Finding the right web designer for your business website can be a hard task. You may have a cousin who builds websites on the side, or a friends brother in college that’s OK with a computer and could probably knock up a website in his spare time, in exchange for a case of beer. Or you may even try and figure out how to programme a website and setup WordPress yourself in the little time that you have between running your business and spending time with your family.
We web designers hear these comments all of the time, often projects are rejected for the same reasons which can be slightly annoying, as you know damn well they will be back with a poorly designed website that will need a complete re-design, which will probably end up costing them twice as much money in the long run. While there is nothing wrong with learning new things or helping your cousin out with their hobbies, please I ask you this, consider hiring a professional web designer, as in someone that can do web design in their sleep, this is their job, their lively hood and their passion. Someone that has been creating and designing websites for years and has a good solid portfolio.
So how do you find the right professional web designer? Do you walk straight into a coffee shop and look for plaid shirts and Apple laptops? While this may work it is probably better to start looking at websites you enjoy visiting, and that appear to have a good community and an engaged following. At the bottom of many websites you will normally find a link to the designers website, if you cannot find this then you can try contacting the owner of the site and asking them who they used to design the site and ask them how happy they were with the designer.
Start making a short list of designers that you like the work of and want to work with (from looking at the sites you like and asking the owner who built them). Check out their portfolios, can you get behind the tone, aesthetics and presentation of their own websites and other websites that they have done? Does the style of the designer match your business personality and vision? Are the project sizes (features, functions, what the site does, etc) similar scope to yours? Does the designer specialise to cater only for your industry?
Once you have your short list, start to contact these web designer and actually talk to them. You want to make sure you understand how they communicate, since they will be responsible for visually communicating your business. Do they talk in technical jargon do you understand them? Are they clear about what they can provide? What is their purpose? Ask for references and actually contact them and ask each reference what it was like to work with the web designer. Did they deliver on time? Did they deliver to budget? Did they deliver results? And ask the reference whether they would honestly recommend them.
Just so you know there is no industry standard for pricing a website, there can be many factors involved and every professional web designer is different. They can cost next to nothing to well into side figures. Since you already have a good idea of your budget, find out what the designers average project typically costs, so that you can see if your budget fits into that range. If the two numbers are way off, its best to find our early to avoid wasting anyone’s time.
If you find a web designer who is responsible for popular websites, they will be fully booked for a little while. Most good we designers will have full schedules, which are booked months in advance. So find out when they could start a project with you and how long projects typically take. There is so much you can do before a project starts, so take this time to do your homework.
If you are struggling to hire the web designer that you want, then be prepared to adjust time and money and maybe wait a little longer so that you can save up a little more so that you can get the right web designer. Take this time to focus on your business idea and online business.
10 Questions to ask to help you find the right web designer.
- Can I have a list of 5 references that I can contact
- How long have you been in business?
- Who does the work? Is it subcontracted or outsourced? How many people are involved within the project and how long have you worked with them?
- What is your process?
- What is the typical budget range for your projects?
- What is the typical timeframe for your projects?
- Do you have a portfolio of 10-15 websites that you have built and what you were responsible for on each of them?
- What is your process for updates and requests after the site is launched? Do you offer support?
- When are you available to start my project?
- What would you need from me to start the project?