How to Hire a Professional Web Designer

How to Hire a Professional Web Designer
How to Hire a Professional Web Designer

So do you want to hire a web designer for your online business but do not know where to turn to?

Hiring a web designing company could be a difficult task, especially when you do not know what you are looking for, or how to explain what you need.

Many designers speak in nerd and others are really busy to take a new project.

I had the same issue!

My brother is a web designer himself who makes a living making a professional looking web design. He has designed several of my online niche sites for a free can of beer.

Many designers speak in nerd and others are really busy to take a new project.

Other times, I have sat hours in front of the YouTube to learn web design, programming, and WordPress myself. Maybe you want to do the same but do not have sufficient time for it.

While it is completely fine to learn new things or have hobbies, for the sake of everything you believe in, I highly suggest that you hire a professional web designer and/or programmer to build your website.

Professional as in someone who does a full-time web design job, make money and has done it for over 3-4 years.

So, how do you find the ‘right’ professional web designer for your website?

web-designer-01Before that, let me first explain you the difference between a web designer and a web developer. Knowing the difference will actually make it easier to decide what type of professional you really want.

Web Designer

Typically, a web designer uses graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator to create a website template and layout.

They are creative people who use both imagination and intuition to create wonderful web designs. Web designers may have educations in a wide range of fields (business management, finance, science, etc) but are mostly drawn towards graphic design and creative arts.

They built a portfolio to showcase their creative work to potential employers.

The best web designers have a strong knowledge about key elements of an effective web design, such as color, typography, spatial relationships, end users, and user experience.

Web Developer

Web developers, on the other hand, builds the backbone of the websites, usually from the bottom level. They know programming languages such as PHP, MySQL, HTML, Jquery, JavaScript, and CSS among other tools.

Developer’s main job is not about creating visually appealing websites, but a clean, fast-loading, and technically sound ones.

Web developers are often left-brained people or thinkers. Thinking technically and logically is what they are good at. These people may have a degree in Computer Science, IT, and/or programming. They also build a portfolio to showcase their work to their potential employers.

Developer’s main job is not about creating visually appealing websites, but a clean, fast-loading, and technically sound ones.

The best web developers are detail oriented.

Why do these distinctions matter?

How to Hire a Professional Web Designer
How to Hire a Professional Web Designer

Mostly, people think that they need a web designer when in fact they may require a web developer (or the combination of the two).

Before you start to find the ‘right’ professional web designer, it is very important that you know and understand what services and skills are important for your project.

For instance, let us say that I want to open an online dating business. I want a website that does the following:

  1. Tell your website visitors what you and your business do
  2. Allow people to sign up for my ‘dating course.’
  3. Convert website visitors to sign up for my newsletter so that I can send them free articles, tips, and offers that I am promoting
  4. Allow website visitors to contact me if they need help with anything

That is pretty much what I need for my site.

I can work with either a web designer or a web developer to build a website for my business.

In fact, there are plenty of free WordPress plugins available for email opt-ins, course scheduling, and contact forms, so it is highly unlikely that I will need a super complex web design.

Now, let us look at another example: I have my ‘online dating’ website set up and its running.

However, I would also like to start selling products, such as dating books, DVDs, webinars, etc on my website as well as take registration for dating courses.

For this, I would need to add the following new features to my website:

  1. E-commerce and SSL with a payment system
  2. Different user access for admins and team members to log in the website and to process orders
  3. Advanced scheduling system that allows a) dating counseling appointments and b) dating course classes with a limited number of registrations per class

Now you can easily see how my website has become such a complicated thing. There may already have a handful of scripts that could do most of these jobs, but still I need something created for my website only.

In this scenario, I will definitely need the services of a developer as well as a designer.

So, you are still looking for a professional web designer. Here are few things you should look for:

How to Hire a Professional Web DesignerIf you have read all the tips that, I shared above but still need a professional web designer to create a web design for your online business, here are few things you need to consider:

1. Does the web designer offer you ‘custom’ services?

A professional web designer should listen to you. He/she must spend a good deal amount of time understanding exactly what your goals and requirements are.

As far as websites are concerned, the only person who knows what you need more than anyone else is YOU.

