Hiring a web designer can be a VERY overwhelming experience, especially if you have no clue where to start. You’re probably thinking how do you make sure you don’t get scammed or end up with a crappy designer.
I have had people tell me that they have no idea what ask or even look for in a web designer. I hope this will help you feel a little more comfortable when looking for someone to hire.
Before getting started, I want to point out that there are three different type of people you could work with. You have your designers, your developers and those who are both (like me!) The designer is the one that draws everything out to make sure your site is visually pleasing. They will create mock ups until you are sure you are going to love the layout. They also need to know where to place things so that you can meet your goals for the site.
A developer is the one that is going to make your site functional and will keep up with maintenance if you choose that route. Now, I do both design and development. I make your site pretty and functional. I’ll give you a hint… working with someone that can do both sides is usually cheaper than working with a designer and a developer.
For the designer, there are some questions you need to ask yourself:
Does the designer’s style match mine?
Take a look at their portfolios. Each designer will have their own style; pay attention to the layouts, colors and logo. It’s like shopping for anything else, some things will stand out more than others. You also want to pay attention to the changing times. You don’t want to hire someone that looks like they made their page back in the 90’s.
How will I receive my mock up files?
Most designers will provide mock ups in either Photoshop (PSD) and Illustrator (AI) format. If there are any premium photos or fonts, you should have a license for that.
What happens if I need changes made, will the designer be available?
When hiring a designer, you are hiring for whatever is outlined in the contract (if there’s no contract, there’s no deal!) Ask the designer what the charges will be for future changes. Keep in mind, rates do change over time.
Once the site is designed, who will develop it?
Some designers will provide mock ups that need to be taken somewhere else to be developed. However, most designers work with developers so you have one price to pay. Just make sure you pay attention to costs so you can budget for it.
What kind of maintenance will I need? Can I do this on my own?
Websites are going to cost money for as long as you have them. Technology is always changing, therefore maintenance and upkeep are always needed. Your designer can usually offer maintenance services or possibly even show you how to do it yourself.
In conclusion, if you are thinking that none of these questions apply to you, or you have no idea what I’m talking about, you may need to talk with a designer or developer.