So you have a business and blog but you want to take it to the next level and have a website to display your talents, services, and products. But how do you prepare to hire a web designer? Yes, you need to prepare to hire a web designer. You don’t hire a plumber without having the toilet or the money to pay the number. You certainly do not hire a wedding planner that is not within your budget. There are some necessary steps to take before hiring a designer to make your dream come to life: Research, Budget, Purchase, Content Readiness, Socialization, and Studying / Playing.
Taking these steps will help your design process go by smoothly and make your prospective designer very happy, if you care, lol.
Some of my clients told me that they “stalked” me before they hired me. Sounds crazy? No. I recommend that you stalk the person you are hiring like crazy like you are eye-ing those pair of shoes for weeks. Follow your prospective designer everywhere….facebook, pinterest, instagram, twitter, and even snapchat. Stalk your prospective designer to see how they interact with other people and their audience before hiring him or her. You do not want to hire a designer that bad mouths their clients on social media, even if they do not name names. It is not a good look.
Hire the designer that is the perfect fit for you and your needs. I had a client that hired me based on my use of bright colors and another client hired me because I have a beard. I recommend making a list of your favorite designers and then start discussing your needs, vision, and budget with the right one.
After making your list of fave designers you would like to work with, it is a great idea to align your budget with their price. If it doesn’t align, you might need to move down your list. Now if you absolutely want to work with THAT particular special designer, you might need to save more money before approaching that designer. Designing is usually the “brand and butter” for most designers. So make sure you have your coins together!
Before hiring a designer, make sure your budget is aligned with your designer’s price and the costs associated with it.
This may seem really obvious, but you will be surprised how many people hire me without buying their domain first. This the single most important step when hiring a web designer. What will the designer design if you have no domain? Make sure it is the domain you absolutely positively want for your brand. It is also important that whatever hosting service you choose specializes in the website platform (Squarespace, Shopify, or WordPress) you want to use. Godaddy is a great hosting service that seamlessly integrates your domain and your website platform.
When you have secured your domain(s) with Godaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, or whoever….make sure your designer has all the domain info, especially if they are tasked with setting up your website. You may need to grant your designer access to your hosting service just in case there are some hiccups in the design process.
What is a website without images? You need visual content for audience or buyers as they can know who you are, what you’re offering and what you’re selling. Having these images ready for your designer can definitely speed up the design process and they will be able to design your website. The images that you may need to give to your designer may consist of: A photo of you, your product or product(s), stock images, and graphics that display services.
Share these images with your designer by creating a google drive folder that you can designer have access to. My suggestion is to name the items in the folder according to where you would like to see them placed. This will make it easier for your designer to know what direction you would like to go. Make sure that photos are in high resolution and belong to YOU. Designers hate small low res photos and we do not want to get in trouble using unlicensed photos.
What is a website without text? Your website copy should tell your audience who you are, what you do, what you sell, how you serve, and how they can benefit. More than likely, your designer will not know these things about your business or blog. If they do know, they will not be able to tell YOUR story. I suggest setting up a google doc and share this types of copies with your designer: your tagline, your missions statement or welcome statement, your “About Me” blurb, and product or product(s) information.
While looking for a designer and even when you are on the waiting list, this is the time to sign up for any social media platforms you plan to use to spread the word about your business or blog. Then give your designer your social media links or handles so that they can include it on the website. Even if you do not use the social media yet or if its not designed, if you plan on using it in the future make sure your designer get these debts. The last thing you want is for someone to click on your Instagram icon and it goes to a “no person found” or “milk carton” page. 9 times out of 10, a person will not go back and try to follow your account after its been corrected, and you may have lost a follower.
When I am designing a website, a client usually gives me access to their hosting and website platform. However, I typically do not like to hold the usernames and passwords of my clients for security reasons. My suggestion is to create user profiles for your designer so that you can monitor their access and their type of access to your website.
Are you new to the platform you plan on using for your site? Before hiring a designer, research what type of website platform you want to use. Get a feel for it and play around with it. Do you want a website that requires low maintenance? Do you want a website that has unlimited customizations? Do you want a website strictly for commerce? Research the platform that will best suit your needs and then find a designer that specializes in that platform.
Is it so hard? No? Yes? Well, when you work with us you won’t have to do all of these before hiring us! Get in touch with us now and we will help you make your dreams come true.