February 27, 2018
Thinking of Hiring a Website Designer? Read this First
Thinking about hiring a website designer huh? With so many designers and developers, how do you choose the right one? What’s the difference between the two?
Well here’s your resource guide to hiring a website designer, there are a couple of points we need to cover:
- Are you really ready to hire a website designer?
- Do you need a website designer or developer? Or both?
- What you should have to get started with a designer
- Thing to keep in mind
Let’s get started!
Are you really ready to hire a website designer?
Are you really ready to bring someone on to bring your vision to life?
If you feel a web designer is supposed to make a vision come to life that you cant even see, you’re not ready. A web designer is not the answer to your problems if you have no idea what you want your website to be or the vision / purpose of your website. No, I don’t mean you have to have a website layout and every element planned. But you want to be able to communicate your vision and website goals to your designer, in order for them to bring it to life.
Do you need a website designer or developer? Or both?
Knowing who you need to hire is just as important as why you need to hire a web designer.
There are a couple of types of “website designers”: You have website designers who only create designs and nothing else, website developers who bring the designs to life through the code and you have full-stack developers who deal with both design and development (code).
Each are equipped for their experience and services, you can not expect a website designer who has never coded to add onto a theme that you purchased.
This is why who you is important, hire the right person for the right job.
Often times a web designer has a little development knowledge and a developer may have some design knowledge, but sometimes your vision is more custom and you need a little more than a customized theme.
If you are just starting out and need a simple website that needs little to no customizations you can hire a website designer or DIY your website.
There are a lot of horror stories about working with a website designer, often times it could be avoided. Here are some warning signs to look for when hiring a website designer:
- If all the websites look the same: same layout, same structure, but different colors it is possible that the designer is using the same template for every website client.
- If they don’t have any completed project listed on their website then ask for some they did. If they don’t have any, then you may want to find another designer.
Usually, after you have cleared just those two signs, your selection of designers become more focused and your less likely to “get scammed” or end up with an unsatisfactory website.
Always know what you are purchasing also if you are paying for a theme then know what it includes. If you are paying for a custom website, be sure it is truly custom!
Tip #2: Always ask questions…even if you feel it’s stupid. If you have a question about the overall project, ask. If you have a question about the designer or developer, ask! It’s always better to ask rather than assume.
Have your **ish in order
The worst thing to do when you are looking to hire a website designer is to not have your **ish in order.
Your brand assets, what pages you need, pictures you want to include, EVERYTHING!
If you have no idea where to start, look at websites of businesses that are in your industry. This will give you an idea of what you want to have content wise on your website, then think about your branding.
Do you have your color scheme?
Do you have your fonts?
Do you have a mood board to help your designer understand the “mood” or feel of your business?
Having just these couple of things ready will help your project go smoother from the beginning.
Now if you don’t have some type of idea for your business, you should wait until you have a clear vision or you will find yourself spending more money down the line.
Tip #3: Browse Pinterest for color scheme ideas and font pairings. You want to have at least 2 colors, a heading font, body font and logo (or idea for), this will ensure you have the basics of your branding.
Some things to keep in mind…
- Your website designer is here to bring your vision to life, not create your vision.
- If you have no idea where to start with your branding, search Pinterest for inspiration but don’t fall down the rabbit hole.
- Be ready to communicate your vision and goals to your website designer.
- Browse websites for your competitors or other companies similar to your business for inspiration and a view of what you may want to include on your website.
- Before hiring a website designer, be sure they have worked with your desired platform before. If you are looking to launch with Shopify, make sure they are a partner or better an expert.
I hope this post has helped you better prepare for hiring a website designer if you have any questions or comments let me know in the comments!
Also published on Medium.