You know your business needs a quality website that not only looks great but gets your business the results you need. After days of research, you’re ready to hire a designer and get that website of your dreams, well, out of the dreams. But now what?
Unlike buying a car where you can compare the features against the cost almost effortlessly, hiring a website designer is far more tricky. Or at least hiring the right designer is.
Before you even think about blasting emails to designers inquiring about their services, you need to lay the groundwork first to ensure success for your website design project.
1. Create a Scope of Work
The first thing you should do is to create a scope of work for your website design project. This includes things you’ll need like the number of pages, custom designs, and advanced functionalities like payment processor integrations.
Having a clearly defined scope is hands down one of the most effective ways to set your design project up for success. Just think about it for a second. Can you really expect a reliable quote from a designer if your requirements are super vague or worse, barely defined?
You absolutely can’t, and unless you create a scope of work, the quotes you’ll get will be all over the place. Not to mention, creating a list of requirements will help you get some much-needed clarity on what your website truly needs.
Here are some ideas to help you create a scope of work:
Make a list of all the pages you’ll need. Some common pages include Home, About, Contact, Testimonials, Menu/Services, and a Blog.
Consider if you’ll need any custom page designs. While a custom homepage is an obvious choice, you can usually choose whether you need a custom design for any other pages.
Decide how soon you need the website to be up and running. While every designer will have their own set turnaround time, most offer an expedited service for an extra fee.
2. Create a Realistic Budget
You can spend as little as a few hundred dollars and as high as several hundred thousand dollars on your website’s design. Obviously both of those are rare extremes, but the point is, having a realistic budget is not important but necessary.
Now, the key term to note here is the word realistic. Here’s what we mean.
Your budget needs to be reasonable for the scope of work you defined earlier. So if you ask for the specs of a Tesla, but set the budget of a Hyundai, you’ll waste a lot of time and money looking for a service that does not exist.
So be sure to keep your budget in check with your scope of work.
3. Find Sites You Like
In an ideal world, designers would have the ability to read our minds and create exactly what we’re looking for. While that might be a possibility in a hundred years with tech, for now, you’ll have to do with the next best thing.
By curating a list of sites whose design you admire and wish to see reflected on your own, you can give your designer the resources they need to design your dream website.
These inspirational sites could be your competitors or even websites from other industries. All that matters is they reflect the design you’re hoping for.
That said, give your designer some room for improvisation by considering their suggestions. After all, they’re the experts.
4. Ask for a Backend To Make Changes
Here’s a common mistake countless businesses make each year. They hire a designer to create a static website from scratch that looks decent and loads fast enough, but it lacks a backend system.
If you’re not sure why that’s a big no-no, let us elaborate. What happens when the business wants to change the photos of a menu item or add a new service?
Well, their only option is to contact the designer and have them make those changes, which they’ll gladly do for an extra charge. So even changing the tiny but critical details on their website can get expensive.
That’s why working with a designer who will create your website on a user-friendly platform like Squarespace is critical for the long-term success of your design project.
If you’re looking for a designer that meets all the requirements outlined in this article and more, get in touch with us today.