What to Know Before Hiring a Web Designer
Owner & Head Designer
Posted Feb.16 2021
Hiring a website designer can be intimidating, so I have a quick list of what to know and what to ask.
I also interviewed my friend Heather, a small business owner, to ask her what her experience was hiring a website designer.
Before we jump into our interview, let’s first explore what to know about building a website.
- Commonly, websites built by designers use WordPress. Within WordPress, they either use custom made PHP files or use a website builder. The difference is, one is built from scratch, and one is built using a tool to create the same work faster. It also makes edits easier for both the designer and the customer, so you’re not depending on the designer for small edits. Plus, it costs less! Some web designers who use this traditional method of website building costs anywhere upwards of $5,000, where a site built with a website builder can cost as low as $500.
- Modern websites are built as a ‘launch pad’. They are simpler, straightforward and are meant to grow. They cost less and launch quickly. Once launched, they start to collect user data with Analytics, so if there are any changes, they will be made according to the data (and not with assumptions). Learn more about a launch-pad style website.
- The cost of a website depends on four things: the cost of build, the cost of yearly fees, the cost of maintenance and the cost of upgrades/marketing. Your designer should be able to outline all of these costs for you with transparent pricing. Learn more about the cost of a website.
Now that you know the basis of a website, what should you be asking of your website designer?
- Can you build me a website that I can edit and manage myself?
- Will you make it fast, with analytics and be able to grow as my business grows?
- What is the cost I can expect to pay for the build, the yearly fees, maintenance and upgrades?
- Can you provide me with all of my needs and the essentials of a good website?
Why is it important to ask your website designer these questions and show them your checklist?
Well, you might overpay for a website you regret building. Then, have to re-build with a designer who can give you what you want.
I sat down with Heather to get the story on her experience working with a website designer:
“I met my website designer through the business I was currently working with – he had a great review from them and I felt like it was a good fit. During our meeting I felt a bit left out and didn’t quite understand everything he was explaining to me.. I feel like he had a hard time relating it to me in an easy-to-understand way. After meeting, he provided me with a quote for $5,000, and we agreed it would include the website and a blog page. I really wanted a nice blog page, so I made sure to stress that to him. I also told him I eventually wanted online booking. He said it was no problem, so we went ahead.
As soon as the site was ready to review I immediately had issues with the blog page. It didn’t look or function how I wanted it to. He told me in order to change it, I would have to pay more. Small edits I needed were impossible to do myself and whenever I asked him to make them he would take weeks to get back to me. It was like pulling teeth.
The whole process took about 6 months until the site was ready to launch, and I was still unhappy with the level of work he produced. I had to repeatedly contact him, even telling him I was unhappy with his timeliness and lack of professionalism. In the end, I feel he captured about 3/4 of what I wanted for the website. I believe it was the largest financial mistake I’ve made in 10 years of practice. If it wasn’t for friends and family helping me (who knew how to edit the code), I would have been stuck paying him more and more to make simple edits… which is what I think he wanted.
Thankfully, I have a website and people have even complimented me on it! But, I am currently looking into having a new website built that looks and functions the way I originally wanted.”
In 2021, there is no need for a website to be made this way
This is why I am so passionate about providing a smarter solution to small business owners, but as a business owner you must ask the right questions.
Thank you Heather for sharing your experience!
If you’re still unsure about choosing a website designer, meet with me for a free coffee and I will give you any advice you need.
Meet with me for free
Let’s meet and get you on your way to the website of your dreams