If you don’t have the time to spend researching web hosts, designing a site, and testing the usability, you’re right: Hiring a web designer is the right choice. Web designers are in demand due to their skills and experience, and they’ll save you a ton of frustration.
You also won’t have to spend the time and money hiring and onboarding a full-time employee who knows web design. You can outsource your project to a professional who will deliver your vision with efficiency.
In Australia, web developers have grown in demand by 55% over ten years. To your luck, 69% of web designers work out of New South Wales or Victoria areas. Sydney website developers, therefore, are numerous and ready for your project.
But how do you find the right web designer for your project? You’ll have to know your project well and research candidates to make sure they offer the right services for the right price. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make the correct decision.
Know Your Project
Before you start looking around for a web designer, do you know exactly what your project is? When you talk to web designer candidates, they’re going to need to know a lot of details to give you an accurate quote and know if they’re the right hire for you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you begin.
What Is Your Vision?
Knowing your vision is one of the most important parts of beginning your project. You’ll have to have a clear idea of exactly what your website is for and what visitors should take away from their visit. You’ll also need to know exactly what actions you want your visitors to take when they’re on your site.
To build your vision properly, ask yourself these questions:
- How complex do I want my website?
- What exact products or services do I offer?
- Are there any digital products that I need to include?
- What information do I need to provide to visitors to my site?
- What is my target audience?
- How do I want to drive traffic to my website?
- What is my brand identity?
- What exact actions do I want visitors to take on my site?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to provide a well-rounded idea of your website to a web designer. They will be able to help you figure out how many pages your website needs and how it should be set up. They’ll also understand your brand identity and products so they can best represent your business in the design.
What Special Skills Do You Require?
Do you have any special aspects of your website that will require specialised skills? Is it important to you to not only have a beautiful design but a website that is full of strategic copy? Do you want someone passionate about how your website can fit into other marketing and sales strategies?
Not all web designers come with the same skills. In fact, most web designers have different backgrounds that inform how they design your website. Some web designers might be more passionate about art while others are more passionate about marketing.
It’s important to know that you should hire a web designer with eCommerce experience if you need a website to sell your products and services. Adding eCommerce capabilities requires special skills and knowledge of the policies surrounding online transactions.
If you know that your business will require a robust SEO strategy because you’re not a well-known brand name yet, think hard about your hire. You will want someone with extensive experience in SEO strategy, not just someone who incorporates it only if you ask for it.
If you want to prioritise using effective sales funnels and copy that connect with your audience, having a web designer with excellent copywriting skills and a background in sales is a great choice.
If you want to use a specific host or type of coding, make sure you pay attention to the experience your web designer candidates have with those hosts or coding specialties.
What Is Your Budget?
Now that you have your wishlist, it’s time to think about your budget. Prioritising your wish list according to required elements and elements you don’t need will help you keep your project affordable.
Website design projects can cost quite a bit, and designers will charge according to their location, experience, and the complexity of your project. Here is a guide for the average cost of different website designs:
- Simple websites with 7-10 pages cost about $2,500 to $5,000
- Complex websites with 7-10 pages cost about $4,500 to $8,500
- eCommerce websites cost about $8,500 to $20,000+
If you have a simple business that drives in customers mainly with word-of-mouth, then you may not need a complex website. Instead, your web designer can use templates and add basic information. This is especially true if you wish to only sell your products in person and don’t require eCommerce capabilities.
If you have a business that wants to have a more complex website, like one with unique pages, great branding, and mobile browsing ability, then you’ll pay more for your site.
If you’d like to have a website where customers can buy from your online store, you’ll be paying much more. The price will depend on the number of products you sell and what platform you’d like to use. Using eCommerce platforms like Magneto or Shopify can cost more.
What Is Your Timeline?
Finally, you’ll need to have a good idea of your timeline. When you’re hiring a web designer, they’ll be able to give you an idea of how long it will take to build your website. If they have other projects due before yours, they might have to give you a deadline that is further out.
How critical is it that you get your website delivered to you as soon as possible? Do you already have a website that is functioning and can suffice while you’re building a new website?
If you decide to hire an in-demand web designer, you’ll have to be okay will waiting longer for your site. You’ll have to also understand that the more complex your project, the longer it will take to finish.
