Looking to Hire a Web Designer? You Better Ask These 15 Questions First
You’ve got a business idea. It’s in the early stages, you did a bit of planning, and you think it’s viable. Whether it’s a physical product or a service, you know that you’ll need a website. There’s no escaping that fact. So, you do what anyone does. You start searching for a web designer to hire.
But hold on, did you do this yet?
Never rush into hiring a web designer. There are so many variables that you need to consider if you want to find the right one for your project. Web designers aren’t one-size-fits-all, and anyone who tells you they are is crazy. Like any type of creative, web and graphic designers have styles.
Think about it like this…
A fiction writer probably won’t enjoy writing non-fiction, a classical artist may hate modern abstract art, and so on. These same rules apply to web designers. If you want to get the most out of the web design process, you need to find the right designer for your needs. And you’re probably wondering how do you do that?
Well, it’s actually quite easy. You just need to know what questions to ask.
1. What additional services do you offer?
Some web designers do more than just web design. Personally, I do web and graphic design, branding, and other related services. It’s always worth asking to see what other value your designer can bring to the table.
The real challenge is finding the sweet spot between offering too little and too much. An experienced web designer can guide you on what your website needs to showcase your products and services.
2. Do you do custom design or use templates?
Let me tell you something that will save you a lot of money. You probably don’t need a custom-coded website. If you run a small business, a template-based WordPress design is often more than enough. Don’t get conned into paying tens of thousands of dollars for custom-coding if you don’t need it.
3. Do you have a portfolio?
Be wary of web designers that don’t have portfolios. A portfolio is meant to showcase their work. Web designers that don’t proudly display theirs are either new or haven’t accomplished much.
4. Are you willing to review my current website?
A full redesign isn’t always needed. See if a web designer is willing to review your current website. They may be able to recommend specific changes that are worthwhile.
5. How many pages will my website be?
Another thing to be wary of is web designers that try to build websites that are too big. A small business selling a basic product or service usually won’t need more than 5-10 pages in total. The average website tends to the following pages:
- Services (with subpages if needed)
- Specialized pages if required
6. How will you manage my project?
Many web designers bite off more than they can chew. They are so eager to take on projects that they overcommit. You want to make sure your web designer knows how to manage your project and stay on schedule. Ask them how they plan to approach your project and pay attention to the small details in their answer.
7. How long will it take you to complete my website?
There is no set time for how long a website should take to build. And this answer will depend on what they are building. A professional web designer should be able to give you a reasonable estimate though. It’s essential that you communicate your deadlines to your designer so you can set a mutually beneficial completion date for your project.
8. What kind of market research will you do?
Look, your web designer isn’t always going to be a marketing master. Some of them may be talented coders, but not understand the marketing side of things. Still, you want to find a web designer that knows how to research your market. That means looking at your competition, seeing what’s working in your industry, and learning about your target audience. All of this information is really important and will influence the final design.
9. What is your approach to the feedback process?
If you’re not happy with a design, what’s the point then? Feedback is crucial, and it’s something that I stress with my clients. I love when my clients provide feedback because it allows me to get it right for them. Don’t fear feedback. You should be allowed to provide it, so long as you’re reasonable.
10. Do you offer revisions if I’m not happy with the initial design?
This is another sore spot for many designers. Revisions are just a cost of doing business. They should be expected, you deserve to receive them, but everyone needs to be fair. If a designer refuses to offer any revisions, run away. No one is perfect, and revisions will happen.
11. Can you add to my website as my business grows?
Your business isn’t going to stay small forever. You may one day become the top dog in your industry, and you want to be ready for that. It’s worth asking your web designer if they’re willing to stick around and help you upgrade your website in the future. After all, they’ll be familiar with your brand, the website itself, and that familiarity will save you money.
12. Do you create logos too?
Starting a new business comes with a lot of first-time expenses, including logo design. It’s worthwhile to find a web designer that also specializes in graphic design, branding, and marketing. You’ll save money by having a single designer work on all of these things. And that means less explaining for you.
13. Do you supply stock images?
No one ever thinks of the stock images. While they aren’t necessarily expensive, you probably don’t have a membership to one of the popular sites. See if your designer does, and they may be willing to cut you a deal on your images.
14. Will you outsource any of the work?
There’s nothing more annoying than hiring a designer and finding out they outsourced the work. Sadly, this is a common trend in this industry, especially for designers that take on too many projects.
15. Will you make my website responsive?
You didn’t wake up this morning thinking about responsive design. But if you’re going to build a website, it better be responsive. What does this mean exactly? Responsive design has to do with how your website loads on multiple devices (desktop, mobile, tablets, etc.). Google is all about mobile these days, and they will punish websites that offer a poor mobile experience.
Have More Questions? Ask Away
It’s okay to have questions. I find it strange when clients have nothing to ask. Web design can be a stressful process if you don’t know what to expect. The more you understand how it works, the easier the whole process is.
Are you looking to design a website for your business? I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email with a few brief details about your project.
And remember, no question is a stupid question when it comes to your website.
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