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11 Essential Tips for Finding the Best Website Designer + Questions to Ask!

11 Tips for Finding the Best Website Designer

Looking for a website designer? Finding the best one can be tough. Luckily, we’ve compiled 11 tips that will help you find the perfect web designer for your project.

Our Suggestions for Finding the Right Web Designer

1.) Determine your website project’s requirements

Do you need a website or blog only? Or do you want to create an online store? Knowing what you want from your website is the first step when searching for the best website designer for your upcoming project.

Have an idea of how long this project needs to last, any specific features you would like on the site, and anything else that might affect the project. Doing this will help you to find the best person for your specific needs.

White board with a pen and pencil next to it

2.) Define the budget you have for the work

Designers come in all shapes and sizes, including those who work at different price points. If you have a specific budget in mind, it will be easier to find the right person for your needs. Also, it’s important to consider how long the project will last and whether you’ll need to pay for updates or maintenance.

There are a lot of menu items that can make a website expensive, but similar to ordering a pizza, you might not want every item available. We have a wonderful blog post on How Much Will My Website Cost?

3.) Check the portfolio of the designer’s past work

Viewing a portfolio is a good way to determine how good a website designer is. It will give you an idea of what they are capable of and if their style matches your own. It’s important that you like the way their portfolio looks and feels because you’ll be living with the results of their work for a long time.

WebCitz Portfolio of websites

4.) Check if the design style of the designer matches your expectations

A website designer should not only understand how websites function, but should also be able to create a design that suits your brand. It’s important for you and the designer to be on the same page with regards to aesthetics, so it can help if they have experience in designing websites for other businesses just like yours.

It’s also important that you make sure the designer keeps up with the latest design trends. There are a lot of different skills that web designers must master, such as parallax scrolling, flat design, responsive design, and so on.

5.) Seek recommendations from business colleagues

What’s the best way to find out who is best for you? Ask people! Get recommendations from friends, family members, or other businesses in your community. Tell them about yourself and what type of site you’re looking for – then let them do all the work while you enjoy life!

6.) Ask the web designer what their process looks like for development

What are the steps they take when designing a website? You want to know what the design process is like from start to finish. This will ensure that you have a good idea of how long your project might take and if it’s something they are capable of doing.

It’s also a good idea to consider whether you want a structured or unstructured design process. Do you want someone who can give you an organized outline for each step, with strict deadlines and meetings set in stone? Or would a more relaxed approach be better suited for your needs? Whatever style works best for you, make sure that this aligns with their own designing process before hiring them!

7.) Check references if you hear anything concerning

Ask them for references and testimonials, as well. References are a good way to learn more about their professionalism and quality of service. Be sure to ask about the quality of work, how well they communicated during the process, and if there were any hiccups along the way.

WebCitz Customer Reviews

8.) Ask how ongoing support works after the launch of the website

Different designers offer different levels of service. If your website needs to be updated or maintained, then you will want a designer that offers those services. You don’t want a designer that will build you a website, but then suddenly disappear when the initial work is done. That will leave you searching for a new web designer in no time at all. To take it further, we offer website management services to proactively handle platform updates, website backups, and performance monitoring.

Four People all fist bumping at the same time

9.) Price check a few other web designers

Once you find a few designers that seem like they could be a good fit, it’s time to compare. You can do this by doing some research on their past work or coming up with an idea of what your budget is and asking for quotes from each designer. There’s no need to hire the first web designer you speak to!

Person sitting at a table working on a computer

10.) Ask questions before starting the project

What’s the best way to feel confident in who you are hiring? Ask them lots of questions! Is there anything else I need to provide upfront before we get started? Do you have any references that show the quality of service provided by your company? Asking questions cuts to the chase and gives you the important information without any messing around.

If you need some prompts for interviewing web designers, we have a fantastic list of 14 important questions to ask when searching for a web designer!

11.) Think about the type of web designer you want to hire

The type of website designer you choose will depend on your needs and wants. There are many different types, such as freelance designers, in-house designers, or agency websites. But what’s the difference?

The type you choose will depend on your budget and the type of service that best aligns with what you’re looking for! Freelancers are best for small budgets or if you want a more hands-on approach. In-house design teams or agencies may offer more services such as graphic design, marketing plans, SEO/SEM optimization strategies – the list goes on!

