Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Who you pick to help you along the way and build your site for you will make all the difference to both the end product, and how much you enjoy the site build process.
So today I'm here to help get you all educated to ensure you're set to pick out the right designer who will get you website-launching and having a blast along the way!
I have 5 questions you should ask your potential designer, as well as 2 red flags to look out for:
1. ASK YOUR DESIGNER ABOUT THEIR SITE BUILD PROCESS
The answer your potential designer gives to this question is a dead giveaway if you've landed on a newbie designer or a long-time pro. Designers who have been at it for a while will know their web design process like the back of their hand and will recite it perfectly from memory. After all, they've gone through it a zillion times both telling potential clients about it and completing work through that process.
3. ASK YOUR DESIGNER IF THEY HAVE PAST CLIENTS YOU CAN SPEAK WITH
Testimonials and reviews are generally pretty reliable, but if you really want to know that your potential designer is legit, feel free to ask to speak with a past client. If they don't have anyone to put you in touch with or the person they do put you in touch with doesn't give all that fabulous of an impression of their project, don't wait a moment and instead move right along to your next designer prospect.
4. ASK ABOUT MAINTENANCE AFTER THE DESIGN IS COMPLETE
There's no right or wrong answer here, different studio's do things differently, and different clients have different preferences. If you're someone who really wants to have ownership over their site and wants to update/edit things like right now, go for a web design platform that's easy to update and maintain over time yourself, as well as a studio that has an educational component as part of their web design package.
If you'd rather shoot off an email with edits/updates and wait a few days to have them polished up by someone else (and you have the budget to pay for that every time you need a site edit), then go for a studio that offers long-term maintenance packages.
5. ASK HOW MANY REVISIONS/ROUND OF EDITS ARE INCLUDED
What happens if the first draft version of your site comes back and you're not completely in love? You can request edits/revisions. The normal number of revision rounds is 2, sometimes 3.
After that, if you still want more, you'll generally pay hourly for the additional edits you'd like, until they're complete. So be sure to also ask what your designer's hourly rate is too. Hourly rates for designers range from $50 - $150/hr.
6. ASK IF YOU WILL RECEIVE THE ORIGINAL FILES
Often times your web designer will use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to make custom graphics for your site that aren't possible to be made in your website building platform. You absolutely want to have these files, both the completed ones and the original Illustrator or Photoshop file. It will make your life all the easier in the long run when you want to change something.
Even if you don't know how to use Illustrator or Photoshop, still get the file in case your designer goes on vacay, takes up another job or heaven forbid the worst happens. (I've spoken to someone the other week who's designer passed away.) Basically, you just want to have the file so you can give it to someone else to edit if need be to be safe.
If you get a 'no' on this question, move along to another designer prospect.
2 red flags you should keep an eye out for
If you notice any of these, RUN in the other direction!
1. THEY DON'T ASK YOU TO SIGN A CONTRACT
Contracts protect both you and your designer, so you for sure want to have one!
A contract between you and your designer should spell out what you'll be paying, when you'll be paying it, who owns what licenses, what the deliverables are, etc.
As you can imagine, this can help you out equally as much as it does your designer. If you were promised 2 rounds of revisions, and only got 1, you can have your contract to refer back to.
Pro tip: Sometimes for smaller bits of work for say a couple of tweaks for a few hundred, designers won't have you sign a contract just because it's not worth the effort. If you're putting down quite a thousand or more to work with them, however, a contract should absolutely be expected.
2. THEY HAVE NO TESTIMONIALS OR REVIEWS
Not one person has said something good about your potential new designer? Not a good sign. Or, someone named Joe, who has no website link or photo or last name said something good? Also not a good sign.
Check out to see both that they have testimonials and reviews and then also take a little gut check to see if they feel legit.
Are you ready to hire a designer who will get your website-launching and having a blast along the way? Oh perfect, We'd love to help with that! You can find all the details on how we can work together building or tweaking your site right over here.