What to Look for in a Web Designer and Six Red Flags to Avoid
While Squarespace makes it easy to get your site up and running, there comes a point in your business where you need a professional touch and an expert desginer’s hand (and eyes!).
Finding the right designer is a lot like marriage -- find the wrong one and you'll be pulling your hair out and fleeing for the nearest exit. Find the right designer and you'll be in seventh heaven -- constantly coming back for more. In this post, learn what to look out for when you set out to hire a web designer and 6 red flags you want to watch out for.
Does the designer aesthetic match your own?
If you like bold, cutting-edge design, choose a designer that has bold and cutting-edge examples in their portfolio.
They are already familiar with the style and will be able to translate it well — a designer working with minimal or elegant websites might take a bit longer
What type of files will you receive?
This refers to logos (make sure they are in .AI or .SVG or PDF), brand collaterals such as business cards, brochures, (again, you want .AI, PDF of INDD), graphics (PSD or JPG), images for your website (JPG preferred unless transparent) etc
Are revisions included?
This includes getting the answers to questions such as How many revisions are you entitled to? Who can you turn to if you need website changes later on? How are additional revisions billed -- hourly or by revision?
Where can you go for support?
In a similar fashion, what happens if you run into problems with your site? Will the designer provide basic troubleshooting or do you need to go somewhere else?
Does the designer explain their process and has a contract for you to sign?
I've already mentioned the importance of the contract in my previous post, but let me stress this again -- the contract is there to protect both you and me, the designer. Without a contract, we're just one big lawsuit waiting to happen. Spare yourself and the designer the headache and let's get that puppy signed.
Signs of other happy customers (testimonials, logos, etc)
When you can see that others have been happy with this particular designer, chances are your project will be in good hands.
At the same time, watch out for the following warning signs.
Vague answers - chances are the designer doesn’t have a clear process in place which means you run the risk of your project being delivered late, certain tasks aren’t accomplished, and the designer is winging it most of the time
No timeline or clear deadline, no cancellation policy - if there are no timelines or clear deadlines, you might see pigs flying before you actually have your site. No cancellation policy? Even worse - that means you run the risk of losing money and time
No contract no terms and conditions - a contract is not meant to intimidate you or take advantage of you — on the contrary, it’s meant to protect both you and the designer. No contract, no terms and conditions - no protection which means we’re lawsuit waiting to happen.
No boundaries — allow for scope creep. If a designer doesn’t set boundaries and you can keep adding revisions, tweaks, and more it’s easy for a project to get out of hand. This means more expenses for you, more time being spent on the project, and the designer not having enough respect for themselves. Do you really want to work with someone like that?
The wrong vibe - if anything is giving you the wrong vibe - be it the color of their website, the tone of their “voice” the smile on their photo - you are entitled to go someplace else. If it rubs you the wrong way, trust your gut and find a designer that you feel a connection to
The website looks poor and outdated - while designers are often guilty of not having the time to update their portfolio and website, their website shouldn’t look like an old and dusty sweater your aunt Susan gave you 20 years ago with moths flying out of every thread.
And there you have it. The next time you set out to hire a web designer keep in mind the tips in this article and you'll be able to find a designer that's a perfect match for you.
P.S. If you’re thinking about re-designing your website, I’d be happy to help. Book your free discovery call and let’s get you a website you love!