It’s hard to definitively tell which one will be more expensive though, as a freelancer with little experience might charge less per hour but take a much longer time, while a group of in-house designers might charge more per hours but get the job done in considerably less time. Adding in other services will inevitably increase the overall price as well, but by allowing professionals to handle your SEO optimization might save your huge amounts of money as time goes on.

Important Questions to Ask When Searching for a Web Designer

Finding a web designer can be tricky. You want someone who is not only skilled and experienced, but reliable as well. Now that you have a strategy of finding one, we’ll go over some essential questions you should ask when hiring a web designer.

1.) How much experience do you have making websites?

A designer’s experience can be invaluable when it comes to designing your website. With only a year or two of industry experience, they may not have the necessary skill-set for creating an effective and engaging user experience.

The number of years a design company has been in business is an important indicator for their expertise. Make sure to look out for designers who have five or more years’ experience, you won’t be disappointed.

Frame grab from a WebCitz video

2.) Do you have a website design portfolio?

A designer’s previous projects can reveal a lot about their skills. If a company has only worked with small, local clients then they likely lack the expertise to work with large corporations or international brands. You also want to check the experience they have in a particular platform. For instance, if you are looking for a WordPress web designer then hopefully they have examples of past WordPress websites.

Make sure to ask what type of websites they’ve designed in the past and if any are similar to yours. A good web design firm will be able to show examples that align with your brand identity.

WebCitz portfolio page

3.) Do you have past clients that I can speak to for a reference?

It goes without saying – references speak volumes about what you should expect from potential web designers. A company’s portfolio may look great, but it doesn’t always tell the whole story.

Talking one-on-one with previous clients can give you a more complete picture of what designing websites is like with them (and if they’re right for you).

WebCitz Google Reviews

4.) What is your process to designing a website?

A good web designer will be able to provide a detailed overview of their design processes. They should have gone through the necessary steps and included them in some form or another, whether it’s on their website, in an email exchange with you, or via phone call.

If they can’t tell you what their design process entails then that could mean they’re not experienced enough to handle large-scale projects like yours.

5.) Will you conduct research on our business before starting?

Web design sounds like a walk in the park, right? Not so much. Creating an effective website requires knowledge of your company for a successful outcome. As such, conducting research is essential. You need the web developer to use the correct fonts, colors, and know what you aim to achieve with the new website.  

Your website visitors act as the foundation to your business. They deserve to be treated as such by you. Therefore, hire a web developer who understands this philosophy, so they can give you a website that’s tailored to the needs of your customers!

6.) How much do you charge per hour of work?

This may seem like an overly simple question – but pricing structures vary significantly from one company to the next so make sure you know what type of budget constraints your potential designer is working within before hiring them!

You want someone who can provide a quality product within the parameters of your allocated budget.

7.) Can you work within my budget?

This is a very important point to consider before engaging in any endeavor. A company’s website should provide you with information about their pricing structure, but there are some companies that will need more detailed inquiries for an accurate quote of services required and what they entail.

I know that it is tempting to go with the first web designer you find because all of their prices seem so similar, but pay attention, as there can be a lot of hidden fees and additional costs.

8.) What is included in your web design service?

Particularly when you’re looking at freelance designers, take note of what’s offered for the price. Is it just designing and coding or do they also offer hosting services? Are there any other hidden costs I should know about down the line?

Some companies will charge extra per hour if their customer requires them to troubleshoot an issue with another company (i.e., WordPress). Talk to your potential designer before hiring them so you don’t get surprised with additional fees later on!

Question marks cut out of paper

9.) Will you develop my website in a responsive design framework?

The days of building separate websites for every type of device are long gone. With responsive web design, a single piece of code creates the layout for any screen size.

Basically, responsive web design (RWD) is an ingenious way to build one website that will work across all devices, whether that’s a mobile phone or desktop.

10.) Are there any limitations to the number of pages you’ll create for me?

The specific website you need will determine how many pages are needed. If you really want the developer to get everything ready for the website launch, then make sure you ask if a terms and conditions, privacy policy, and cookie policy will be provided.

11.) Is it possible to work together remotely?

Many people want to find a good web designer but live outside their service area – which can be especially frustrating if you want to work with them face-to-face.

Make sure the designer can provide a viable solution for your remote business needs before hiring them!

12.) Do you outsource your work to a different web designer?