While your designer is working on your project, they will also require frequent communication with you to keep the project moving. They may have requirements for you approving the design at several stages or responding to their questions when problems arise. Not being available to communicate readily can cause the project to take longer.
On average, web design projects take about 14 weeks but can be shorter or longer due to complexity and the demand for the designer.
Research Web Designers
Once you understand your project vision, you can begin searching for the right candidate. Hiring a web designer will be much easier now that you know exactly what you need and want.
Do not take a web designer’s word for it, either. Browse their online profiles and website and look for reviews from past clients. As you assess each candidate, pay attention to these points.
Portfolio of Experience
When choosing a web developer, a great way to find the right hire is to check out their portfolio. Web designers almost always have an online gallery to show off their previous projects to potential clients. These portfolios help you see their style and flexibility as well as their experience level.
You may also be able to visit these past projects personally and click around. Check to make sure you like the design and the usability. Does the business have sufficient information listed? Is the information on the business easy to find?
Does the website have social media feeds and links to other resources readily available? Make sure all the pages work properly and make sense. These points are the basics of having a functioning and intuitive website.
If you are looking for a designer who can deliver what you need, try to find a past project of theirs that is similar. Not only will you be able to make sure they can perform the job well, but you will also be able to make sure they truly have the skills required for your project.
Remember that it’s not always as important that the designer has worked on big-name sites, but that they deliver every website as a well-designed and polished product.
Organisation and Communication
Just like with hiring any other partner, you’ll want to make sure you’ll work well together. A great web designer will have a process they’ve nailed down over their experience with past clients. You’ll know they are organised and experienced if you notice these things:
- They are very certain of their workflow and timeline
- They have a system in place for solving problems
- They offer a professional business proposal and contract
- They respond to queries promptly
- They can confidently offer an accurate quote and work with you to stay within budget
- They can effortlessly explain common and specialised web design processes to you so you understand your project well
Not every detail can be narrowed down completely and not every problem can be foreseen, but an organised web designer will instill confidence with their work ethic and set processes.
They’ll also have great communication skills and a system to keep you informed on your project. Web designers should be able to keep you up to date on the status of your project and communicate any issues with you promptly. Since a web design project is a fairly long-term one, you must stay in contact regularly.
Better Be Tech Savvy
On your hunt for the best web designer, you might not be thinking you have to make sure each candidate actually knows about technology. Unfortunately, there are designers out there are have not put effort into knowing the latest advancements.
Web designers should be very concerned with knowing the latest tech innovations such as responsive websites and content management systems. They should understand eCommerce well, especially if you need an eCommerce website.
If any web designer tries to tell you that they are going to offer a static HTML website, or that they will design a separate website for mobile use, just move on. Your website should be able to change dimensions and usability based on what device your visitor is using.
If a web designer doesn’t want to use a content management system, it means that you will be directly dependent on them for every single detail you’ll ever want to change. Having a content management system means being able to personally make tweaks to your website in the future.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure your web designer understands user experience beyond just creating something aesthetically pleasing. It’s possible to make a beautiful landing page without effectively engaging visitors, helping them find what they need, and leading them towards sales.
Ask Them How They Can Fit Your Needs
We touched on this a bit already, but it’s worth revisiting. A web designer shouldn’t just be able to layout their experience and past projects, but be able to work with you on your unique project. A great way to gauge your partnership with them and see if they’re the right fit is to let them sell themselves.
It’s possible that this designer delivered great websites but did not listen to the client’s needs at all. They may have built what they thought was good but made their clients unhappy. A web designer’s job is to turn your vision into reality, not theirs.
An experienced and professional web designer will be able to listen to your vision and offer you a plan. They should be able to hear your budget and offer options that will be affordable to you, within reason. They should also be able to understand your timeline and explain how they can work with it if possible.
Make sure the web designer can collaborate with you effectively. If not, they just aren’t the right hire for you.
Start Your Web Design Project
Confident in your ability to now properly vet web designers, you can move forward with your project. Keep your vision, budget, and timeline in mind while you research and interview candidates. Remember that collaboration and mutual trust are key.
If you’re ready to get started, EB Pearls is exciting to speak with you about your web design project. Contact us to collaborate and get a quote!