Building a website is often considered a necessity for business owners, freelancers, and even startups today. Without a website, it is difficult to establish your business as trustworthy, legitimate, and authoritative, even if you are entering an industry that is extremely niche.
Launching an official website of your own is a way to create a digital platform to maximize your online reach as you appeal to new visitors, followers, and prospective customers. When you have made the decision to build a website of your own for any reason, hiring a web designer can help to expedite the process while delivering results that are aligned with your vision and truly satisfying.
What is the Difference Between Web Designer & Web Developer?
Before you move forward with hiring a designer for your next website, it is important to become familiar with the process while understanding the differences between designers and developers.
Designers help to create the overall look and feel of a website and may be referred to as front-end designers in many cases. While designers may have the ability to work the backend of a website, they are typically more familiar with front-end programming languages such as HTML and CSS.
Whenever you are in need of a designer for your website, it is important to consider the features, plugins, and type of setup you are looking for before choosing a professional to hire. It is also imperative to ask questions of each individual designer and developer you interview to determine who is the right fit for the website projects you want to have built.
What is the Average Cost to Hire a Web Designer?
Hiring a designer to help build your website greatly depends on the size of the website you require as well as the structure of the website you desire. If your website is simplistic and only requires a few pages without any fancy additions, your designer is more likely to charge much less. However, if you want a robust website that has imported hundreds of articles you have written in the past, includes a commenting system, and the ability to sell and track products, your designer will require more time and resources, ultimately resulting in a higher fee.
If you choose to hire a designer in Asia or India, your website may run you anywhere from $600 to $1500 to start. However, opting to hire designers in the USA can cost you $1,500 to $5,000 for a basic website, depending on your needs and the designer or agency you choose to use. Complex websites that are built and managed by marketing and web design firms can cost upwards of $5,000 to more than $15,000 just to get started.
Because investing in a new website for your business or for yourself personally can quickly become costly, it is important to know what you are looking for before you even get started. With a clear vision of your website and a complete understanding of how to find the right designer, move forward with a professional you can trust to create a website you love.
How to Hire a Web Designer
Before you choose a designer to hire for your website, it is important to understand your needs as well as the overall purpose or goal of your site itself. Ask yourself the following prior to searching for a designer that can help bring your website to life:
- What is the purpose of my website going to be? Am I trying to spread a message, share products, or simply provide useful content for a highly-targeted audience?
- What goals do I have set for my website? Do I want to garner followers on social media and with my email newsletter, or is it more important to generate leads, conversions, and sales?
- Who is my target core audience? What demographics should I be attempting to appeal to with my website? What gender, location, and age range of users are most likely to find value in the website I am planning to create? Do my prospective visitors have hobbies and interests in common with one another? What type of website can I create to bring my audience together and to garner interest in my website’s purpose?
- How do I intend to appeal to my target audience? Will my users find my website via search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, or do I intend to launch social media and email marketing campaigns on a regular basis?
- How can I stand out from the current competition I have online based on the purpose I have set for my website? Conduct thorough research on the current competition you have based on the market and industry you have entered. Learning more about your online competition is extremely beneficial once you begin developing a website of your own.
Review the following before choosing a web designer that is likely to be most compatible with you:
- Does the designer’s portfolio stand out to you or resonate with you based on your own styles and unique design preferences? Are you immediately attracted to the type of work they create and produce? Do you find yourself drawn to a designer based on the aesthetic they use throughout all of their work?
- Are the layouts that the designer you are reviewing fit well with the type of layout you need for your own website? What type of layout is most likely to resonate with your audience?
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Designer
Before hiring a designer for your website, it is important to ask the following questions to ensure that you are making the right choice:
- What type of designing experience do you have? Can you show me your portfolio and a list of clients you have worked with in the past?
- Which programming languages are you familiar with? Are you familiar with HTML and CSS, or do you prefer to simply generate layouts automatically after you have designed them?
- What other specialty areas do you focus on while building websites? Which features are most important to you and why?
- Are you willing to provide me with a project scope that fits with the timeline I have in mind for the completion of my website? What is your track record when it comes to building, testing, and publishing websites on time with previous clients you have had?
- Are you familiar with SEO, or search engine optimization? How do you plan to integrate SEO into my website to better optimize it for search engine results within my industry and with local competitors?
- Do you have references or recommendations from past employers or clients you have worked with to verify your abilities?
- How do you price your websites? Do you charge by the number of hours you put into developing a website, or is there a flat fee involved based on the number of pages and the type of website I am interested in creating? How do you charge or additional updates, edits, and tweaks? Are you flexible with your development schedule?
- Are there project intervals in which we will review the current progress of my website? Which milestones do you intend to implement into my project scope to ensure that we are going in the right direction at all times? What happens if I am unhappy with the current progress or specific changes you have made? What is the process to remedy any issues I encounter with my website once it is published and live for others to visit?
