5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Designer (Besides How Much)

April 16, 2022 / Kevin Abrams

Are you in central Florida and looking to hire an Orlando-based web designer? When hiring a professional for any type of job, there are always things to consider and questions to ask.

A professional web designer can help you with your web design, optimization, and support while you become more effective and efficient. Their services will save you time and resources in the long run, but there are some details you need to figure out before signing any sort of contract.

Here are five questions to ask when hiring a web designer (besides how much their services will cost).

What is your design style?

The first question you should ask a professional web designer is what their design style is. Their portfolio is an accurate indication of what they will be able to offer you. However, when looking to hire a designer, you first must know what the purpose of your site is. If you can’t tell them what you want or need (or keep changing your mind), there is no way you will be able to determine who is the right fit for your project.

Finding a designer with the right design style will depend on what you need: do you need login functionality? Is this an eCommerce site? Are you featuring user-generated content? Do you want to embed videos and other forms of media? The answers to these questions can help you narrow down your options. For example, someone who specializes in eCommerce structure may not be suited to build out a brochure site and vice versa.

Once you determine the purpose of your site, then you can ask to see a designer’s portfolio. This is probably the number one way to gauge what you will get. Great designers will be able to work on projects outside of their expertise but be warned that will increase the risk of getting a site that doesn’t fulfill all your requirements. If you’re interested in working with a certain designer but their portfolio doesn’t highlight any projects similar to yours, feel free to bring an example of what you like to them. Ask if that style is possible. Their answer can help you decide whether you’d like to work with them.

What is your process?

Asking a web designer about their process will help give you an idea of what to expect from them. Here’s an example of a process you should look for:

  • Consultation — This should come before a proposal or a quote. If they can offer that without first hearing exactly what you want, that may mean you will get stuck with a package that doesn’t fit your needs. You should also ask if they will review your preexisting website. If they say no or they don’t need to, that should be a red flag.
  • Contract or agreement — In addition to the legal obligations a contract creates, this step will outline expectations and a general schedule.
  • Mockups
  • Revisions — Make sure to ask in the consultation how many rounds of edits and revisions you will get in each stage.
  • Build-out and final approval
  • Testing and launch — The web designer should test your site across different devices and browsers. They should also conduct functionality testing like contact forms before and after the launch.
  • Continued maintenance and updates — The designer shouldn’t just send an invoice after the launch and be done will your project. Make sure to communicate with them to determine who is responsible for continuous maintenance and how much it will cost.

What is your turnaround time?

Basic designs may only take a few weeks, but that depends on the designer’s experience as well as your responsiveness to mockups and revisions. Obviously, it will take longer to design more complicated websites. You can communicate to your designer what your desired timeline is. However, most professional web designers might try to schedule projects weeks or months in advance. This is why it’s essential to ask about lead time before starting the project, and turnaround time once they start the work. For your own purposes, you can always add time to their estimated timeline to account for delays or other mishaps.

What do you require from me?

More often than not, there will be things the designer will require from you when creating your site. If you don’t ask about this during the consultation, make sure to ask about it earlier in the process rather than later. This will help you manage both your time and expectations.

At the start of this journey, you should be able to provide your designer with examples and ideas of what you want. That’s why it’s so important to first figure out the purpose of your site. It’s okay if you don’t have the full picture, but you have to start somewhere. Bringing inspiration or general ideas—as well as outlining what your priorities are—is the first step in providing the designer with some direction.

As far as content goes, the copy and photos that show up on your website are your responsibility. Most web designers don’t write copy, so you should either include hiring a copywriter into your budget or factor how much time it will take you to do it yourself. Photos are a basic requirement for some websites, but for eCommerce or other portfolio-based sites, they are essential. You will need to deliver high-quality photos to your designer.

Finally, you will need to provide answers and feedback throughout the design process. When you ask a designer about their turnaround time, that is determined by their schedule as well as how long it takes you to respond to their work. The quicker you send back revisions, the smoother the entire design process will be.

What content management system do you use?

A content management system (CMS) is an application that handles building the basic infrastructure of a website. The benefit of using a CMS is users can create a website and manage the content but don’t have to learn to code.

There are thousands of different systems available, all with different features and benefits. WordPress is the most popular CMS platform, with 42 percent of all websites using it. WordPress is accessible to all user levels. The cost is flexible depending on your needs and budget. And support is offered to all user levels and price points.

Even if your web designer prefers a different CMS platform, make sure to ask about software sub-systems—components like various plugins and themes. The designer should be able to tell you why they like and use certain sub-systems. And as an extra measure, they should ask follow-up questions to you to make sure that it’s the most effective choice for your website.

Hiring an Orlando Web Designer

When hiring a web designer, whether in Orlando or another area in central Florida, these are the questions you should be asking and we would love to answer them for you. Finding out the answers to these will help you save time, money, and resources, and get you a well-designed, engaging website.

At Digital Renegades, we understand hiring a web designer is an important task for any business or organization. That’s why we offer valuable services and support when it comes to web design. Contact us today and see how we can help your business grow

Take a look at our portfolio to see how we can help you today!

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Kevin Abrams

Kevin has been involved in digital marketing since the age of 12 - yes - you read that right. He started by stamping promotional labels onto promo CDs for a family friend. After high school graduation Kevin studied information systems and web design and earned a Bachelor’s degree and then his Master’s degree. After working six years at Apple he founded his own company, Digital Renegades, where he brings together a talented group of individuals with one single goal: to bring concierge quality, hassle free web services to small business owners worldwide.

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