HOW TO HIRE AND WORK

WITH A WEB DESIGNER

by Joelle Steele

If you decide that you can't be or don't want to be your own Webmaster, if only for a part of your website, you will probably need to hire the services of a Web designer. This article is about how to hire and work with a Web designer.

HIRING A WEB DESIGNER

Not all Web designers are created equal. Some know only how to run their design software but don't write well or understand design basics or the ins and outs of online marketing. Websites are very complex ventures that require all of those skills to make them perform well and generate business for you.

Take your time and ask several Web designers exactly what their knowledge and experience are and what services they provide. If they don't make any effort to speak to you in plain English instead of "geek speak," look elsewhere. Once you find a Web designer with whom you can communicate, find out what their turnaround time is for the services you require. Then ask them what they charge and how much you can expect to pay for those services.

Web site design can be costly, so be sure that you are prepared to do your part, especially when it comes to the writing — the first step in creating a website. All your website content should be, at the very least, completed in rough draft form. You should also know what colors you want to use and have a collection of photos or other images, including your logo, that will be incorporated onto your webpages by your Web designer.

WORKING WITH A WEB DESIGNER

Your input is not only valuable, it is absolutely essential to the successful completion of your website. No matter how skilled and knowledgeable your Web designer may be, he or she cannot read your mind and known what you want. Expect them to ask you a lot of questions, and if they don't, be sure that you volunteer all the information you can. Either way, spell it out in an E-mail so that you have a written track record of what you want and an acknowledgement that they have received that information.

You know your business better than anyone else does. The better you can communicate this to your Web designer the faster and more expediently your project will be completed to your full satisfaction. Remember that all creativity is a process in which ideas are gradually developed into a final product, in this case, your website. Be prepared to look at first drafts of the work and to feedback to the Web designer about it, after which he or she will revise and send you a new proof. If you spell out what you want in the first place, this process will be much shorter, less expensive, and the website will be completed sooner and to your complete satisfaction.

Once the work your hire your Web designer to do is complete, keep all their original files in a separate place or burned to a CD in case you accidentally do something that un-does their work. Most Web designers don't keep your files around for more than a year, if even that long. You want to make sure that you have those files if or when you need them in the future.

This article last updated: 09/27/2012.