5 Things to Think About Before You Hire a Web Designer

The time has come, you think to yourself, to redesign your blog or website.  Technology has changed, site designs have changed or perhaps you’ve changed.  But where do you start?

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you start your hunt for the perfect web designer.  They’re questions we ask every single potential new client who comes to our door (we ask a lot more than this but these are a really great start!) and so many of our clients tell us that the exercise of sitting down and answering them really helps to clarify what they want in their minds.  So why not give it a go?

1. What do you want to achieve with your new redesign?

There’s lots of valid reasons for a blog redesign.  Some include

  • keeping up with new technology like a mobile site or responsive design
  • your look is outdated or you’ve re-branded
  • you want to improve the functionality perhaps by adding a recipe index or a portfolio
  • your focus has changed

There are many others but these are the ones I most commonly see from clients.  Being able to tell your designer what you want to achieve will go a long way to having a successful project.

2. What is the one thing you want your readers to do when they visit?

We call this a “call to action”.  If there was one thing you wish every visitor did when they came to your site, what would it be?

  • share your posts on social media?
  • purchase your latest e-book?
  • leave a comment on a post?
  • contact you directly about hiring you?
  • visit more than one page of your site?

Again, there’s many things you might want them to do but have you done everything you can to make it easy for them to do that one thing?  That’s where a designer can definitely help.

3. What’s your budget?

A large percentage of potential clients who approach us have no idea what their budget is, or they don’t have a realistic idea of what an appropriate budget is.  Sometimes that’s because they just don’t know what web design costs.  And that’s completely understandable – how many of us know how much it costs for new brakes on our car unless we’re mechanics?

There’s another group who do have an idea but are reluctant to share that number with us.  Again, I understand – there’s a feeling that if you tell us a number and then tell us what you want, we’ll charge you that number even if the work doesn’t warrant such a high price.  My only response is, an ethical, competent designer will not do that.  We want repeat business and we want you to recommend us so we want you to have a positive experience and feel that you got value for your budget.

Every project is different and while some designers do offer set package prices, most don’t.  (Keep in mind that while set packages may be less expensive, they are also very structured and offer limited flexibility in the design process).  Most of us will want to know what you need done and craft a quote based on the amount of work.

If you can tell us your budget, we can determine what can be done from your wishlist within that amount.  If you don’t know what your budget is, we can prepare a quote based on your wishlist.  If the quote causes you to choke on your coffee, tell us! We can discuss it with you and show you areas where you can cut back or give you alternate solutions.

4. What’s your time frame?

Web design is a collaborative process between the client and the designer.  You will be required to do some work.  Unless your designer is also your content writer, logo designer and photographer, you’re going to have to have your content ready within the time frame you’ve asked your designer to work in.

Look at your schedule – can you pull together all the pieces in the time frame you’ve laid out?  Be brutally honest with yourself.  You know better than anyone else how you work.  Some designers will charge an additional fee if your project goes over deadline and they are waiting on you to deliver content.

5. What inspires you?

When you are about to embark on a redesign, you want your site to be your own and express who you or your company are.  You never want to copy the look of another site, nor do you want to ask your designer to do that.  It’s not legal or ethical.

Having said that, we’re all inspired by things.  If you can show your designer sites that you like the look of, or how they function, it can go a long way to helping us out.  Don’t just think about websites though.  Consider paint swatches, pictures from magazines, maybe a font on a menu that caught your eye or an illustration in a shop.  Take a quick photo with your mobile phone and create a visual record.  All of these things help us a get a feel for the style and statement you want to make!

Now you have some things to think about before taking the next step and finding that perfect designer for your project!