You’ve probably built websites before, either DIY or with a web designer. It’s almost like having a baby.

The process of designing and “construction” is time-consuming, as well as expensive, if you hire someone. However, the website is crucial to your business’ future. It is both a symbolic and functional creation. It’s both a functional and symbolic creation.

It can be difficult to design and construct something that represents you and your business accurately.

It is important to choose a web designer to assist you during this web development.

DIY websites are also supported by me (that’s the majority of my blog content). However, if you are unsure whether you should hire a professional or get your website set up yourself, this post will explain the reasons you might need (or want) to hire a web designer.

Tips to choose a web designer

Here’s my advice if you decide to work with a professional: Consider these things when making your choice:

Portfolio

Visually understanding the potential of future work by a designer is possible through past work.

A caveat, however: Portfolio pieces are often created for clients with specific project goals and needs. Designers’ portfolios do not always reflect their personal style or preferences. Often, designers are asked to interpret and bring to life the branding and style of another.

You can assume that the portfolio has one main design theme. Your site may also be built around this theme. Designers often work with clients with diverse backgrounds and styles.

Portfolios should be assessed not only for their design aesthetic, but also for the professionalism and overall appearance of the sites. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Is the site easy to navigate and makes sense?
  • Is it great on mobile and desktop?

The footer should be checked to see if the site has copyright information, privacy policies, or other legal requirements.

Is there a branded icon (the small icon at the bottom of the browser tab) on the site?

What additional functionality can be added? (email opt-ins, e-commerce, blogs, membership programs, etc.)

While some designers won’t share images of their previous work, others will link directly to live sites. Live sites are often influenced and updated by their owners. This could have resulted in some modifications to the original design.

Industry knowledge

Do you have any other materials that the web designer can show you to get a better idea of their industry skills?

Are they a blogger or do you have a YouTube channel that showcases your expertise? Are they a featured guest on a podcast?

It’s not only important to have good design skills but it’s also important that your web designer is knowledgeable about other aspects of web design, such as SEO best practices and email marketing integrations.

Cost

As with any purchase, cost is an important consideration in web design.

Your website is, without a doubt, the most important part of your business. It’s your shopfront. Potential customers and clients will first see you there, learn about you, then purchase from you. So it’s vital to make sure your website attracts the right audience, tells the brand story, and converts visitors into paying clients.

It is likely that the investment in your website will bring you the highest returns for your business.

You must remember your personal and company finances, which are often combined for new businesses owners. However, you should also be conscious of the importance and ease of web design.

It is possible to buy a brand new website for $500, but it will likely be of significantly lower quality than a website that costs $5,000.

Side note: Sites that appear similar at first glance may be very different in the back-end details. These include SEO, favicon and mobile responsive design. Page loading speed.

Scope of work

It’s important to consider the scope of work with all designers, in addition to the quality and cost of the work.

What is the designer’s fee?

Designers may include a logo or favicon design as part of their projects. Others will need you to hire a designer. While some designers offer a screen sharing tutorial or a cheat sheet to help you navigate the back-end and make any necessary updates, others will simply show you the finished website.

It is also helpful to find out what other skills a web designer might have, whether it be in the initial design or later on. Can they help with template design and email marketing setup? Are they familiar with setting up online membership or e-commerce programs?

All of these factors should be considered when calculating the cost.

Credentials

In web design, you don’t need to worry about your formal credentials. Although you wouldn’t think of visiting a doctor without a license and a medical degree, many web designers are skilled in the art of web design.

You don’t need to ask if a potential designer holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science. However, it is worth looking for other credentials that recognize their industry connections and experience.

Squarespace designers can find the Squarespace Circle badge. This denotes that someone is part of Squarespace’s community. This also allows them to offer 20% off your first year with Squarespace.

Timeline

It’s crucial to understand and consider the timeline of a designer, especially if you have a project with a deadline.

Some web designers can complete a project within a few weeks. Others will take longer. Some designers have waiting lists for custom projects.

Although timeline isn’t as important as other factors (you might be better off waiting a few weeks to get a website that is more professional), it is something you should consider if you have a hard deadline.

Personality

Before you hire a web designer, it’s a good idea communicate with them via email or phone to find out if they are compatible. It is important that you get to know and feel comfortable around them, and vice versa.

There are many tangible things to be aware of, but there are also intangibles that we recommend you pay attention to. Do you feel like the person? Are they trustworthy, reliable, and honest? Are you comfortable speaking with them? Do they listen to your concerns and share your opinions? Are they able to make you feel heard, understood and respected (but not in a smoozy manner)?

These are important qualities to consider when you hire someone to help bring your website vision to reality.

Testimonials

Finally, consumer reviews have a lot to offer.

There isn’t a central review platform that covers allreviews. This applies unless you use a platform like Upwork. Keep in mind that designers can choose to feature positive experiences in testimonials.

It can be beneficial to look for positive experiences.

To get these testimonials, clients must be open to sharing them with the designer, and the designer must have a good enough relationship to ask them questions. It is also helpful for the designer to link to a client’s live website… this confirms that they are a real person and had a project with him.

Where can I find a web designer now?

Google can be used to search for web designers that specialize in the website platform you are looking to use. You can find out more.

You can also connect with a freelancer through a platform such as Upwork. You can search for freelancers and also list projects that are open to freelancers.

You can also search for web designers near you. However, this is only recommended if your website is geo-specific (for instance, if it involves a topic specific to a region or the website for an establishment or brick-and-mortar shop). Web design can be done remotely so you might miss out on great candidates. If you have local knowledge, it is a good idea to hire a local designer.

To get an idea of their work and communication style, it’s a smart idea to contact, correspond, and interview multiple designers during your search.

However, most designers won’t be able provide you with specific design ideas or mockups before they start working on your project. This is because it’s asking them for unpaid design work.

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I am now retired...living "la dolce vita". :)