Looking around the internet for a website designer, you quickly realize that it can be very intimidating.
We all know that a professional website designer is the best way to perfect your branding, increase your conversion rates, and get attention, but how do you know if your designer is qualified and charges a fair rate for the work?
For some key items to consider when choosing and hiring a website designer keep on reading.
1. Make Sure You Ask The Right Questions
- “Does the designer have experience working with websites with similar functionality to mine?”
- “Does the designer often create a clean and intuitive navigation?”
- “Are the websites in the designer’s portfolio still using the design?”
- “Does the designer need to do branding work? If so, are they experienced with branding?”
- “Does the designer need to work on your conversion rates? If so, are they qualified?”
- “Does the designer offer testimonials/referrals that are easy to get in touch with?”
Remember, when asking these questions, think about what you want your website to accomplish—because an effective website is more than just a pretty picture.
2. Communicate With Your Prospective Designer Effectively
When you get in touch a prospective designer, it’s your job to describe what you want. There is no such thing as too much information.
What kind of information should you give your designer?
Well, if there are a few websites you absolutely love, you should provide them as examples. On the other hand, if there are some colors that give you a rash, you should tell them that too – but keep in mind that just because you don’t like orange does not mean it’s not the best color to use to get users to do what you want them to do.
In general, here’s a list of some key information you should give each prospective designer so they can give you an accurate price quote and determine whether they can complete your job:
- What’s your budget? Whatever it is, state it up front. You need to make sure you’re both on the same page.
- What feeling do you wish your design to convey? This helps the designer choose art, typography, and site architecture with that aim in mind.
- What’s the main objective of your website? Do you want more sales? Subscribers? Traffic?
- What special functionality do you need? Are you trying to sell products in an online store? Do you need special contact/prospect screening forms?
- What happens after your site is launched? Do you need your designer to stick around for potential updates? Do they offer a maintenance program?
- What are examples of websites you like? Tell your designer what you like about each one.
Sometimes what you think you want isn’t necessarily what you need, and a good designer will be willing to push back when necessary and offer the benefit of his or her experience.
3. Don’t Say These 3 Phrases to Your Potential Designer
When you find a designer you like, you should treat them and their work with respect. After all, you want them to take your project and do a great job, right?
It’s easy to come across as disrespectful if you don’t give some thought to your inquiry, and designers have to look out for clients who may be “problem children” before taking them on. The interview is a two-way process.
While most designers can roll with the punches, here are some phrases you should try to avoid:
This ought to be simple” or “I’d code it myself if I only had the time.”
First and foremost, you’re hiring a designer for their expertise, and assuming your project is simple conveys, “I’m not really willing to pay your rates for this project”. Instead, tell the designer what you’re looking for and let them decide on the complexity.
“I’m poor, without any money, so can you design my site for free?”
Remember this one point , designers create websites for a living. If you’re low on funds, you should consider checking out a theme framework like Thesis because it gives you “point and click design controls” for $87. You can always hire a designer to create something for your framework once you’re more flush.
“I want a website. How much will that set me back?”
While this might seem like a great opening, it can sometimes be a red flag. “I want a website” is not nearly enough information, and can be an indicator that you’re not a great communicator yourself. Creating a website isn’t a one size fits all approach, which is why rates vary greatly.
Now you know how to find a qualified website designer and communicate with them effectively.
Is your prospective website designer right for you?
Only you know the answer to this question, and listening to your intuition, making sure there is a good personality match, and checking references already puts you ahead of the game.
Professional website designs can represent a significant investment, so, before choosing any designer, you should do some research.