that all websites follow a set of standard conventions. However, too much similarity shows a lack of creative thinking, and hints that they might not be paying attention to customer requests. Additionally, lots of cookie-cutter websites are built from premade templates that don’t give businesses the individual branding focus they need.

Customer Feedback and Case Studies

Although the visuals of a web design portfolio are important, you should look to see if they are backed up by testimonials and case studies. After all, that client feedback will tell you whether a creative team was easy to work with, if there prices were fair, and (most importantly) what kind of sales boost the company got from the finished product. In other words, they’ll tell you all the things you need to know that you can’t get from the web design portfolio itself.

Naturally, you’ll want to look at more than web design portfolios when choosing a creative team to work with. Still, there’s no point in moving forward with a designer if you don’t like the style of their work. So, use the points outlined above to narrow down your list and better understand what you like or don’t like. Then, you’ll be much better positioned to decide which web designers to follow up with.

Want to see a few examples of websites that look great and make money for their businesses? Check out the Biondo Creative web design portfoli for yourself!