Hiring a good web designer can be a difficult task these days. With today’s decimated economy and large selection of site builder software available to the public, more and more people are turning to web design for an additional stream of income. Unfortunately this has become a big problem and most so called “web designers” are not qualified for the task of building your business website. Often times these individuals lack experience, business knowledge, education and artistic talent to create a successful online presence for their customers.
The big problem with this is that the majority of these “Web Designers” have little if any knowledge about web design, business logic, and internet marketing which in turn can really hurt your online marketing efforts and even damage your business identity altogether.
If you are in the market for hiring a web designer, ask them these important questions. And if your prospective web designer is not comfortable with any of these questions, you should look elsewhere.
1. Do You Build Websites Full Time
This is a very important question to ask your potential web designer and can even give you leverage on getting a good price for your next website. Asking this question will also give you an idea if your web designer has any experience or is just trying to make a quick buck. For example if a moonlighting web designer is asking $99 for a website design, yet a professional web design company is offering the same exact websites for the same exact price, you can ask for a substantial discount and probably get it from the moonlighting web designer. Make your point by saying that you would rather hire a professional for the same price. And nine out of ten times they will lower their price just to get your business.
2. Are You Designing My Website Or Using A Free Template
Believe it or not many so called “web designers” are not really web designers at all and their entire business model is based on fooling web design clients into thinking that they are creating a custom designed website for you when they are just giving you a free template that anyone can setup in minutes. This is a very important question to ask and their is nothing wrong with someone using free templates for your site as long as you know what you are getting. Remember there is a big difference in free templates and custom designed websites. So if someone is telling you that they are building your website from scratch, then giving you a free website template, you need to run and never look back.
3. Are You Readily Available By Phone?
Being readily accessible to your client’s is a very important part of running a successful web design company. And in the web design industry an available web designer is worth a lot more than an AWOL web designer.
During my ten year career as a web designer I hear complaints on a regular basis about how web designers skip town on their clients and sometimes with a good chunk of their money. Many times these individuals have too much pride and accept projects that they can not handle. Too often these web designers will just take your money and run. A good way to find out if your web designer is reliable and readily available is to call your potential web designer at different times and days before you hire them to see if they pick up the phone or call you back. If you leave a message and you never get a call back then that’s a red flag.
4. Do You Have A Web Design Portfolio With References?
If you are going to hire a web designer, make sure they have a decent web design portfolio. You want to get a good idea of how good their web design really is. And if they have a web design portfolio ask for references at those places of business. It’s too easy for a web designer to simply add websites and logos of fortune 500 companies to their portfolio and say I DID IT! That’s why it is important for you to get references as well as having a solid portfolio.
What If My Potential Web Designer Doesn’t Have A Portfolio?
You have several choices at this point. Here are my suggestions.
- Run & Hide! If you don’t know what your website designer is capable of you may be in for a disaster or just a really terrible website.
- Command a huge discount off of their asking price! They need to build a portfolio and they can’t get one without getting new clients. Most web designers that lack a portfolio will need to offer a huge discount off of their services.
- They may be hiding something. Like poor design and layout practices, or they might just do a poor job in general.
Don’t take pre-written testimonials as proof of good web design. I’ve seen many despicable practices where a web designer will just write his own testimonials as references without contact information. If your web designer is not going to accommodate your reference requests then you need to look for another web designer.
5. What Is Your Design Process?
This question will help you filter out the scam web designers out from the pros. A professional web designer will methodically explain the web design process and give you a good idea on how they plan to design your website.
Professional web designers offer mockups and revisions to their web site designs. Many web designers will mockup your design using professional graphic design tools like PhotoShop, Illustrator & Fireworks.
If your web designer can’t revise or change the design that they are showing you then they are most likely not designing anything for you and they are simply giving you a free template.
Asking these questions will help you identify a quality web designer that knows how to make your online presence successful and screen out web design scammers and unreliable web designers that care for nothing more than your money.
Looking for a Reliable Web Designer?
Global Web FX Inc. prides itself on being reliable and trustworthy to our web design clients. If you are looking for a good web designer, give us a try or call 805-620-0742 for more information about our web design and internet marketing services.