Hiring a designer to build a website for your business can often feel overwhelming, confusing, and even a bit nerve-wracking. Maybe you’re not sure where to start, you don’t know what to expect, or you’re worried you’ll hire someone that ends up being a total flop.
It’s totally uncertain territory!
I mean, it’s not exactly something that everyone and their brother has done…
So, when it’s time to take the leap and hire a pro to build your business website, how in the heck are you even supposed to know where to begin?!
If you’re lucky, you may have a friend who’s gone through the process. In that case, pick their brain and see what they liked, didn’t like, and what advice they might have for you from a customer’s point-of-view. Maybe they’ll even want to recommend their designer to you if they were truly impressed!
If that’s not the case, or if you fall into the other category as a true website-pioneer among your friends and colleagues, you can consider me your website friend who’s here to give you a crash course on what to look for when it’s time to hire a designer for your business website!
Not only is it important to hire a website designer that’s going to deliver what you’re looking for, but it’s equally as important to choose someone that you click with. 👯
When you’re in the trenches of a website build, you’ll be communicating and collaborating A LOT with your designer. So making sure that the two of you have some level of compatibility will make the process much smoother, and probably way more fun!
So on that note, let’s take a look at 6 things you should look for when hiring a website designer to build your website; things to look for in the designer, and in their process.
What to look for in a website designer:
1. Testimonials of past clients
One of THE best ways to get a feel for who your website designer is, and what it would be like to work with them, is by reading what past clients have to say about them. This is a really great way to see what other former website-newbs thought once they’ve completed the whole process.
A couple places you might find testimonials would be on the designer’s testimonials page of their website, or on their Facebook Like page. If all else fails, you could also request the name of a reference from the designer themselves.
*Note: The designer is not obligated to provide references, and some designers may decline out of respect to their client’s privacy. But it never hurts to ask.
2. Examples of work
When hiring a website designer, you NEED to be able to see examples of their past work, aka. their portfolio. Just like a wedding photographer will show you past wedding photographs, a website designer should be able to show you examples of past websites they’ve designed.
This is important not only to assess the quality of their work, but also to ensure that their style matches your vision. If your vision is something feminine, delicate, and modern, and all the examples provided are dark, bold, and not-your-style… they’re probably not the right designer for you.
You can often find examples of work on a website designer’s website, on the Portfolio page. Another great option is checking out their social media profiles.
3. How they treat you throughout the inquiry process
In my opinion, this might be one of the most important things to look for when hiring a website designer (or any service provider for that matter).
The initial inquiry stage is when you’ll likely send the designer a message, ask some questions, and seek additional information. If the designer is taking days (or even over 24 hours) to respond to you, that’s not a great sign.
*This doesn’t apply to weekends, holidays, or if the designer is on vacation… obviously.
The reason this is important is because you want someone who’s making your inquiry a priority. Doing so, is reflective of how they’ll prioritize you if/when you hire them.
On top of being prompt with responses, your website designer should also be willing to answer any (and as many) questions that you may have.
A website in a BIG investment, and us website designers know that! You want to work with someone who’s allowing you the time to ask your questions and get a complete understanding of the process without pressuring you to book before you’re ready. #notcool
A great way to get your questions and concerns answered in an efficient way is something all website designers should offer: a Discovery Call.
What to look for in the design process:
1. Discovery Call
A Discovery Call is a free, no-obligation phone call where you can talk more about what building a website with the designer would be like, what their package would include (as well as what it doesn’t include), and to get all of your questions and/or concerns addressed.
A Discovery Call is also a great opportunity to see how well you “click” with your designer and feel out if they’re someone you’d like to work with.
Remember, this is a no-obligation consultation. Just because you requested a Discovery Call doesn’t mean you have to move forward.
If the designer doesn’t check the boxes for what you’re looking for, you’re free to search for someone who does. But if you’re leaving your Discovery Call with a smile on your face, excited, and feeling website-confident – well, that my friend, is a great sign that you have found your person! 👯🎉
Packages are your best friend. You WANT a website designer who offers packages.
Because as a website-newb, you probably don’t know what exactly to include in your website… right?
Well, a good website designer DOES know what to include. And a great way to tell that your designer knows their stuff is that they offer a thorough, all-inclusive website design package, which will ensure your final website will dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. Many designers will offer multiple different packages, at a range of price points in order to provide options for people with different needs and/or budgets.
One concern you may have with a package is “Can I customize it? What if I need something that’s not in the package?”. Great question(s)!
Packages should be used as a starting point.
An excellent website package will encompass the vital and most common “website must-haves”, and then in addition to the package, the designer may offer add-ons or upgrades for any fancy features or functionalities you might want to sprinkle on top. ✨
This way you have everything you NEED, and are only paying for what you WANT. No fluff. 🙅♀️
3. Definitive, guaranteed timeline
Finding a website designer who offers a definitive, guaranteed timeline is likely to be the hardest “check” on this list, but I strongly encourage you to make sure your website designer offers this! Here’s why:
Many (not all) website designers will give you a start date with an open-ended completion date. You start on a specific date, and you finish when you finish. This is NOT what you want. I know, because I used to do exactly that…
When I first started my website design business, I didn’t have a definitive timeline for website projects. We simply started, and then we finished when we finished. That’s what everyone else was doing, so I followed suit.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was not ideal, for a few reasons.
By having an open-ended completion date, I noticed that after a few weeks, communication started fizzling out, momentum was lost, and the overall excitement level began decreasing. This caused projects that should have taken 3 weeks to take over 2 months! Which is just as frustrating for me as it is for my clients. Thus, my 3 week website process was born.
Now with my new process, from the very first day my clients book their design slot, they know with 100% certainty what day their website will launch. Which gives plenty of time to plan a Launch Party of epic proportions! 🍾🍕💃
This change in the way I run website design projects has made a WORLD of a difference, and my clients L-O-V-E it!
For that reason, I absolutely recommend working with a website designer who gives you a definitive, guaranteed project timeline so you know exactly how long your website will take, without worrying about it dragging on for weeks or months longer. 🙌
When you find the right website designer, you’ll know
The right designer will leave you feeling confident AF in:
1. Their ability,
2. Their process,
3. The final outcome, and
4. The fact that you are a priority to them.
Pardon the cliche, but when you know, you know 😉
Now it’s time to let the stalking searching begin!
Take a look at their client testimonials and portfolio, then reach out to see if the shoe fits!
Thinking I might be your Cinderella?? 🤗💕 I’m flattered!
Here are links to those things you’ll want to check out from above 😉. Happy Stalking!
Or if you’re ready to chat, click here to request a Discovery Call!