Selecting and hiring a great web designer is a unique challenge for anyone in business. Hiring a web designer to build your website is like hiring a contractor to build your house. It’s a very important decision and it very much relies on you picking the right web designer from the beginning. Here are some tips in selecting and hiring a great web designer:
Freelance Web Designer vs. Professional Web Agency
There’s a HUGE difference in the quality of work between a freelance web designer and a professional web agency. Finding a great freelance web designer can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Even when you find a good one, there will be many vague aspects to the project’s scope of work and at many points you have to simply “trust” them. Freelance web designers do tend to be cheaper then a web agency, but the question is are the savings worth it? A decent web designer freelancer should cost $30-60/hr and the entire website project should cost $1,500-3,500. A professional web agency differs from freelance web designers in several major ways. 1) They usually have expert project management with a very clear scope of work from the get go. This way nothing falls through the cracks and the scope of work is very clear. 2) A professional web agency has a team with specialists in each part of the project all working together to create your website. 3) A professional web agency will charge about $65-130/hr and your total website project should range $5,000-15,000+.
A Web Designer’s Portfolio is EVERYTHING
To select a good quality professional web designer (whether a web agency or freelance), their portfolio will tell you a lot. If the portfolio is less than 5 amazing website, RUN! A good portfolio should have 5-15+ great quality sites. Another thing to look for is make sure they were all developed within 1-3 years. Anything older than that is ancient and means the web designer hasn’t done much recent work. Another good question for any web designer you consider hiring is if they developed the work shown on their portfolio 100% themselves or with a team. If with a team, ask them a rough percentage of what they did and what specific elements were their work. Don’t let them trick you on this and sell you on a website they never even truly built.
Timeline for Web Design is Key
Any good web designer should be able to finish a custom or template based website in 2-6 months. If they start talking about a year timeline, RUN!!! (Unless it’s the most custom amazing website with 5,000+ web pages).
Onshore Web Design is the Way to go! NO OFFSHORING!
Another important thing to consider when hiring a good web designer is if they do the work onshore or offshore. Any web designer that offshores any part of the web design work is a web designer you should be very cautious of. I would not recommend hiring any web designer that offshores part or all of the work. Offshore web design creates a ton of communication and quality drawbacks. A good web designer does everything onshore and their team of web design professionals all will be onshore. This way they communicate better and more efficiently about your web design project.
To conclude our tips on how to hire a good web designer, you’re probably in better hands with a professional web design agency vs a web design freelancer any day. Less things fall through the cracks, there’s better quality assurance and project management. You have redundancy of a team vs being stuck with one individual. It’s more likely to go smooth the first time around with a web design agency then a freelance web designer and then restarting again after learning from that mistake.