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May 16, 2010

Ten Tips For Hiring the Right Web Designer

Filed under: Web Design — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 7:40 am

Hiring the right web designer is a must if you plan on creating a professional website. The question is how do you choose that web designer. This is the first part of a two part series that will help you make the right choice.

1. Ask around for referrals

You need to first find some options. You could look for web designers in your local phone book or search for web sites on the Internet, but the truth is that the best way to find a web designer who is going to do a good job is to talk to people who’ve used web designers. Talk to others in your field. Talk to other people you’ve worked with, such as copywriters. Ask around, and you’ll be likely to hear some good things about a couple of web designers, at least.

2. Get 3 quotes

Since price is going to be a factor in which web designer you choose and since prices vary a great deal, you should always get a minimum of three quotes from three different web designers. But comparison isn’t the only reason to get these quotes. You’ll also learn something about the web designers’ customer service: if they don’t respond quickly before you’re a client, imagine how they’ll respond after they’ve already got your business.

3. Look for experience

You don’t want to work with a web designer who’s just starting out if you want a professional quality site. So you should ask about their experience. That doesn’t just mean how many years have they been working in this field but also how many sites have they created during that time and how many different clients they’ve worked with. The more experience your web designer has the better but also greater experience means greater cost.

4. Meet your needs

You also need to make sure your web designer can meet your needs. If you want interactive elements in your site or if you want some Flash demos, then you’ve got to make sure your web designer can provide these features. Don’t rely on a web designer who has no experience in these areas.

5. View portfolio

Web designers usually include links to samples of their work on their web sites. If not, you should inquire about viewing their portfolio. You need to see for yourself what these web designers are capable of doing before you sign on the dotted line.

6. Communicate clearly

An often overlooked issue when choosing a web designer is how easy it will be for the two of you to communicate. For example, will you be able to talk over the phone or only email? Are you in similar time zones so communication can be fast? Additionally, you should choose a web designer you can understand – that doesn’t mean just someone who speaks your same language but also someone who doesn’t rely on techno-jargon to explain things.

7. Read testimonials

While looking at a web designer’s work is important, you should also make it a point to check out the testimonials their clients have left them. Sometimes these are also listed on the web designer’s site. If not, you might want to ask if you can contact their past clients so you can get a feel for their abilities.

8. Ask about support

With some web designers, the moment your site is finished, your relationship is finished. That’s probably not what you want. Hopefully, you choose a web designer who provides ongoing support, meaning they’ll be happy to answer questions you have about your site even after it’s been up for months.

9. Share vision

One important element of choosing a web designer is that they share your vision for your site. If they don’t, then you’ll find the entire process frustrating, time-consuming, and disappointing. At the end, you’ll end up with a web site you’re not happy with. Explain to potential web designers what you are looking for and be open to their ideas but remember that the site and final decisions about the site should be yours.

10. Sign a contract

With any web designer, you should sign a written contract that outlines your entire agreement. If a web designer doesn’t use written contracts, you should look elsewhere. If there’s a dispute over your agreement, both of you will benefit from having the terms in writing.

Roger Cochran writes for NetDogz, a web designer that has been in business since 1999.

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