Outsourcing web design and development is something many agencies do to save time and money. However, this can typically lead to delays due from miscommunication and time-zone differences.

If you want a well-designed website, it’s important to make sure your web designer is working with the best team. When they’re collaborating and sharing information on what needs to be done, everyone involved needs to know exactly where their responsibilities lie. Failure to do this will result in mistakes being made on your website, so watch out for this!

Person pointing at a place on a globe

13.) How many revisions do you offer to the website design layout?

This may not be an important question depending on how much control you have over what’s going into the design of your website. Often, designers will offer unlimited revisions – but note that this does come at an additional cost should they need more time or resources in order to complete those edits (i.e., code adjustments).

This could also lead to higher monthly hosting fees as well so make sure everything is clear and upfront from the start!

Computer sitting on a desk with crumpled paper and a sticky note saying help on it

14.) What is your anticipated timeline for the web design project?

Make sure there are no gaping holes in your schedule before hiring a designer because they may require more time than originally anticipated (especially if it’s their first website). This could lead to them being unavailable at certain times while working on other projects which can make revisions trickier as well.

A good rule of thumb is to always have a backup plan in case your designer becomes unavailable.

15.) How do you prefer to communicate during the project?

Some people want to work closely with the designer, while others prefer a more hands-off approach. Different companies offer different levels of communication – from daily updates and phone calls to monthly milestones and email exchanges.

Whatever your preference is, make sure it’s accommodated before signing an agreement!

16.) What do you need from me before starting my website?

Make sure your web designer has all of the information they need from you before beginning any work. This will help prevent scrambling at the last minute to find necessary assets and passwords, etc.

Think of all the content you have to provide for a new website. You may need to do research, collect pictures and videos from your computer, answer questions about the company’s history and vision and write text descriptions with keywords in mind – it is no small feat! You may also need to schedule times to meet the designer in person as well.

Person staring at a planning wall thinking

17.) Do you handle any basic SEO improvements during the initial design?

If you’re hiring a designer to build your website from scratch, it’s important that they understand the importance of SEO.

You want someone who is familiar with how search engine optimization works and knows what keywords will be best for driving traffic to your site – not just in 2021 but also years into the future.

18.) Will the website be ADA compliant?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was established to make all spaces and websites accessible. Ask your web designer what their accessibility testing process looks like, as well as how they create a smooth user experience for people from different backgrounds.

Roses split screen between full color and black and white

19.) Will the website be secure?

What’s the point of having an expensive website if all of your hard work is going to be compromised because it doesn’t have a proper backup? Not only that, but there are bugs and hackers lurking around every corner waiting for you. They can destroy everything in just mere seconds! As such, ask what the designer will do to keep your website safe.

If your business deals with any of your client’s health information, you may want to ask your developer if they can work with HIPAA Compliant Web Design practices.

20.) Do you offer other website services?

Web designers wear many hats. While mainly offering site design, some also do logo creation and social media graphics to make their clients shine.

Some developers even know how to write copy or manage SEO campaigns, so you want to see how else this person can help your business grow. Maybe they can offer you a complete marketing package for a cheaper price.

21.) What makes you or your web design agency unique in the industry?

Just because someone says they’re experienced enough to handle large web projects like yours doesn’t mean that they are actually able to do so!

Make sure to ask about previous experience with companies similar to yours and how long those engagements lasted (as well as what they were like).

22.) Do you plan to start with a template or develop a custom website for my project?

When you’re looking for a web designer, it’s important to know what type of work they’ll provide. Do they offer templates which can be used over and over again? Or do they only design custom websites from scratch?

Different people will have different needs – so make sure that the company provides a package that suits your business best!

Wireframe drawn on a notebook

23.) What types of payment methods do you accept?

It’s important to find out what types of payments your web designer accepts before hiring them.

If they only accept certain forms of payment, such as wire transfers or other non-traditional methods that you don’t want to do – then it might not be the right fit for you!

Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Website Designer

Finding the best website designer can be a long process. That’s why it’s good to know what you want before you get started! Ask your friends, family members, or other businesses in your community for recommendations.

You should also ask questions about their design style, past work examples they’ve done, quality of service provided by them, and more before hiring them for your project.

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or on any web sites linked to from this page. This blog article was written by Timothy A in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect the opinion(s) of WebCitz, LLC.