Hurricane Web Design, a Web Designer in Vancouver has outlined below the best ways to find a local designer to redesign your website. This can be from scratch, or using your existing site.
If you need to redesign your website, or need a completely new one, perhaps you feel overwhelmed. Searching online you can find hundreds of thousands of websites advertising their web design services. How can you ensure to find a good professional who will not scam you?
Friends of mine have even told me they don’t even know the appropriate questions to ask when interviewing designer candidates. One of them told me something interesting:
“I have no clue what to ask. Even if I knew what questions to ask, I still wouldn’t know how to evaluate the answers properly. If I knew it, I wouldn’t need to hire anyone!”
Thinking about past conversations with designers and clients, I know this is a common issue. It is also one that you can work around. Once you know the qualities you need, I am sure you will be able to find a web designer who can suit your needs and not drive you crazy in the process.
Before talking about finding a designer, it is important to understand the differences between a web designer, a web developer, and an implementer. These are fluid job descriptions, however, understanding these three roles will help you find the best professional for your needs.
The web designer is the person responsible for creating how your website will look and feel. You will interact with the designer to choose colors, branding, logos, and move along to discussing layouts for individual pages on your website. Then, the designer will create mockups – illustrations of how your website will be like. Web design goes beyond photoshopping good-looking images – a good designer should know concepts such as calls to action, usability on how to organize the content on your website, and how to create a functional layout that will meet your targets for the site.
Then enters the web developer. This person will take the designer’s mockups and make them functional. If you choose to build your website using WordPress, the developer can customize an existing template or theme to match the mockups, or simply build a new custom theme from scratch. Developers may also add new functions to an existing website and help with troubleshooting.
The implementer is between these two professionals. This person will help you choose a theme you like, install it along with other necessary plugins, and show you the basics of website management once things are smooth. Hiring an implementer is cheaper than hiring a designer and a developer, however, the implementer is more limited in the scope of services he can provide. Hiring an implementer isn’t necessarily good or bad, it simply depends on what you need and how much money you have available.
A Practical Example
If I were to open a pet grooming business, my website would need to do the following:
– Tell visitors about the services my business offers
– Allow clients to schedule grooming appointments
– Encourage visitors to sign up for my mailing list so that I can send them discounts and information to pet owners in my area
– Allow visitors to contact me with questions
This type of website needs functionalities that can be easily accomplished via WordPress plugins (appointment scheduling, contact forms, e-mail opt-ins), so I don’t need a super custom website made by a designer and a developer when just a competent implementer could do a mighty fine job.
If the same website were also to sell pet products such as toys, treats, shampoo, and so on, plus also take registration for obedience classes, then I would also need the following functions:
– E-commerce and SSL certificate with payment gateway
– Inventory management syncing both the online and the physical stores
– Advanced scheduling for handling both the grooming appointments and the obedience classes, limiting the number of registrations per class
– Different access levels for employees to log into the website and process orders
Here the website just got much more complex. While there might be existing solutions, it is almost certain that a custom website and a developer will be necessary. A web designer might be needed, depending on how I wish to integrate all these extra functions within my existing website.
Now you can understand your needs for a web designer. If you read all this, and you are convinced that you need a web designer, here are five elements to consider:
1. Does the designer’s style match my vision for my website?
Portfolios are there to help you understand the web designer’s capabilities and style. See if his portfolio contains past works that match the overall message that you want to transmit with your website.
2. Once I have the design, who will develop my website? Is this service part of the pricing?
Often designers partner with developers, which means clients can pay one fee for both services. Other designers only provide the mockups and leave you free to choose your own developer. Make sure you understand what you are paying for and budget accordingly.
3. What kind of maintenance will my website need? Can I do it all myself? Do I have to hire someone?
Please understand that websites are not a one-time cost. Any website that requires third-party plugins or software will need ongoing maintenance. Some designers offer maintenance services or point you to a professional who does. You can also learn how to perform website maintenance yourself.
4. What design files should my designer provide?
The very minimum would be mockups in Illustrator (.ai) or Photoshop (.psd) files. You should also receive editable versions of your logo in .psd, .ai, .eps, or .pdf file format.
Another important information: if your designer is using a premium font, you should either have a license to that as well or permission to use the designer’s license. This information is your responsibility.
5. Is the designer available for revisions or future changes? How much will it cost?
Hiring a designer means hiring him for a specific project in a certain contract. (No contract means no professionalism. Run!) That does not mean free updates for life. Ask him beforehand about future costs and respect his right to update his service costs over time.
Nevertheless, if you’re searching for a local web designer, don’t fret to check out Hurricane Web Design on Google: