So you have a domain name and hosting all ready to go. You have a great idea for a web site but just don’t know how to design a web site, the first thing about PHP, FTP, CGI, CSS and all the other terms that are being thrown all around the Internet. And you just don’t know where to start.
Well there is hope out there. There are people out there that know how to design web site and are pretty good at their trades. The term that is used to find these people is Web Designer. A web designer is someone who has all the skills needed to get a site up and running from concept to sales. They know how to do all of the tasks needed to get your site designed professionally and rank able by the search engines.
So how do you choose a web designer to design your site work on your site? What criteria do you look for and how do you know that the person you choose will do a good job.
First off is to have a clear picture and vision of your site. One of the main problems I have found when I work with clients or people in general is that they don’t have a clear picture in their head of what they want. They seem to be afraid to speak up and say I want this or I want that. I think they feel that since the web designer knows how to design web sites that they can design something from nothing.
Well that isn’t the case. You need to know what you want. The best way to do this is to go to sites that are in your niche market and take notes of what you like and what you don’t like. Look at the trends that are happening in web design and see if they will fit into your vision. Once you have a clear vision of what you want the next step is to locate a web designer who has the skills and vision to make your site come alive.
The first place to start looking for a web designer is on the Internet itself. What I like to do is when I am looking at sites that I like I look for an email address such as [email protected] at the bottom of the page. If I like that site I will contact the people who made it and see if they can design me a site just like it.
From there I will go to sites like Elance and Odesk to see who is out there doing web design. I will put up a small job request with my information and requirements and see what responses I receive. I will then go and look at the bidders profile and see their feedback, ranking and other criteria. If I have any questions for the bidder I will send them to them and await their response.
This is a good way to test the responsiveness of a potential web designer. If someone takes a week to get back to you then you know they are either too busy or not interested in your assignment. If someone responds back to you quickly it is usually a good sign.
When communicating with a potential web designer throw them some curve balls. Asks them some simple questions and see what you get for a response. You will want to do your research and read up on some terms pertaining to web design. Make sure that you know the answers so that when you get the response from your potential web designer you know if they are knowledgeable or just giving you some canned answers.
Once you feel comfortable with the web designer as a person ask them to send you some samples of past work and three references from past clients. Contact the clients and see what their experience was with the designer. Go to the whois search online and look up those web sites to ensure that you are being given the correct information. Find out the contact information of the domain owner and contact them. You will want to research as much as possible to find the right person for you.
And last of all once everything checks out and you are really happy with the choice you are about to make ask them to do either a mockup of the site how it would look using Photoshop. If they are willing to do this then you can see what their vision of what your site will look like before you hire them. If the mockup of the site looks like you want it then you know that you have found the right designer for you. If the site looks nothing like what you want it to then you know that you dodged a bullet by not hiring the wrong web designer for you.
No matter what you do just make sure that you shop around and ask a lot of questions. See if the designer is willing to work with you on your vision and is willing to use all of their creativity and skill to get the job done. Just make sure that you are clear on you vision since the designer is only going by what you tell them.
Good luck and I hope you find a great designer that you can use for years to come.