If you are not sure what you actually need, maybe jot down things that you find visually appealing in websites you frequently visit. Or, your web designer could be intuitive and help you put things into words.

the only person who knows what you need more than anyone else is YOU.

This matters because you want to make money your website, don’t you? Your web design is responsible for enhancing your online reputation. It will spread the message about you online, to those who might be interested in what you have to offer.

2. Does the web designer use professional tools?

A professional web designer has an arsenal of top-notch tools – for animation, graphics, picture enhancing, layout designing, and other visual works – to make his work look professional at the end.

You should try to find what software they use to build websites. Do they use Adobe Photoshop? InDesign? Illustrator? Dreamweaver? I heard that Macromedia has merged with Adobe.

Every necessary tool is now included in the Adobe Creative Suite “Web Premium” edition.

If they mention this software, that your cue to hire this web designer.

A web designer who uses the latest tools and technologies are able to explore every creative idea they may have for your website, without compromising or fudging about anything. In the end, you get customized professional web design for your online business.

3. Does the professional web designer follow latest web design standards?

A professional web designer will be comfortable playing around with HTML and CSS using their hands, not using any WYSIWYG editors.

Of course, they might use a tool to get things done quicker, but they would not rely on drag and drop web design method that generate unwanted codes that could make the pages load slower.

If they use Dreamweaver, most likely they will be using its Design View as well as Code View. They will also tell you that they validate both their HTML and CSS files.

This is vital because search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing will properly index your website.

In addition, your site will be always displaying correctly across popular browsers, not to mention it also keeps itself current, making it easier to maintain and update.

The code produced by a WYSIWYG editor is a mess.

4. Does the web designer offer different designs?

A professional web design can produce few variations (2-3) of the same web design, making sure that you get the design you want, without spending extra.

Experienced web designers often send two or three different design options for your home page. They understand that variations can actually make it easier for you to select the ‘right’ design that exactly matches with what you have in your mind.

They may ask for your feedbacks, refine, and repeat until you are happy with their final mockup design.

They may also follow the same procedure for the inner pages.

This is highly important because in the end you get a web design that exactly matches your ideas. It will get a website that you can proudly call your own.

5. Does he know how SEO works?

A professional and experienced web designer will keep in mind SEO in every stage of the web design process. How do you find this? Well, you can visit their website and check their portfolio. Ask one of their clients for feedbacks.

Does their website display in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing? A properly designed website should appear in search results; otherwise, no one will have a way to visit your site, right?

Remember: Sometimes, many professional web designers are so busy with their schedule that none of them can work with your budget or time. In this case, be prepared to adjust the time or money.

That means waiting a little bit longer or saving up a little more.

This also gives you enough time to focus on your business ideas, product/services, and value.

Therefore, now that you know what to look for in a web designer, the next thing to do would be to prepare for the actual appointment with one. For this, it is better that you have a list of questions to ask your potential web designer.

Ask these questions before hiring a web designer

How to Hire a Professional Web DesignerHere are lists of questions you can ask before you hire someone.

  1. Can you provide 2-3 samples of works?
  2. How long have you been doing web design? Do you do this full-time?
  3. What is your design process?
  4. What is the typical budget range for your projects?
  5. Why are you fit for this work? Or why should I hire you for this job?
  6. Do you provide web page creation in addition to web design? (Do they know how to build/code a web page?)
  7. What is the typical turnaround for your projects?
  8. How soon can they start the project?
  9. Where do you need me once you start the project?
  10. Do you clients achieve ROIs? Can you show me a proof of increased conversion ratio or certain goals being achieved after web design/redesign?
  11. Does the price include making a website mobile-friendly?
  12. Do you use templates or custom web design?
  13. Who will own the web design when it is paid for?
  14. Do you offer post-launch support, maintenance or training?
  15. Is anything outsourced?

In addition to having these questions ready, it is also crucial to have a clear communication between you and the web designer.

Ease of communication is a vital part of any project, particularly true in web design project

That means you must ensure you understand what they are talking about when they describe what they do and how they are going to help you in terms of web design.

Ease of communication is a vital part of any project, particularly true in web design project, where things can get confusing and awkward because of technical jargon involved.

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