CreativityEveryone needs a website these days, whether you have an eye for design or not. It’s the latter group, however, that finds themselves in hot water when trying to hire a web designer.

After all, if you have no sense of design, how can you know whether one designer actually has better work than another designer? Sure, you can go off of your gut, but that’s probably not going to be the best option in the long run. Instead, try following these 3 simple rules:

Know What You Want

Did you know there are different kinds of websites with different purposes? There are websites that allow businesses to sell things, websites that are designed for sharing content, websites that are purely informational, and many more. Each type of site serves a different purpose, and therefore, must be designed differently.

It is extremely important to know which type of website you require before hiring a web designer. One designer might show you a huge portfolio of beautiful websites, but if you are trying to design an e-commerce website and that designer doesn’t know anything about payment gateways, then you’re fresh out of luck.

Even if you don’t have an eye for design, you can figure out what your site needs in terms of functionality. After all, no one knows your business and your business plan better than you. Do you plan to share a lot of video content? Then make sure their will be a video gallery that’s easy to navigate.

Do you want to be able to track site visits and content shares? Make sure your designer will input tools like Google Analytics. Do you want to make sure customers can find your brick-and-mortar store easily? Make sure there’s space for an easy to use map system.

Besides the overall type of your website, you’ll want to have specific features in mind as well. Nothing is worse than going to a web designer with no more instruction than “Build me the best website ever!” No one knows what to do with that. Do you want a modern, minimalist feel or a grungy vibe? Power colors or keep it to black and white? These decisions may seem small, but they will help give your designer a jumping off point.

Finally, even if you don’t think you have an eye for design, you shouldn’t step out of the process completely. Schedule regular check ins with your web designer and don’t be afraid to give honest feedback. Try to be productive with your feedback, however, by giving reasons as to why certain things wouldn’t work, instead of simply saying, “I don’t like that.”

One last thing: you probably know more than you think you do. Unless you’re completely starting from scratch, it’s likely that your business has a logo, color scheme, and even specific fonts in place, so definitely share that information with your web designer.

Know How Much You Want To Pay

HowMuchToPayThese days, you could build a website for free, but it’s probably not going to turn out as well as you would like. If you’re still here, you probably have at least admitted to yourself that design isn’t your strong suit. So, sure, you could turn to a free website builder like Wix or Weebly for a cheaper solution, but you get what you pay for.

If you have small website needs, this might be a fine solution. But for more complex websites, website builders don’t have all the capabilities you might need, end up looking cookie-cutter, and might cost you a lot more than you planned, since you have to pay extras for add-ons.

But you’ve probably already decided you want to hire a web designer over using a website builder, which is why you are reading this article, so how much should you pay? That, my friend, is a tricky question.

Any web designer you hire should be proficient in HTML and CSS, but depending on your website, you might need someone with more specialized skills as well. This will up the cost of your website. But in general, you will have to take the following costs into account when setting your website budget:

  • Domain name: $10 per year
  • Hosting: $10 – $100 per year depending on traffic and hosting services
  • Web designer’s hourly rate: depends on the designer

Obviously, the drastic price differences you’ll find on the internet come from the different rates web designers set based on skill and expertise, as well as the time it takes to complete various web design projects. This makes it very hard to predict the price of a website, but if you set a reasonable budget, you should be able to find a web designer who fits it. Just remember, your website is an investment. If you want to include other services, like continued maintenance and online marketing, those features will add to your bill as well.

Consult an Expert

There are lots of people out there who can help you if you are feeling lost when it comes to hiring a web designer. Try consulting friends and colleagues who are involved in the tech sphere or who have built a website recently. They might be able to provide you with some great referrals.

If you can’t get what you need from your own network, you can check out places like DribbbleToptalBehance, or Folyo, all of which implement screening processes for their networks and are thus great ways to find best web designers.