Hiring A Web Designer – A 5-Step Guide to Finding the Right Expert
Whether you need to set up an online store or simply need a page where your consumers can find details about your services or products, a website is now a must-have for any business. Web designers are in great demand to meet this increasing need that businesses have, and there are several ways to discover and employ a web designer. However, having more alternatives isn’t necessarily a good thing.
This leads to choice overload – when having too many alternatives makes it more difficult to choose one – because such an overwhelming array of choices also implies having more options that might be wrong. If you’re new to dealing with designers, the risk of becoming overwhelmed is even greater.
But worry not because we are here to help. Our step-by-step guide will assist you through the process of prospecting and finding the best-suited web designer for your project.
1. Put together a design brief
Before prospecting web designers, you should have a clear idea of your needs. “Of course, I need a website!” most of you will jump to say. But what type of website are we talking about? How many pages should there be? What information must be included on these pages? What type of aesthetic do you want to achieve? These, and other details, will need to be communicated to the designer so that they understand what you are looking for.
It may be quite challenging for first-timers to figure out exactly what they need and what a web designer can actually do. Put simply, the web designer will take the content you give them and mold it into a website that fits the aesthetic and overall image of your brand, following high web design standards.
With this in mind, web design experts from www.webpopdesign.com suggest you decide on the following aspects before scouting for a web designer:
- Marketing strategy – What is the purpose of this website and what goals do you plan on achieving? This includes market research to understand your audience and competitors.
- Timeline and budget – How much do you afford to invest in this website, and when do you plan on launching it?
- List of necessary pages and elements – Create a rough sketch of the site map, so that the designer understands your needs.
- Written content – How much written content you want on each page can influence the design process, so make sure you have the text before talking to the designer.
- Media content – An idea of the images, videos, graphs and any piece of multimedia content that you need.
All this information needs to be gathered in what we call a “creative brief” that you should have ready to send out to designers. Feel free to include any type of information that you think may help the creative process as well. It does not have to be a 30-page long brief, but it needs to include as much info about the project as possible.
2. Figure out the type of professional you need
When you need a website, the first thing that comes to mind is that you must search for a web designer. However, web designers are just a small branch of digital design, and chances are you will need more than just one type of professionals.
Web designers are the ones that focus on the visual aspect of a website. They envision how the website should look like and create mockup images of the concept by using Photoshop and other editing programs. The concept will then be brought to life by the web developers – the ones responsible for writing the back-end code that makes the website function as it should.
This means web designers and web developers are two different entities, and both are needed in order to create a website.
If you also need the design to be optimized for mobile devices, make sure the designer you plan to work with has the capabilities to do that as well. Most web designers today do, but you should discuss it just to be sure.
3. Start scouting and make a list of potential candidates
Now that you know what you need to build and who is going to develop it for you, the only thing left is to hire a web designer. Of course, you’ll need to locate more than one: you’ll want to cast a broad net and compile a list to ensure you have a variety of alternatives.
Here are some of the most popular ways to find a web designer:
- Referrals: Reach out to your business partners, colleagues, and friends and ask them if they know any good designer.
- Freelancer platforms: these global platforms are designed to connect freelancers and businesses; you put up a project, and professionals bid on it.
- Networking websites: LinkedIn and other professional platforms allow companies to create job postings and connect with candidates.
- Web design companies: These fully staffed businesses are often one-stop shops where clients can get anything from marketing advice to web design to fully programmed web development.
4. Narrow down your list of prospects
Now it’s time to whittle down your list of potential applicants. Keep in mind that you’ll need more than just a good web designer—you’ll need the right one. You’ll need to look at each designer’s portfolio and professionalism to figure this out.
When examining a portfolio, don’t just look at the first few pieces, which are generally the best. To ensure that there are lots of samples and that the quality is constant throughout, make sure to review the entire portfolio.
You should also contact prospects at this point to discuss the project in further depth and ensure if they are indeed interested. You may also get a decent idea of how professional they are and how they communicate.
5. Discuss terms and pricing
The final and most practical factor for choosing a web designer is determining whether their budget and timeline are compatible with yours. When it comes to price, some web designers will stick to a set of guidelines (e.g., per page, per hours worked). After estimating the quantity of work that will be required, some will charge differently for each project. The most important thing is to ensure that you understand the price conditions in detail.
Miscommunication of specific words in the early phases of a project is one of the most likely ways for it to go wrong, so try to think of every detail you can.