When the time comes to refresh the contents and the look of your website, finding the best freelance website designer will prove to be a daunting task. There are a lot of great specialists out there which is why it is extremely important to invest a good amount of time into research before many any kind of commitment. It may take a bit of effort to find the right one but if research is done properly, the money will be well spent and the end result will at least meet expectations.
The selection criteria for a freelance website designer is split into several key points such as budget, reviewing portfolios, technical knowledge and the tone of the communication. All of these aspects are important and should be taken very seriously. Here are the key aspects to take into account:
- Setting a Budget
- Checking References
- Verifying Portfolios
- Technical Skills
- Additional Services (SEO and Copywriting)
- Asking for Quote
- Payment Terms
- Estimated Delivery Time
- Establishing the Details of the Project
- Setting a Budget
Before anything, it is important to set a budget. Website design can be expensive but there are solutions for every budget. Once a budget is set it is important to scout the market and set some realistic expectations. Basically, based on the budget, expectations should be set in such a way that it is clear what is affordable and what not. A very complex project might require a large budget. Usually, freelance web designers can take on less complex projects. The more complex the project the more time it will take to get it completed and the more it will cost. Setting a budget is important and so is having realistic expectations.
- Looking at Portfolios Can Be Fun
With a budget set, it is now time to have a look at several freelance web designer profiles and check their portfolios. Usually, a freelance website designer will have his portfolio publicly available to make it easier for potential clients to get an idea of what experience he has even before contacting him. Browsing portfolios also help understand the technical capabilities of the web designer and what kind of visual style he adopts. Looks are important and portfolios can be quite relevant.
- Contact and Communication
Once a freelance web designer has been shortlisted, it is time to contact them and offer a brief description of the project as well as to ask for a quote. The conversation should also focus on what technology should be used, the technical capabilities of the freelancer and how long he estimates that it will take to complete the project. The language and the entire conversation should be able to dictate how skilled the freelancer is. A good question would be to ask also what additional services he offers or includes for the project. To check his credibility, asking for credentials is also a common and recommended practice. Testimonials are usually offered but they do not have such solid credibility since they can be doctored.
- What About Marketing?
Website design may also include SEO services. Most freelancers have the right knowledge and skills to offer SEO. It is recommended to ask for such packages because a new website has no value if it has no visitors.
SEO can be achieved in several ways and may cost a bit extra. Paying for ads and campaigns will increase the budget but if that will prove to be a problem, SEO services are not mandatory. The main focus is to get the website built and running.
- Content Is Still King
A website has no value without content. The web designer may not also have copywriting skills but they can help. Usually, web designers work closely with their customers and need to understand their needs and expectations, as well as their business and goals. In this entire process, surely they have interacted with copywriters. They can actually recommend copywriters whom they deemed skilled enough for the project.
- Pricing and Payment Terms
Once everything is cleared, the details of the project are set and the web designer confirms his availability, it is time to talk about money. The web designer should be able to provide a quote that includes all the services and estimated delivery time for the project. It is possible to negotiate the price as freelancers are a bit more flexible when it comes to discussing projects with potential customers.
The payment terms should also be a discussion topic. If the freelancer asks for all money up front, that should raise a flag. The payment should be split and scheduled based on the progress of the project. If all is well, the freelancer should have no issue with split payments. A common practice is to offer 50% upfront to cover initial costs and third-party services that may be required and the rest once the project is completed.
- Let The Freelancer Earn Your Trust
It is important to have an open mind and even accept maybe some criticism or suggestions for the project. A good freelancer will be able to spot things that might not work in a given project and propose changes and improvements. If they are good at what they do, they will be able to convince you to follow their lead. For this reason, communication is vital.
- Kicking Things Off
Before signing any deal with a freelance website designer, it is considered wise to communicate with a handful of them and get a vibe for who might be up for the task. Out of all the selection criteria, communication is the most important one. Being understood is vital and if one freelancer might manifest his interest. But gives the vibe that he may not be on the same page as you, another one could prove to be the perfect person to work with.
Taking your time when selecting the person for the project is mandatory. A lot of customers make the big mistake of being impatient and getting the sensation that their requirements are not understood properly. Even if a freelancer may have the skills required, if it is not clear what is expected from him, the project will lead to a failure that will cost time and money. There are enough high-quality experts available and when looking for a freelance website designer, rushing things may not be the wisest decision.