5 Questions to Ask a Web Designer Before You Hire Them

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Hiring a web designer is a huge step for your business, not to mention a significant financial investment. There’s a strong possibility you have several options of people to work with, and it’s important you find one that fits the needs of your business. One of the biggest decisions you’ll make is improving your online presence, so let’s set you up for success with these 5 questions!

 

1. Ask yourself this question first: What is the biggest goal you have for your website?

Are you trying to get your name out there, showcase your work, sell products or book clients? It’s best to seek out a web designer that has had experience in the type of goals that you’re trying to achieve. Check out the web designer’s portfolio to get an idea of what kind of work they’ve done in the past and see if it aligns with what you’re envisioning.


2. Ask the designer what their timeline + schedule look like right now.

Take some time and figure out your expected timeline to launch your site. Then, ask the designer if your website copy needs to already be written and photos taken or if you need to set aside time before the process begins to get all of that done. If you need a quick turnaround time, make sure to mention this to the designer right away on your consultation call. Many times, designers are booked up for weeks or even months, so if the project is not doable on a timeline standpoint, it’s time to either make adjustments to your desired timeline or move onto a different option.


3. Find out the designer’s process.

Every designer has a different process. Although most follow the same basic beginning, middle and end of a project, we go about it in different ways. Get yourself accustomed to how the project will look during your time with them. Next, find out what kind of turnaround time they need from you. Designers that have quick timelines with clients may also need quick turnaround time from you. If you know you can’t hit those tight deadlines, you may want to look elsewhere or move things around in your schedule so that you can meet those deadlines.


4. Ask the designer about their post-project process.

Does the designer have additional resources for things other than the site that they could point you to? This could be anything from marketing, social media management, social planning platforms, etc. How does the designer handle edits after the site has been launched (or re-launched?) Will the designer teach you how to use the site and make edits for you in the future or will you have to make them? Are they on retainer for post-launch edits? Who owns the site when it’s done? This last one is SUPER important: you always want to own your own site. If the designer is on retainer to handle edits post-launch, leave them on as a site admin, but never the owner. If they stay on as an owner, they could take your site down completely.


5. Ask the designer about their payment structure.

What does their payment schedule look like? Do you have to pay everything upfront, put down a deposit, or something entirely different? What is all included in the project payment? Will there be a potential for any hidden fees later on or additional charges besides your main quote? For example, this could be an additional round of revisions outside of what the contract states, payment for stock photography or payment for custom fonts. Find out what their contract entails and discuss fees openly and right away so that there are no surprises down the road.


 

As a web designer, a main goal of mine is to not only create a site that you’ll love and that works for your business, but provide an enjoyable process along the way. It’s all about the journey, right? 😉 Whether you work best with the pressure of deadlines or prefer to plan out months in advance, working under miscommunication and stressful deadlines is never fun, so finding a designer with similar expectations as you will make the process fun across the board. The process of finding a web designer can be intimidating, and going into a huge project such as a site design or redesign, can leave you feeling in the dark. So, on your next call with a designer of any sort, ask these 5 questions to start the project off on the right foot!