How to Hire a Website Designer And Not Get Burned

     

     

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    You’re finally ready to take the big step: It’s time to get a website for your small business, or to get a major refresh of your old site.

    And so… now what?

    Let’s assume you’ve already tackled the first problem: You know you need this thing built for you. You don’t have time to become a self-taught website designer. Neither do most of your peers. 54% of small businesses outsource website and graphic design, according to the WASP Barcode 2016 State of Small Business Report.

    But that’s just the first of many issues. For instance, what do you want to have done? How much will it cost? Where will you find this designer? How will you tell if they’re good or not?

    They’re all really good questions. Here’s how to answer them:

    What do you want to have done?

    Knowing the scope of the work helps you figure out what a realistic budget should be. It’s also critical for choosing which website designer to hire. For instance, if you’re a very small local business (aka a “micro business”), you may only need a six-page website. These basic pages might be enough:

    • Homepage
    • About us
    • Contact us
    • Our services / pricing
    • Testimonials page
    • One landing page or events page

That’s one lean website, but if you’re just starting out and you don’t have a big budget, it’s a great first step.

Or maybe you already have a basic site like that, but it’s old and not mobile-friendly. Say you want to add a simple blog, a couple more product pages, and give the whole thing a new look.

Whatever you want for your business website, write it down. Think about it for a bit. Ask your employees or your peers what they think about your site. Or even better – ask a few of your customers what they think of your website.

From all that input, write a short list of must-do, must-have things. Be really specific about what you want done. Write it all down. You’re basically writing out what you want the designer to do.

Caption: It’s okay to “steal” elements you like from other websites for your own site.

Find sites you really like

Want to assure your success even more? Spend an hour or two looking through websites that are similar to yours or in a complementary niche.

Make detailed notes about what you like about these sites. See a contact page you love? A typeface you want to use? Make a note of it and capture the link.

You’ll be capturing concrete, actionable information for your designer as you do this. It’ll cut down the time it takes to create your site, and thus reduce your costs by a lot.  It’s also one of the best ways to ensure you end up with a site you’ll really like.

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