How do you know if hiring a web designer is for you? What questions do you ask your potential hire? There’s a lot that goes into your brand and changing things up for your readers, so make sure you’re doing your homework. Here are some tips and top questions to ask the designer (and yourself!) before you begin the design process.
1. Do You Actually Need A Redesign?
Sometimes bloggers think a redesign is a fix-all for everything. Pageviews are down? Comments are low? Feeling like your brand is in a slump? All of those issues may have nothing to do with your design layout at all. At the end of the day, your content should be what is bringing back readers consistently, not what your site looks like. The layout should be what makes their experience with your content go from good to great, not the reason they come in the first place. So before you pay someone thousands of dollars to do a custom design for you (or pay a couple hundred for a pre-made template), make sure it’s what your brand actually needs. Perhaps you are having issues with your site because your content isn’t resonating with your readers, and it has nothing to do with your site design. Just really dive into your site and even try doing a reader survey to see what they like/don’t like. It’s a great way to see where you’re at with your brand.
2. Do Your Homework On The Designer
It is SO important to do your homework on the person before you hire them. Check out their previous work, and email those bloggers and ask what their experience was like. See if your web designer is just a designer, or if they do actual coding for it as well, since many outsource that work. There’s no right or wrong way, but it’s important to know how the person you hire works. You’re putting your entire business/brand into another persons hands – you need to make sure they’re credible. If you have a funny feeling about someone, trust your gut.
3. Know Your Budget
Custom website redesign can be very expensive! So make sure, going back to the first tip in this list, that you really need a redesign. Add-on’s and customizations can pile up quick when you’re in the design process, so make sure you set up a (realistic) budget for what you want to spend on your site be sure that is communicated well with your web designer.
4. Ask The RIGHT Questions Before Signing Your Contract
There are simple things you need to know BEFORE you sign on the dotted line with your designer. What is their standard response time to clients? How long does their design process take? What is their timeline? Do they offer post-launch services to fix any issues on your site? How do they want to get paid? These are things that need to be clearly stated, and a great designer will have a contract that specifically lists all of these topics out for you so there’s no confusion.
5. Stay As Involved With The Design Process As Possible
Hiring a web designer means you’re essentially “handing over” the back end of your blog to another person. You want to make sure you know what’s going on. When they ask you questions about what you want in a design for your site, give specific examples by showing them sites where you like/don’t love their work. You want your site, while it may be put together by another person, to represent you. It should be a collaborative effort of your thoughts and ideas and the designer who can realistically state what would work and not work for your blog. Being involved is the best part of the redesign process! This is what lets you put your stamp on things and make them your own. And don’t be afraid to say NO to things if you don’t like what they did. Make sure your vision is realistically executed correctly.