If you’ve decided you want to hire a web designer, that’s only the first step. Next, you need to find the right one. Here are some tips to help you find a web designer that fits your needs to ensure you can work with them effectively.
1. Know the goals for your website
The right web designer can provide you with a design that fits all of your needs and goals, but first, you must know what those are. Web designers are experts at embedding your message and brand into visual and interactive elements, but they aren’t marketing or advertising experts.
You must know the purpose of your site before contacting a designer. Will it sell products and services, or will it be a content marketing site designed to provide information? What is your company’s culture, and how do you want it represented on the internet? Do you target an older audience or a younger one?
There are many more questions you can ask yourself, but the point is that until you know what you want the website to do, you are not ready to look for a designer.
2. Have your copy ready
Another part of knowing the goals of your website is having your copy ready. Unless you have the site designed by a full-service advertising agency, you need to create the copy for the site or hire a copywriter.
It should be your goal to hand over the copy for the website at your first design meeting. It will help the designer get started quickly and give them more direction since they are able to design the site around the copy.
3. Examine a few designer portfolios
Before you contact the first designer, examine a few portfolios so you don’t waste your time. Start by asking your network who they would recommend. If that list is too short, search for web designers in combination with your industry. Many web designers specialize in designing sites for specific types of businesses and will already be familiar with what your customers or clients expect.
Once you have a list of potential web designers, visit their portfolios and see what catches your eye and fits your business. Any web designer worth hiring will have an extensive portfolio, but not all will fit your style. Once you have a few options, you can set up a meeting with each to determine who will design your new website.
4. Ask questions
While interviewing web designers, there are a few questions you want to ask that will help you determine just how much of the web development process they cover. After all, web design is only one element of a successful website.
Who will develop the website? Web designers design the visual elements and user flow of a website, but a web developer is needed to make the designs a reality. Many designers work with web developers. Others do not, and you will have to hire one as well.
How will maintenance be handled? Websites are not a one-time cost. They require ongoing maintenance. Will your staff handle this, or does the designer provide maintenance or are they able to suggest someone?
Do you need licenses for any of the graphics? Some fonts or graphics in your website design may need licenses. It is your responsibility to be on the right side of the law, so be sure to ask your web designer.
What is the process if revisions are needed? Getting your design doesn’t mean you also get the web designer’s services for life. Find out what it will cost you if you want to make changes to the design in the future.
Do you get an editable copy of the design files? You will need these if you want to make changes to the design and the original web designer is not available.
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