A talented individual or company can give your website a professional touch and make it stand out from your competitors. However, you should spend some time to find the right web designer to meet your needs. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you make your final decision.
1. Identify the Primary Goal of Your Web site or Blog
Before you request the help of a web designer, you need to determine the primary goal of your site. Is the purpose of your blog or website to sell products, provide information, collect contacts or provide services? Do you want to include audio, video or animation and do you require search engine optimization? Is web marketing a part of your plan? If you are unsure about any of these elements, discuss them with your designer before beginning the design process.
2. Investigate the Designer's Skill Set
You should find out the particular skill sets and strengths of a prospective web designer or team. Some designers specialize in helping small business owners and focus in one or two main areas. They may rely on partners or other individuals to assist with other aspects of the design process. Remember that programming and designing are two completely different skill sets. Just because someone is a talented designer, does not mean that this individual can program efficiently or vice-versa. Design agencies can often provide experienced individuals who can assist you in both areas.
3. Review A Designer's Portfolio Carefully
If you are considering hiring a web designer, make sure to review their entire portfolio. Visit other websites the person has designed, and look for at least one site that catches your attention. You need to find someone whose work you admire. You should also remember that most designers solicit additional resources for design support resources and page coding any sites they create.
4. Check Multiple References
Often the best way to find a talented web designer is by word-of-mouth referrals. However, it may still be suitable to consult multiple references. Talk to more than one site owner who have hired the individual or team you are considering to find out their experience. Every website contains multiple components that are often frequently updated so be sure to inquire the date when a particular site was created. If you encounter a negative reference for a designer with an impressive portfolio, find out how long ago the work was completed. It may be possible that the designer had issues with the client or that their skills set or policies have changed with time and experience.
5. Verify Feedback & Communication On Freelance Sites
If you are seeking a web designer on any of the freelance job sites or forums, make sure to verify the individual's feedback and look for trends. You should also initiate a dialogue to determine the response rate and level of communication. Remember, that you will require more time and patience if you decide to hire a talented web designer who does not speak your language fluently. Be prepared to repeat questions and guidelines to ensure you both know exactly what is expected. If you are a small business owner, you can also look for web designers at local printing companies, design schools, institutions and local colleges.
6. Spend 30 Minutes Finding Suitable Online Examples
You should spend half an hour searching online for websites that appeal to you. This small investment can save you literally days or week going back and forth with your chosen designer. You will be able to provide concrete examples of your desired design concepts which will minimize the amount of revisions required.
7. Prepare As Much Web Site Content Beforehand As Possible
Don't wait until your designer begins creating your site to start creating content. This can often destroy a project during the web design process. Prepare as much of the content for your site beforehand as possible.
8. Inquire About SEO Optimization
You should consider SEO optimization for your web site. This is becoming increasingly important thanks to the ever-changing search engine algorithms. Don't assume that your web designer will automatically perform this service for you. Inquire if this is part of the design package and what level of SEO optimization will be included.
9. Find Out How Many Versions or Changes Are Included
Before hiring a web designer, make sure to inquire exactly how many versions or changes will be included for the agreed price. You don't want any unpleasant surprises during the process.
10. Verify If You Will Receive the Artwork Upon Project Completion
Ask if you will receive any artwork used on your website after the project is complete. Some designers will charge an additional fee to prepare artwork finalization, whereas others will send you the artwork upon receiving final payment. You should obtain all the original artwork in case you need to hire another individual in the future update or revise your site.
If you follow the above guidelines when choosing a web designer, you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary time, expense and frustration. If you choose the right designer, you'll end up with a professional site that can help you gain a competitive edge!