How To Find The Right Designer/Developer
Your business is growing and you know you need a website. So, you look online at some portfolios of designers or maybe someone suggests going to Upwork or Craigslist, but the whole process is simply confusing. You’re probably thinking to yourself,
- What do I need for my website?
- What design and platform is appropriate for my business?
- How much will this cost?
- How long will this take?
The truth is that looking for a great designer takes some effort. Finding the right freelancer or agency can be painstaking and downright scary, but it can also be quite rewarding for your business.
For example, your online presence can market to potential customers and at the same time create a platform that your existing customers can use to access information or use functionality of your service or product around the clock.
Finding Your Web Designer/Developer
Like I mentioned earlier, finding a web designer can be daunting. It can help to get a referral from either a friend, or perhaps asking another business in the same industry. Web Design Freelancers often place their name in the footer of the site or you can email the site owner and ask who their designer was.
Once you get a meeting with a potential web professional be prepared to know what your brand is about. Understanding the message and/or value proposition your business conveys to your customers is essential for clients to communicate to their web designer or developer.
Know what stage you are in your business. Are you just starting out or are you established? Web Designers must strategize the best optimization of your website because web design for a 1-year-old company will be completely different than for a 15-year-old company.
Know if you will need special functionality with your website. For example, will you be selling products or collecting credit card payments?
What’s the difference between a Web Designer and Developer?
Although these terms are often used interchangeably, the two are very different.
Simply put, Web Designers create the visual concept and layout. They create styles for various web elements such as the navigation, footer, and content areas of a web page.
Web Developers often create source code for websites. This can be one individual that has both design and development skills. Often Web Designers work in tandem with Web Developers on a project.
You should discuss with your web professional if they are indeed a developer or designer or both. Your communication should be about the type of platform your website will be developed on, for example, WordPress, Squarespace.
Your Designer/Developer should ask you questions regarding what elements you need on your website, such as navigation footer and layout preferences.
Designers/Developers often use project management software to manage a project however, this can be something as simple as creating a Pinterest board or screenshot examples of what your design preferences are.
Content, Logins and Passwords
Web copy consists of the text on your website that describes your services and products. Your Web Designer/Developer may or may not provide copywriting services. This will require you to get creative and start writing for your sales pages, home pages, about pages, and other pages or posts that you want on your web project.
Do you have photos, logos and other images or graphics or do you need to contact a graphic designer or photographer? Do you have video or audio media files ready?
You will need to provide your Designer/Developer with your web host username and password along with your domain name if you don’t already have one.
Know how much you want to spend early. The average Web Designer/Developer rates can be anywhere from $50 – $100 an hour and some have flat project rates of $1000 to $10,000. Understand that this is an investment, just as any other business investment. The more you invest in quality work, the more the return on that investment in the form of new customers, increased sales, new leads, better customer experience and so on. Know where you are in your business to determine how much you will spend. Remember, you get what you pay for!
Timelines and Process
Good developers like to be organized and have project timelines and deadlines. Often they are working with other clients, so it helps to have a project start and end date. Determine if your chosen Web Designer/Developer provides a schedule with deadlines for your project.
Be sure to read all contracts and agreements. Legitimate Designers/Developers will usually require a signed contract or detailed service agreement. This will protect both parties in case of a disagreement and outline the requirements of both the client and the Designer/Developer.
Also, rock star Designers/Developers will provide client onboarding, documentation and tutorials to guide you through taking over your content once the project is finished.
If you find that the idea of managing your website is too cumbersome, then inquire with your Designer/Developer about any ongoing maintenance packages or retainers.
Finding that right Designer/Developer fit will take some effort but is not impossible. Clearly communicating your business needs and having your content ready is half the battle. Once you get a great web professional you’ll never let go. These individuals will play a pivotal role in your business.
Let us know in the comments what your experience was hiring a Web Designer/Developer. And don’t forget to follow us on social media.