Do you have an amazing idea for a website and now need to find the perfect designer/developer for the job? Well, you're in luck! Listed below are some top tips for you to consider before finding and hiring the right web designer.
Let me be blunt:
If you have a brick and mortar business selling any kind of goods, whether it be homegrown vegetables or restored antique furniture, unless you want to be left behind by your competition, and slowly watch your business run into the ground due to the lack of leads, customers, and sales, then forget about creating an online presence or even having a website.
If, however, you do NOT want to be left behind, and you really want to put your business in front of a whole new audience and increase it's potential to grow and prosper, then a website is just what your business needs.
The problem with a lot of small businesses today that do not have a website is they think it’s either too costly or time-consuming to even have one.
If you're one of those business owners, well, I’m here to tell you that it can be neither of those things.
A website is one of the most cost-effective ways to market and grow your business online.
These days, almost everyone uses the internet to search for a local business, whether it’s via a computer, smartphone or tablet.
As a matter of fact, check this out -
According to AdaptiveMarketing, 97% of consumers search for a local business online.
Here's another interesting stat -
Did you know that over 2 million businesses in the UK still don’t have a website? If you’re one of them, it’s time to make a change.
So, if you really want to grow your business like never before. If you want to drive more leads, attract more customers, and generate more sales! It's time to consider a new website.
Now, here’s the big burning question:
How do you find and hire the right web designer for your project?
Let's look at five criteria you need to consider first.
What to look for when hiring the right web designer for the job?
First of all, what is a freelance web designer anyway? And, why not just hire a design agency?
There are two types of web designers. There's the designer that just 'designs' and does nothing else. So their primary purpose is to visualize the entire design of your site, from creating a wireframe to sketching out the layouts, blocks, visual elements, graphics, buttons, icons, logos, etc. So basically the entire UI.
The designer will design versions of the site's pages for computer, tablet, and smartphone viewports.
Then there's the developer who's sole purpose is to develop the site the designer has created. So, a front-end dev is responsible for bringing the entire design/sketch to life using code, and sometimes using visual tools too.
The roles of a web designer and a web developer are completely different, however, both roles re important. It's also very important for both the web designer and developer to work together to make a project successful.
Now, every freelance web designer will be different according to their experiences, knowledge, skills, etc. and what they actually specialize in offering to their ideal customers.
I work with a variety of visual design, marketing, and web development tools that enables me to create websites for a specific type of client, i.e. bloggers, personal brand business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, consultants, authors, public speakers, niche marketers, etc.
Now, when hiring a freelance web designer for your own project, you must first have a clear understanding of what kind of website you need and whether the designer or developer you’re interested in hiring will be up for the job or not.
What else should you look for in a freelance web designer?
Let’s take a closer look:
It’s no secret that creating a good relationship starts with great communication.
From the moment you pick up the phone to contact a potential web designer, or, send your first email inquiry The response back should be a good one.
Good as in prompt, friendly, and informative.
Moreover, when you do find the right web designer for the job you have, he or she should take the time to listen to your ideas and needs very carefully.
Throughout the engagement period, the designer should also make it easy for you to understand their dialogue or lingo and everything that is being discussed about your design and development project. Because sometimes, both web designers and developers cannot help but speak in a language that only they understand.
When it comes to forms of communication, check to see how the freelance designer will communicate with you.
Will it be via the telephone, email, Skype, online chat, etc?
The first or initial inquiry is often best done via a Skype Chat, Live Chat or telephone in my experience.
Did you know the Live Chat is considered to be the leading method of digital communication?
Good communication helps you, as a web design client, to evaluate how helpful, resourceful, confident, competent, and understanding the designer has of your needs and wants.
It’s always best to make a positive first impression with any designer or developer before discussing ideas for your website design project. Video calls also help to reassure everyone and trust can be built for both you the client and web designer.
For example, for clients that are in my locality, I always prefer to meet them at a local coffee shop or place of business rather than to communicate via telephone or email.
If I’m communicating with a client that lives the other side of the world, however, then Skype or telephone always works best.
The point I’m making is, from the client’s point of view, you want to ensure that you are dealing with a designer that cares, empathizes, understands, and is passionate about what you want to achieve with your website design project.
2. Design languages
As I said at the start of this blog post, web designers and web developers are two completely different kettles of fish, each following a completely different set of design laws and rules.
PHP may also make that list for some designers/developers who work with WordPress and child theme development/customization.
This is particularly useful as it means you, as the website owner, will be able to do simple tweaks and updates to your website and content without having to touch a single line of code.
3. Creativity and originality
I want to quickly touch base on creativity and originality.
Now, a lot of freelance web designers will have their own unique style of creating websites. Sometimes you may notice that some websites will bear the signature of a particular designer. It could be the way they structure the page layout, design certain features and elements such as backgrounds, headings, footers, buttons, etc.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, as each designer is different, but if you're looking for something very unique for your own website, you might want to hire a designer that has a flair for creativity, originality, and variety. If all the websites in the designer's portfolio look more or less the same, then there could be a good chance that your site will look like those too.
The next big question you must ask is, do you have a deadline date for your project?
If you do, then ensure that the designer you want to hire knows this in advance.
Don’t be afraid to ask what kind of timeframe you can expect for your website to be completed in.
Some designers may be juggling several projects at a time, so it’s always best to ask first.
Timeframes also depend heavily on the scope of work you require to be done, so be realistic with your deadline goals.
Some freelancers, such as myself, do not always work with deadlines but rather with design phases/deliverables in which each part of a website design project will be completed in an estimated timeframe, and before any requests for revisions are made.
Each freelance web designer or developer will have their own rate of cost, according to their experiences, skills, qualifications, credibility, etc.
There is nothing really set in stone, you can find a freelance web designer that charges $150 per hour or one that charges just $50 per hour, again, depending on their ability, experience, and resourcefulness.
It also depends on the scope of work required for your website design project. The more complex the project, the more time and resources it will take to complete thus more money it can potentially cost.
Also, some designers require their clients to put down a deposit first, or you might be able to pay in installments over the time of the engagement, if not the full amount before.
It might be a good idea to get an estimate on how much your website design project will cost before agreeing to anything, then you can begin budgeting by putting money aside perhaps to do it at a later date.
Do not rush:
Take the time to research various freelance web designers in your area or even further afield before settling on one, or maybe even two.
At the end of the day, the job of a competent freelance web designer and developer is not to build you a mediocre website, charge you a small fortune for it, and then tell you to get on with it.
The job of a great freelancer is to listen to your ideas and understand your needs. Their job is to also understand your marketing visions, goals, and objectives, and to communicate with you on a level you can understand.
I wish you the best of luck in your quest in finding and hiring the perfect freelance web designer for your project.
Need a website? Click here to learn how I can help you build a great looking, conversion-focused website for your business.