There are plenty of reasons a business would choose to hire a website designer, and those usually come down to lack of time or lack of experience. Choosing to work with a designer is an important investment in your business, so it’s crucial you hire the right person for your project.
To help narrow down your choices, use these 7 questions to learn about their style and process.
Question 1: What Does the Contract Cover?
Freelance website designers will hand you a contract that outlines all of the legal details related to your business transaction. For example, a web design contract from Bonsai will state the project type, project length, payment, extra expenses, invoice requirements, among other details that hold the client and freelancer legally liable. Contracts protect both parties. It’s a major red flag if the website designer doesn’t want to use a contract because they may find ways to ask for more money, extend the deadline, or create a website you’re unhappy with.
Question 2: What Website Platform Do You Recommend?
It’s common for web designers to have experience in one platform, and it’s usually WordPress. Some web designers may branch out to Squarespace or Wix, but most have a favorite and tend to design better on their chosen platform. If your project requires another technology, like email marketing, ask if those platforms are compatible or can be integrated with coding magic.
Question 3: Do you Code or Work Off Templates?
Don’t assume that a web design knows how to code a website because it’s possible to create beautiful and working web pages with zero coding knowledge. Elegant Themes is software that can turn a WordPress website into a drag-and-drop building tool. While it’s convenient for most design elements, it may not create the look you want. If your web designer uses software, they likely can’t code or create more complex projects with expert functionality.
Question 4: What Does the Website Project Include?
A web designer should clarify what the scope of the work project will look like and what you’re paying for, but it’s always beneficial to ask what you’re getting and how it will be delivered. Don’t be afraid to ask what you’ll be getting for the price quoted because you may need to add or subtract parts of the website. You should also ask if revisions or different drafts are included.
Question 5: What is the Estimated Timeline for the Project?
Websites can take a long time to create, and multiple revisions can push back launch time several months. If a web designer isn’t prepared to handle a modification because they have various projects on the back burner, it could be delayed further. A time-sensitive launch requirement needs to be conveyed to the web designer as soon as possible. You should also ask if there’s anything you can do to stay on track with this timeline and if they require assets from you, like pictures or other elements. Deliver these quickly to keep the project moving.
Question 6: How Do We Stay Connected?
Many web designers are busy and don’t have the time to sit around reading emails all day. However, they should provide their clients an easy way to communicate, like through Slack or Asana, so both parties stay up-to-date. You’ll probably need to frequently communicate with them for edits and updates or provide feedback on how the website is looking.
Question 7: Do You Offer Support After Launch?
A web designer isn't always synonymous with a website developer or master. Some web designers want nothing to do with the website after launch, which means you’ll have to continue updating your web pages throughout the year. If you’re uncomfortable doing this, hire a web designer who will follow up every few months to rework the website or ensure it won’t crash from a lack of updates. You could also ask them for a cheat sheet for maintaining your site.