So you’re looking into working with a designer to bring your brand to life. DIYing is always an option but you know it’s time to outsource. While designers may assist there are a few essential steps you must take before you even contact a web designer to make sure things run smoothly and your vision is brought to life.
As your designer is searching for potential clients, you should also be conducting your own research. Beginning a business can be a scary time so you have to hire someone you trust with your vision.
Many of my clients are referrals through people I’ve worked with previously. I find it easier when there is a mutual contact to speak on both party’s behalf. This isn’t always the case, but it’s worked well for me so far. Do your research to also find out what the rate for web design work is in your area before you speak with potential designers. You’ll know if prices are set at the average for the area or slightly higher.
Know your budget
Preparation is key and building a website cost more than most think. From what I’ve seen most website designers charge $1,500 USD minimum to build a fully functional site. However based on the client’s needs, the price can fluctuate depending on the scope of work.
This includes the amount of content, number of pages, etc.. This is why we request your range so that we know what level of service to offer. Before I can provide the client with a price, I need to know what their needs are. As I mentioned before the best resource is research. Google local website designers in your area and gauge their rates. However, don’t forget that this can and will fluctuate depending on your site’s needs.
Define what matters to you
Most importantly before engaging a designer at all, you need to map out your site goals and priorities. Have you defined your purpose? Are you looking to sell products or services?
These are the questions you should be asking yourself and defining within your content. All of these will cause the project to either increase or decrease, so it’s important to let the designer know from the beginning.
Have your content ready
I cannot stress this enough: web designers are not copywriters, social media managers or any other role than the designated web designer. You may not have a designer who is multidisciplinary like me with these skills so its best you have this work completed beforehand. It is your job to determine what the content is so that we [web designers] can make it functional and pleasing to you.
I hear you a new website can be ‘overwhelming’. I know you have enough things on your plate already, but in order to be efficient with your project and the designer’s time, you have to have your content ready.
Some designers will work with you even without your site text and photos compiled, and will use ‘lorem impsum’ and stock images as holders. I’ve had experience designing sites both way and I strongly recommend this be provided beforehand.
I’ve found that for clients, it’s hard to provide feedback on a website when its full of content that isn’t their own. Additionally, when placeholder text and photos are used and the site is done, you would have to swap out all the content. Keep in mind that adding pages, changing the format, or making any significant design changes to your website will take additional design work.
When you have your content ready your designer will also able to give more advice to you on how to optimize your content, headings, navigation items, Calls To Action, etc. This method works so well for me that I now will only work with a client once their content is prepared – a lot of designers are this way. I hope this helps you better understand how the client-designer relationship works.