You can have as many blueprints for setting up a nice and attractive website for your business as you wish but unless you have the right website designer to implement your plans you can forget about proceeding in the right direction. Hiring a web designer is different from recruiting any other expert in the online business because of their high service fees. In addition, finding a qualified and experienced website designer who is both affordable and reliable is nothing short of an uphill task.
A different approach in this matter is to think of getting your website design planned by an expert as an investment that will reward your business for many years to come. Without undermining the importance of high quality content, the fact is that a structured and attractive web design is an essential element that is the cornerstone of any successful website. Here are five important tips to keep in mind while hunting down a good website designer:
Should You Hire an Agency or an Individual?
As a general rule, hiring a firm or agency of website designers is always a better idea as compared to relying solely on an individual simply because such a group of experts has more advanced resources and skills at its disposal. On the flipside, firms and agencies will cost you significantly more than what you have to pay to a freelancer. At the end, the size of the project and the budget at hand need to be assessed while making this all-important decision.
There are a few other factors that come into play in this regard. For instance, negotiating a lower fee is easier with an individual than a firm; moreover, a web designer agency is also likely to take on several projects from its clients simultaneously in which case your project may be neglected. However, a firm is better equipped to handle multiple projects simultaneously than an individual. In case you are stuck with a freelancer who takes orders from several clients, you can forget about completing your project in time.
The most obvious edge that a firm has over a freelancer is that the former has more resources and personnel to finish complex projects in a tight deadline. The best strategy is to go for a freelancer if the project is simple enough and is not required to be completed within a tight deadline. On the other hand, a bigger project of designing a website with complex structures in a short period of time should be handed over to an agency.
Pay Attention to the Reputation
Although, most people advise not to ‘judge a book by its cover’, so to speak, but in this case a web designer’s reputation and portfolio can tell you much about his experience and capabilities. The good news is that the internet provides you the perfect gateway through which you can inquire about portfolios of freelance web designers as well about firms.
But let’s not forget that we are discussing the online market which is full of phonies and scammers. How are you to be sure if the information presented by a particular web designer on his website is true? Well, there are a few ways but you can never be 100% sure. Reading customer reviews, client lists and relying on personal referrals can always help you contact reliable and highly experienced web designers.
You will also have to deal with varying degree of understandability from different website designers or team of web designers. In the end, you have to strongly hold on to your creative vision and transfer it to the website designer you hire so that he can produce the goods. A website designer who feels excited about doing your project can be relied upon because it shows that he shares your passion and energy.
Don’t Let the Communication Lines Break
If you think hiring a web designer is the end of story for you, think again! You need to constantly stay in touch with your web expert to monitor his progress, give suggestions and receive his input on the workability of some of your ideas. Telephone calls, Skype calls, online chat and email are some of the expeditious means of communication that can help you and your web designer stay connected.
Response time is of paramount importance in maintaining a highly communicative relationship with your web expert. There is sufficient reason to worry if your website designer does not respond to your emails within 24-36 hours because it might show his lack of interest in the project.
The key to successful communication is that it is two-way. Try to hire a website designer who respects your vision and is capable of understanding your ideas from an artistic perspective. At the same time, he should also have the courage to speak out against bad ideas and to give proper feedback on your plans about the design of your website. Enough words cannot be mustered up to emphasize the importance of communication between you and your web designer for the development of your website as miscommunication can lead to a complete disaster.
Keep a Check on Your Expectations
As a client you need to clearly define the responsibilities of your web designer at the time of entering into a contract. For instance, keeping a check on project timeline, the quality of work, total fees payable and mode of payment are some of the issues that need to made clear beforehand. During the course of project you need to keep reminding your web expert of the deadline and of the unfinished elements of work that need to be addressed. Sometimes, enforcing a hard deadline can work wonders in getting your project completed within time especially when your web designer is also engaged with other clients.
Have a Proper Plan for Future Website Maintenance
Getting preoccupied with the present and not thinking of the long-term future is a mistake that most clients make while hiring a web designer. The fact is that a website needs constant updating and maintenance which can be handled rather well by a professional web designer. You need to ensure that the web designer you pick knows all programming languages and creates a website design that will work out in the future as well. Also you need to do is to draw out the responsibilities of your web designer regarding future support and maintenance.
Guest Post by Shah: If you want to create professional looking websites with all necessary elements added to it then you can consider using free website builders. Yes online website builders like freewebsite.us, IMcreator etc can help you develop great websites with no programming skills at all.