Are you planning to hire a professional web designer for building your website? You will come across a plethora of options. Making the right choice can prove overwhelming, as you have to consider a number of factors and also compare designers. But, how can you be sure that you are picking the right person for the job? There are many questions you can ask a web designer before to put your mind at ease. The main consideration is the factors that go into creating a great website.
For one, you need to make sure your designer offers you a responsive site. Responsive is the name of the game today. Sites that aren’t responsive don’t generate as much traction as responsive ones. This factor is one of many that you have to keep in mind when browsing through a list of professional web designers. Let’s make things easier for you, shall we? Here is an overview of 10 questions to ask a web designer before hiring:
1. Evaluate Their Portfolio
Experience counts for a lot when selecting a web designer. After all, you want to hire a professional who has been in the industry for a while. But simply looking at the number of years the designer has in the bag isn’t enough. You need to go a step further and evaluate their portfolio.
The key factor here is the designer’s style and whether or not it gels with the type of design you are seeking. Therefore, you should ask a web designer before starting the project to show their portfolio, and see if their previous work has a similar vibe to what you need.
2. Inquire About Their Process
Any designer worth their salt will know the design process they follow like the alphabet. In fact, you can expect to hear an elevator pitch when you inquire about their design process. Avoid any designer who cannot explain their process, making this one of the most important questions to ask web designer.
3. Ask for References
Browse a designer’s website and you are likely to come across reviews and testimonials from their past clients. Social proof counts for a lot, but you should go one step further and ask for references. Ask for past clients whom you can speak with over the phone. Remember that a designer will only put you in touch with a client who had a great experience with them. And you will get to hear mostly rave reviews. So, how does this benefit you?
Well, the clue lies in the question. If a designer is cagey about sharing references, you should move on to the next candidate.
Bonus Tip: Avoid talking to any designer who doesn’t share reviews or testimonials online!
4. The Question of Availability
You want to work with a designer who has plenty of time to work on your project. One of the key questions to ask when looking for a web designer is how soon you can start designing your site. Now, you might come across a designer who might say he/she can begin the next day. Before you start jumping for joy, consider this a red flag. Good designers have plenty of work to keep them busy. Don’t feel bad if you have to wait for a couple of weeks before the initial consultation session. It only shows the designer is in demand.
5. Does the Designer Outsource?
Another of the most important questions to ask your web designer is if they outsource any part of the project. Now, outsourcing can be a double-edged sword. Outsourcing can be acceptable for projects with a huge scope. If you require graphic design or content in addition to the design, you can expect that the web designer might bring other professionals on board to complete the project efficiently. You have to use your judgment when making a call regarding this factor.
Too many cooks might not spoil the broth, but they can definitely cause a delay. Again, you have to count on the designer to be open and clear about whether or not they outsource some part of their work. Depending on their answer, you can decide whether or not you should go ahead with hiring the designer.
The rule of thumb for a web design project is that designers offer up to 3 rounds of revisions. If you are still not happy with the design at that point and require further edits, you might have to pay by the hour.
Bonus Tip: Ask the designer their hourly rate, which can range from $50 per hour to up to $200.
Ask a web designer before hiring about their track record when it comes to deadlines. This question holds more value if you are seeking urgent work. Of course, if you have a flexible schedule, you can pick pretty much any designer you feel suits your needs. But, if the deadline is important for you, ask the designer about it in advance.
Upon completion of the website, you might wish to retain complete control over the code and other elements of the site. If that is the case, you need to know whether the designer uses a template or creates a custom site from scratch. The platform the site is designed using will affect the level of maintenance required. Also, keep in mind that the designer should offer sufficient testing and quality evaluation for custom websites.
9. What about Maintenance?
Continuing from the previous point, you need to ask the designer about maintenance once the website is complete. The catch here is that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. You might go for a maintenance package with the designer where you are responsible for sending emails outlining the changes you require. Or, you can decide to handle the updates and edits on your own. In this situation, you should work with a designer who can create the site using a platform you are comfortable using.
10. Do I Get All the Rights?
You cannot compromise on this factor. The designer must absolutely hand over all the files of the project to you upon completion. These files will include not just the design files but any other graphics or content on the site. Don’t work with a designer who won’t transfer the rights to you.
Smart questions always help you avoid bad experiences with web designers. Are you wondering what questions should I ask a web designer? Well, think no more and simply rattle of the questions listed above one by one.
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