So you need a great website, right? Everyone does.
But if you are not skilled in the art of web design or development, you will need to hire a designer or design company to complete the job for you. This can be a daunting task if you have never done it before. Well you are in luck because I can help.
This article will take you through some questions to ask and things to look for when hiring a web designer or design firm, so you can take as much stress out of the web design process as possible.
Before you even start looking at design portfolios or calling firms, you need to figure out what you are looking for in a website. Is your project a fresh design or redesign? How soon do you plan to launch?
And be realistic about the timeline and timetables. While a simple website can likely be completed in a short turnaround, a larger-scale more complicated project can include hundreds of hours of work.
Do your homework and answer these questions:
Once you have answered those questions, you need to actually start finding someone to do the work. There is another crossroads here – working with an individual or freelance web designer or a design firm.
For most people, the choice comes down to scope of the work, time and budget. Freelance web designers can be a great option for smaller projects that can be done and handed off; firms or small design groups can work better if you think you will need longer-term maintenance or care for your website.
Actually finding someone to work with, either an individual or a firm, starts with talking to people you know. Ask the owners of websites you like who did the work. Talk within your network and see who does web design. Also consider checking with your area chamber of commerce or better business bureau to find a list of web designers and their references.
You would never hire an employee without going through an interview process, and the same is true when hiring someone to design your website. You want to take a look at the designer (or design firm’s) work, check references and ensure that it will be a good fit.
There are eight things you should look for with every candidate:
Think about your website in more technical terms as well. Will you own the site once it is complete? What type of framework does it have? Will you be able to use and maintain it?
These are important considerations, especially if you are hiring on a per-project basis and not a person or firm that will continue to work for you or your company. Although most of these technical stuffs listed below would not really be much of a concern if already know a firm or freelancer with these skill set.
Consider the following carefully:
Finally, you need to think about budget and payment. What type of web designer can you afford? How will you pay them? Set a project budget from the start and be clear about what that budget is so that you can work within the scope. Get all contract terms and payment in writing before any work is done.
Know that there are wide ranges for what this type of work can cost. You can find web designers for as little as ₦5000 (i.e $25) per hour or hundreds per hour. You have to do your homework and compare cost to scope of your project.
Think about how to plan paying for the site as well. Consider multiple payments for work as specific timelines or milestones are met rather than paying half before the project starts and half after it is finished.
Hiring a web designer or design firm can be a challenge, but it also offers a great opportunity to look at some great work, talk to some creative people and open up the process as you plan a website design or redesign.
What do you look for in a website designer? Do you have other tips? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.