We have recently had to turn away some opportunities for work due to high volume and project specifications. Rather then leave people in the dark, I tried to assist them in finding someone available.
This helped me realize how hard it is to find not only a good web designer, but one that fits your needs. Here is a guide I came up with that will hopefully help you in choosing a web designer in the future.
– Three types of Designers-
- · Freelance- this is the riskiest option, but may be the cheapest. Make sure you get a couple references and clear details for the project. Try to get a flat rate as opposed to an hourly rate. If you are a startup company, or really on a tight budget, this may be a good place to start.
- · Professional Agency- most will have the ability to both design and code your website, which allows them to custom make the site for you, as opposed to using a cookie cutter template. Also, some will have the manpower to save you time and make your site more effective by developing the content for you. We are one of those companies by the way ;).
- · Hiring for in house staff- this is a big expense and usually only an option for medium to large size companies.
– How much should I pay?
Generally speaking if you’re paying less than $40 an hour, you shouldn’t expect high quality work. Usually $60-$90 is a good range. If you feel you will be in business for a while longer, then investing more in your online image and search engine optimization makes sense for a number of reasons.
– How do I pick the right person?
This may seem obvious but look at their work and imagine if your site looked like that. Also, getting references and asking for some proven results wouldn’t hurt either.
– The right skills for the job
Too many people end up working with a big name company, because they already do other advertising with them. Make sure they will optimize your website properly, without charging an arm and leg. Ask how they will be able to maintain the site for you, how the ownership of the site and your domain name works and any other factors that are important to you before you make your decision.
– What now?
Let’s assume you found the perfect designer. How do you get started? They should get to know your company and what’s important to you first. Go through a content call, have the designer send you a one page mockup of the design to start with. You shouldn’t have to put all of the money down up front. Make sure to find out the process before you get started. What if you’re not happy with the design, will they change it?
I realize how hard it is to find a web designer. I hope this makes it easier. If you still feel a bit lost or need some suggestions, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email anytime. Thanks for reading.
Affordable Small Business Websites