You have two choices when it comes to selecting the best designer for your website. Working with a designer whom you can visit, or can visit you is always re-assuring.
Here are some pointers you might want to consider before you hire your designer.
- Are they interested with your business? Good designers would want to have a deeper understanding of your business – what do you do or sell, the market that you serve, what your brand stands for, and many more. The more they ask about you and your business the better. Ditch those who do not show the slightest interest in what you do and what you want to achieve with the website you are commissioning him or her to do.
- Get to know more about your designer. You now have a shortlist of possible designers you are likely to hire, what next? Your choice must not be only dependent on their promises but also on the designs they have delivered to their previous clients. Look at some samples of their work to understand their style. Do they have some consistent elements in their designs or are they the more flexible type? Regardless of what they have to offer, it must be in line with your vision of your website.
- Ask them about their programming and graphic designing skills. You need to be very clear if the designer is just doing the programming or is he also doing the graphics too. This can have bearing to his efficiency to deliver the site he promised you. If he can only do programming, ask him if he works with a graphic designer regularly who might be very useful in the development of your site.
- Do they have a design planning process? It might be easy to talk about general things about the site but when it starts to be built up from scratch, you need a systematic process initiated by the designer that will allow you to be intimately involved in your site design. The designer must be able to convince you that your discussions and consultation are documented and acted upon in an organised manner.
- Do they know about Internet marketing? Designing a website is more than just presenting a great looking homepage. This is the reason why the designer you hire must be well versed in search engine optimization. Your designer must be able to help you reach your marketing goals as well.
- Talk about cost. Ask the designer how much he will be asking for your site. Remember to be very specific about your design needs (content and features) so that you will not be disappointed in the end. Your designer will only do what you have asked of him so communicate your wants and needs clearly.
- Ask about billing. To prevent misunderstandings (which can both cost time and money), be very clear how your designer wishes to be paid. Will he be requiring a downpayment? Will there be milestones in the billing process? If so, what are these milestones? How much will be paid for each completed milestone? Getting this right the first time can get your site up fast and trouble free.
- Stick with your budget. Some designers will be very busy up-selling you with features and added elements that though this can make it better, it can also make it more expensive. Know what is important to you and stick with those. When you do this you can have complete control of the development of your site and you do not overspend.
- Ask around about your designer. You can talk with the previous clients of the designer you plan to hire. This will allow you to have a peek at the efficiency of the designer, his work ethics, his working style and etc. You want to have a designer who is good in organization and time management. You do not only need a great looking site, you want it done right on time.
- Ask about site maintenance. Some designers are only in it for the designing work. After that they have no interests in the upkeep of your website. Ask them about this and their charges if they are interested in your site’s maintenance. If they cannot maintain it for you, ask them to design the site in such a way that a not-too-tech-savvy business owner can make simple changes to the site when there is a need to do so. Building up the site from WordPress and other CMS platforms can help.
- Be clear about copyright issues. You have to make sure that the contract you sign with your designer states that you own all the rights in the site which includes the custom graphic design work , coding, and other elements (except for the stock photos added to your site).
- You must enjoy working with the designer. Before you hire a designer you must enjoy designing your website with him or her. His design style must be in agreement to your personal preferences. He or she must provide you with timely insights, must have a personality that clicks with yours and he or she must not waste your time.
- Talk about your deadline. You must communicate your timeline clearly and then ask the designer if he can meet it. Reason together if the deadline is too short. If you can, brainstorm with the designer how you can agree best on the completion date for the site.
Your website can put your business out for the world to see so getting this right is of utmost importance. If you hire the right designer, you can get the website you need and want and have it on time. The sooner you finish your website, the sooner you can start achieving your business goals online.