You evaluated your old website, set goals for a new site, and developed a redesign strategy. Maybe you’ve started writing your website copy and gathering photos. Now’s the time to partner with a web designer. If you don’t already know and trust one, where should you begin?
1. Define a Budget
First, consider how much you’re willing to spend on a site. Your budget will determine the quality of web designer you can hire. Designers with hands-on experience and a solid education (self-taught and/or formal) will require more compensation. As with several other types of products (think very low-priced clothing, automobiles, and appliances), bargain-basement sites can ultimately cost you more because of poor quality and untapped potential. An excellent web designer knows how to instill value in your website and make the design long-lasting.
With this caveat, think about how much business your site could attract and retain, and decide on a budget you are comfortable with. This number or range will be one of several determining factors in your designer selection.
2. Search for a Designer
How do you find a high-quality web designer? Start by requesting referrals. Who have your friends and colleagues worked with, and would they recommend them? Log onto LinkedIn and check your immediate and extended network. Does anyone have ties to a professional web designer?
Next, try searching the web. Check for web designers in your city, state, or beyond. Many designers have out-of-state or out-of-country clients. The array of modern communication tools facilitates the remote working process.
You can also browse various sites and note designs you admire. Check the footer to see if a design credit is listed, or get in touch with the site owner to see who built the site.
3. Evaluate Design Candidates
After rounding up several candidates, review each of their business sites carefully. Is the presentation professional? Has the designer described his/her background in the industry? Browse the designer’s portfolio and decide if his/her aesthetics and abilities would be a good fit for your project. If you’ve chosen a [tooltip title=”” content=”A CMS or Content Management System allow a website administrator to update the site content with little or no knowledge of code.” type=”classic” ]CMS[/tooltip], interactive features, and functionality for your site, note any relevant experience and samples.
Begin the process of requesting estimates. Conscientious designers will interview you about your project. They’ll ask about your business, your goals for the new site, your timeline, and your budget. This discussion will allow the designer to write a proposal.
With several proposals on hand, compare and contrast them. Note how each document arrived. The appearance, organization, and details will indicate the candidate’s thoroughness and preview what it would be like working with him/her. Has each designer summarized your interview? Which proposal best fulfills your site requirements?
After selecting the best designer for your project, you’ll begin the exciting process of building a new site to represent your business.