Web designers, and especially web developers, don't often consider a client's business goals or business marketing. They'll build you a fancy website, without concern as to whether or not it will actually help grow your business.
Hiring a web designer is fine for getting your website online. But it needs to be part of your overall, entire business plan. It needs to draw people in, and then lead them to the next step.
But most business websites are dead-ends. They look nice, but they essential do nothing. They don't tell customers what the next step is, they don't lead customers to enter their email address, or clearly inform what your business does on a website.
Your website designer should have a basic understanding of business models, of email marketing, and capturing leads. They should be able to inform you how your website can be a true asset instead of a liability.
Here are the essential things your website needs to do:
1. It shouldn't break down
The old-school way of thinking for websites is to build it "fully custom" on something like WordPress. But WordPress is a liability for most businesses. They break down and cause clients long-term headaches.
2. It needs to capture email addresses
If it doesn't, then your website is essentially a dead-end. All websites, and pretty much every single web page, must capture emails and leads to help customers "take the next step" towards a purchase decision.
3. It should clearly communicate your business
50% of website visitors only look at one page of a website. They should not have to click to the "About" page or try to figure out what's going on. Your business website should have an elevator pitch right on the front page of the website. Something that can be said in 7 words or less.
4. It should be mobile responsive and focus on 1 or 2 main pages
Today, pretty much all websites are mobile responsive, but they aren't necessarily user friendly. Over 50% of website traffic is now on mobile devices, so designing super, super, super simple websites are more important than ever.
5. Clients should be able to make edits easily
This is another thing that WordPress developers or web coders don't think about. Clients are frustrated if they can't easily edit their own website. Your website should be built on a platform that is super simple, so you can focus on growing your business, rather than focusing on how to do code.