Looking to Hire a Web Designer? Here’s 6 Questions You Should Be Asking.

Key questions to ask when evaluating web designers for your next project

Job Interview
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Hiring a web designer can be a challenging task, especially if you have never done so before. Knowing what to look for in a web designer, and what questions to ask the candidates you are considering, can be the difference between finding the perfect fit for your project or struggling to make it work with the wrong provider. Let’s take a look at 6 of the most important questions you should be asking when hiring a web designer.

What kind of experience do you have?

Experience is important, but not in the way that you may think. Many companies look for web designers who have significant experience working on projects exactly like their own. While there is value in having engaged in projects in your industry, the reality is that any web designer or agency worth hiring will be able to acquire the necessary industry knowledge should you decide to work with them.

When hiring a web design team, look for a variety of experiences and for companies that have worked to solve very different challenges. Many people only look for companies who specialize in their industry or type of site, but hiring a web designer who only focused on your type of project actually limits you in many ways. Varied experience can often be more beneficial to your company than someone who is singularly focused on only one thing, even if that one thing applies to your project.

Ask about a web designer’s experience, not so you can find a specific focus on your type of company or website, but so you can get an understanding for the breadth of work they have done.

Can I see your portfolio?

Asking about experience is a great first step, but you also want to actually review the work that they have done.

By looking over some of their past projects, you can get a sense for their design capabilities and you can ensure that web design best practices, like responsive web design or optimized performance, are a part of that portfolio and present in their skill sets.

When looking at a portfolio, it is helpful to have the web designer you are considering point out a few key projects and ask them to talk about that engagement. This will allow you to learn about what challenges they faced and how they met them.

In addition to the specific sites that a designer may present, you will also want to peruse the portfolio on your own to see some of the work they did not specifically call out in their presentation. A portfolio of companies that this designer has worked with is also a great way for you to get some phone numbers to call to get some actual references for that provider.

What do you charge?

Pricing should not be the #1 consideration you have when hiring a web designer, but anyone that says price is not a factor is lying. The cost of an engagement matters, so it is helpful to know up front what a designer charges. While they may not be able to give you a firm price for your particular project, it is helpful to know what their hourly rate is and also what some of their past projects cost.

When looking through their portfolio with them, ask about pricing on those projects. They may only be able to give you a general range of numbers due to client confidentiality concerns, but even ballpark pricing can help you determine if a provider is within your budgetary range or not.

What are your ongoing support options?

The relationship between a company and a web designer does not end once the new website has launched. Successful websites are often the result of positive long term relationships between a web professional and their client. It is important to know up front what kind of ongoing support is offered so you can plan for future needs and a long, fruitful relationship.

What does your availability look like?

Good web designers are often booked up for a period of time and they may not be able to begin working on your project immediately.

It is helpful to know what that designer’s schedule looks like, especially if your project is time sensitive and if it needs to be completed by a specific date.

When asking about availability, also try to get a sense for the timeline of your project. Those two items will help you determine if your hopeful “go live” date is realistic or not.

Can I meet the team that I would be working with?

If you are considering working with a web agency, you may be meeting with a salesperson as your first point of contact. There is nothing wrong with that, but you will also want to meet with the designers and development team that you will be working with before you commit to a company. Having a good rapport with a sales professional is one thing, but ensuring that you will work well with the team who will be creating your new site is important to the success of your project and you should be able to meet these professionals during the pre-sales process.

In Closing

Hiring a web designer for your next project is an important decision. By asking the right questions, you do your part to ensure that you select the right team to make your project a success.

Edited by Jeremy Girard on 1/6/17