Here are some things BULL ON CLICKS suggest you ask when hiring a website designer:
1. Pay attention to how much they ask you about YOUR BUSINESS. They should want to get to know you, your business, and understand your needs.
2. Do they have a structured, systematic planning process that leads you through the design phase.
3. Ask the designer for their fees and what is the estimated cost for the site you want. They may not be able to give you a good estimate until you discuss content and features of the site. Expect to pay between $60 – $125 an hour, depending on their skill.
4. Ask how will they bill you? Will they invoice you? Do you have to pay the total cost up front? Do you have to make a deposit?
5. Pay attention to whether they’ll try to stick within your budget, or whether they keep suggesting new add-ons that increase the cost of your site.
6. You want someone who has good project management skills AND good communication skills. They have to listen to you, not just give advice. And they have to get back to you in a timely manner with phone calls and emails.
7. Ask them whether they will maintain your site after the initial design, and how much they’ll charge for that. Some designers want to create new sites but don’t want to maintain them. Someone like a virtual assistant (VA) may be able to maintain your site for a lower hourly fee, as long as the VA is skilled in website programming.
8. If you’re going to maintain the site yourself, ask them if they’ll design your site so that it’s easily maintained.
9. Do you LIKE the designer? Do you believe they’ll act ethically? Do you enjoy speaking and working with them? Do they stay focused to the task at hand, or do they ramble and waste your time? Do you feel you “click” with their personality and values? Do they offer you invaluable insight and advice about your site design?
10. Tell prospective website designer what your deadline is and ask if they can meet it. Many good website designers are already booked for the next 4-6 weeks, so you may have to wait for the designer of your choice. If you don’t have a specific deadline, brainstorm with the designer to create a good working deadline that you can both meet, since you’ll be doing the job of submitting web content.