As a web designer I can appreciate how difficult it can be for customers to choose the right people to create a website that will meet all of their requirements. It is an industry that has a huge variation in pricing and the services that can be provided.
On one end of the scale are the 1&1 My Website and other personal website builders that charge very little and use templates to produce generic designs and layouts. Whereas these may appeal to small companies with limited budgets that wish to have ‘any kind’ of web presence, eventually the poor design, SEO and limited technical support may cause your company more harm than good.
At the other end of the scale are the digital media agencies which employ a team of talented people that can deal with any requirements you may have, no matter how obscure. As great as this is, it will cost time and money that can be outside the budget of a lot of businesses.
Somewhere in the middle you have the freelance website designers like myself. Here again there can be big differences in prices, quality and the different services that are provided by different companies. For that reason I’ve decided to write a short guide on how to choose the best freelance designer for your business.
1. Rather than go for the cheapest option, consider how much a high quality, optimised website will be worth to your business. There are some freelancers online charging as little as £150 for 10 page websites. Even at £10 an hour that means they will only be spending 15 hours on a website that should be an integral part of your business.
Obviously, cost is an important consideration for any company. However in the age of Google, Internet Shopping and social media a strong web presence or e-commerce website could potentially generate more income than a traditional shop.
Your web designer should be able to tell you how the website can make you money and give you a break down of how long things will take and exactly how much they will cost.
2. Check for a quality online portfolio that has examples of work similar to your requirements. All respectable designers should be able to show past examples of their work. Different freelancers may be skilled in different areas of design and development, for example, developing an e-commerce website requires a different level of skills than a simple brochure website. Therefore make sure the services they are offering will fulfil the requirements of your business.
3. Contact the designer directly to find out how helpful and knowledgable they are. As you will be working with your chosen designer over the course of weeks or months it is important to build up a good working relationship to get the best results for your website. Your designer should be attentive and listen to your requirements but also be able to share their knowledge and expertise and make recommendations of ways to maximise the business potential of your website.
4. Check for positive testimonials of the designers work. If the designer has succesful projects for their clients then the feedback on their website or social media should reflect that.
5. Once you have made contact with a suitable designer they should provide you with some terms and conditions or a contract as well as an estimated delivery time, quote and payment schedule. Check these thoroughly and make sure they meet your budget and requirements. Most designers and developers will require a deposit before commencing a project. This is to help with running costs and provide additional security should any problems arise. The deposit will be refundable in the unlikely event that the project is not completed.
Hopefully this guide will help your quest to find the right person for your website project. The vast majority of freelance designers are reliable and trustworthy and will produce work to a high standard. However, like any industry there are some that may let you down if you do not take these points into account.
Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to enquire about my services.
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