Are you considering hiring a freelance web designer? That’s a really good idea. Delegating the work to someone with expertise is always a good idea. I have heard of many examples of websites that have become expensive in the end because they were built by people who are not well versed in techniques and for best practices.
Hiring a web designer doesn’t mean you can just pay the bill and wait for the work to be done. Unfortunately.
If you want to get the most out of working with a web designer, there are a number of considerations you need to do and a job to be done. Here is my advice on 5 things to do before hiring a web designer.
Brainstorm a plan for your website
Making a plan is one of the most important things to do before hiring a designer. Without a proper plan in mind, you fumble in the blind, and your web designer will have a hard time seeing the image you see when you think of your upcoming website.
Then sit down with a blank piece of paper, your OneNote, Trello or whatever you prefer, and write down your thoughts.
Think about why you want to hire a designer. Here are some questions you can answer for yourself:
- Are you looking for a specific result? (What do your Website do?)
- What values does your brand represent?
- What goal should your website meet? (selling a course, getting visitors to contact you, getting visitors to book a time, and so on)
- What piece of work should the website be able to do for you?
- Who is your ideal target audience?
- What problem do the people in the target group have that you can solve?
- What is your brand’s motto (mission statement / tagline)
- What makes your brand stand out from others – what is your ‘unique selling proposition’?
Decide what goals your website should have.
You should ask yourself these questions and have the answers written down. You also need to consider which pages you need to get created. It is really thrilling to have a whole site designed and realize that you have forgotten a confirmation page for email sign-up or some important landing page.
Draw any a ‘mind map’ and translate it into a ‘site map’ once you’ve got an overview. Not all pages may need a special design, but it’s important to get it all done. Here is a small inspiration list:
- Frontpage (a captivating frontpage, that has most of the information, but shorten down. People need to be able to see what your site is about from the frontpage)
- Product / service pages (If you are selling a service or a product/s)
- Contact Page
- About Us Page
- Blog or News Page
Writing Website Content
Before your web designer starts designing your website, he must have your content. He does this because good design is based on the content and not on the design (although as a designer you could well dream that you could just give it gas with freestyle).
It’s about creating something beautiful, effective and user-friendly based on the actual content – making the content functional. It is hopeless for the designer to create a well-balanced composition based on guesswork and dummy text. Make a list of all the pages your website should consist of. Then write the content to all the pages.
Imagine what the finished product should look like. Divide the texts into web-friendly chunks and remember ‘call-to-actions’ as well as a minimum of 300 words per site for SEO etc. It’s also important to keep in mind that there should preferably be lots of links internally on the site so that you inspire your readers to click through to other pages (it’s also good for SEO (search engine optimization)).
Don’t hesitate to see how others (including competitors) are doing. There is a good reason why many websites are reminiscent of each other and it is ‘convention’. I will not go into that in more detail in this post. I’ve written another content about what makes a website great. Don’t be afraid to do it like everyone else. Your designer should probably make sure that your website gets its own unique expression anyway.
Hire other professionals
Since you have to deliver all your content before hiring a designer, hiring a copywriter can also be a great idea to raise the quality of the texts to a level that sells more and better. The same goes for the website images. It is crucial that portrait, product and mood photos do not look amateurish. Because if they look amateurish, how do you think the visitor perceives the overall impression?
Hire a skilled photographer and get some unique professional photos that are not located on hundreds of thousands of other websites. And make sure the photographer knows that the images should be used for a website. You may also need a graphic designer to create a logo and other illustrations for the website. The images and logo colors are just as important for your designer’s planning of the website’s color palette and expression.
If your web designer does not offer these services himself, he probably has a list of talented partners.
The best way to show your designer what you are looking for is to give inspiration. You go around the web and look at websites. Find websites that you like and pay attention to what you like about them. Is it the mood, a certain function or other. Be as specific as possible.
Pinterest is also an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Try searching for “website design” and see what happens. Make a bulletin board and attach some examples you like. But beware – you’ll definitely find MANY you like and keep your target audience in mind – will they like the look?
Recruit your web designer
Never ignore the importance of this part of the project. Who has not heard of recordkeepers delivering a cheat that costs thousands of dollars to correct? Or about skilled salespeople selling websites in the $ 20,000 class that a skilled freelancer could have made for a fraction of the cost?
Listen to recommendations, look at reference stories, and look for them in the seams. Look at the web designer’s own website and previously performed jobs.
When contacting the designer, observe how the dialogue goes. If he long to respond, and he does not seem thorough in his bidding, there is probably an alarm bell to ring. Yes sorry for pointing out the obvious again. I just didn’t want to mention it.
When you have done a good “homework”, you have a good starting point to get a great website that can work for you 24-10. Really good work!