What to Avoid When Hiring a Designer for Your Website
While it is important to seek out a designer that is compatible with you personally and one that is qualified, experienced and has the same sense of style as you, there are also a few things to avoid during the process of hiring a designer.
Some of the most common mistakes made in the process of hiring a designer to build a website include:
- Not Paying Enough: Of course, everyone loves a great deal. There is no better feeling than receiving a high-quality product at a discount or at a staggeringly low rate. However, it is important to avoid hiring designers that are promoting suspiciously low rates. Professional designers understand the time and effort that goes into creating websites that are modern, attractive, relevant, and properly optimized. If a designer is offering to build a complex or robust website for less than minimum wage, they are likely scamming you or plan to provide you with low-quality results. Experienced and professional designers understand and know the value of their time and the skills they bring to the table when building new websites for clients.
- Overspending: While it is important to avoid spending too little on a complete website, it is also essential to avoid overspending or spending beyond your budget. If you are in need of a simple 5-page website an a designer is attempting to charge you thousands of dollars, it may be time to look elsewhere for the services you require. Whenever you are looking to work with a new web design professional, it is highly advisable to schedule multiple consultations before choosing a designer that is truly the best fit for the project you are working on.
- Working Only With Designers: If you choose to work with a web design professional who is not familiar with CSS or manual HTML coding, you may run into issues. Be sure to hire a designer that not only specializes in creating banners and implementing color schemes, but one that also understands the importance of a well-designed layout. You only have one opportunity to make a lasting impression on your website visitors, which is why the structure and layout of a website matter just as much as the look, feel and aesthetic of a site.
- Not Researching Enough: Did you do your due diligence and research all of the designers who are available in your area? Have you conducted research on the individual designers to review their portfolios and to learn more about the type of design and development services they have to provide? Always be sure to spend time getting to know more about designers you may want to work with prior to connecting and scheduling a consultation to avoid wasting your time and the time of the designer.
- Choosing Not to Use a CMS: If a designer is not willing to use a CMS or is unfamiliar with CMS solutions, it is best to find an alternative to working with on your web design project. A CMS, or content management system, is one of the most popular and modern solutions used to build websites by both designers and developers alike. The most popular CMS solutions available on the market free of charge today include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Using a CMS is not only a way to create a website that is modern, optimized, and responsive for mobile phones and tablets, but it is also a way for you to access and update your website even without programming and coding knowledge. Using a CMS such as WordPress is highly recommended if you have an interest in adding blog posts and content to your website but you are unsure of how to do so without help. With a CMS such as WordPress, anyone has the ability to build and maintain their own website. If your preferred designer is not familiar with CMS solutions such as WordPress or does not want to work with a CMS, you may want to seek out another designer, especially if you have a vested interest in updating your website once it is developed and built on your own.
- Hiring a Designer That Boasts But Does Not Deliver: When you are researching designers that you may hire to build your website, it is important to research thoroughly. If a designer proclaims to appear as the number one search result for specific keywords, be sure to verify this claim. If a designer claims to have won awards for their designing and development abilities, be sure to verify these claims before moving forward with the hiring process. It is imperative to hire a designer that you can trust and rely on, especially if you are providing your designer with access to your website, your hosting account, and any other accounts that may include personal and sensitive information of your own.
Finding a Web Designer Near Me
After you have become comfortable with the process of seeking out designers for your website and discovering developers who are right for your projects, it is time to find professionals near you. Finding a web designer near you is possible by:
- Asking for Referrals: One way to find a reliable designer that you can trust is to ask for referrals. Ask family members, friends, and business associates for referrals to find web design professionals who have positive reputations among those you know Referrals are always a great way to find professionals in a specific niche or for a certain job that you have in mind. Even after you receive a referral, it is still important to research the designer to determine whether or not they are the perfect fit for the website you need.
- Research Designers Online: Use search engines such as Google to find designers and web design firms that are well-known and established near you. Local search results can help to find a web design professional who is nearby and who is willing to work with you in person if that is what you need. Additionally, local search results within top search engines such as Google also provide reviews and testimonials from clients, helping you to eliminate designers who are not well-liked or who do not take their business seriously.
- Review Popular Designers on Social Media: Seek out designers using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Facebook and Instagram are great platforms to find designers and web developers, as they are home to 2 billion users worldwide and focus heavily on imagery and video media.
- Use Websites Designed for Hiring Designers and Developers: It is also possible to hire a freelance web design specialists or developer with the use of sites tailored to freelancers and clients in need. Websites such as Upwork and Freelancer provide instant access to thousands of designers from around the globe, allowing you to find a designer that is truly right for your next website.
Hiring a web designer in 2019 does not have to feel stressful, tedious, and overwhelming, especially once you know what you need for your site and the vision you have. Once you know how to hire the proper designers and developers for any project you have in mind, begin working together to create a website, blog, or eCommerce store of your dreams without hassle.