How to find a good freelance web designer
Building a website isn’t an easy task – especially if you don’t have a world of experience as a graphic designer, web developer, or programmer.
Today’s websites are a lot more complex than websites of even just to five or 10 years ago. We’ve moved light years beyond standard HTML (all the way up to HTML 5 these days) and ancillary web design and development languages like Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and so many others are a huge part of bringing modern websites to life.
Basically, there’s a lot going on under the hood of these websites than most people expect or anticipate. Even the simplest and most straightforward looking website is likely the result of hundreds of hours of development and years of practice.
Getting your site built by professionals always comes down to two choices – picking a full-fledged web agency to handle the heavy lifting for, or moving forward with top tier freelancers.
A web agency might look attractive at first, but they also have a lot of overhead (which always means higher prices), large staffs that might not be communicating your wishes as well as they should, and a production line approach to pumping out websites that may not leave you with as polished a finished product as you like.
When you go with a freelancer, however, those issues disappear completely.
Thankfully though, it’s also become a lot easier to find a freelance web designer to bring your website to life without you having to handle any of the heavy lifting!
Armed with the inside information below you should have no trouble whatsoever finding the right expert to help you build your website from the ground up.
There are obviously a bunch of different things you are going to want to look at when you are getting ready to hire one of these freelance professionals, but at the end of the day you can really whittle the entire search down to these four core elements:
• What exactly do I need this freelancer to help me out with?
• Where am I going to find a skilled professional?
• How can I sift through all of the different options without losing my mind?
• How much is this going to cost me?
If you cover all of your bases when it comes to those questions your odds of finding the perfect freelancer for your needs skyrocket!
Let’s dive right in…
What exactly do I need this freelancer to help me out with?
The biggest reason that people end up with a website they are unhappy with – or a freelancer that they have no confidence in – has little to do with the actual website itself or the freelancer as a professional (most, but not all, circumstances).
Instead, it has everything to do with clients having a very fuzzy idea of what they want their website to look like, what they want their website to feature, and what they want their website to do at the end of the day.
The more concrete you can get about what your expectations are regarding your website, the better off this entire project is going to be.
You want to think about the overall experience your visitors should have, you need to think about the business or personal goals you want your website to achieve, and you have to think about what kind of functionality you need your website to feature.
Knock that out of the park and you are 80% of the way to the finish line!
Where am I going to find a skilled professional?
There are plenty of places to find skilled professional freelance web designers these days, including any of the popular “job boards” and on Craigslist, but one of the best ways to find the perfect web designer or developer for your needs is to find out who has been responsible for building the websites you stumble across online that look like or have the functionality of the kind of website that you are after.
The overwhelming majority of websites out there have information about the designer, the developer, and the firm responsible for bringing that website to life in the footer (at the bottom of each site).
Almost all of these footer taglines include ways to contact the designer or developer directly, and many of them provide links to the website of these professionals so that you don’t have to spend any time trying to find the people behind the sites.
Search for websites that you like visually, websites that have the kind of functionality that you are interested in, and sites that are a lot like the kind of site that you want to bring to life as well. Follow the footer links on those websites to the designers and developers and see if they are willing or able to bring you on board as a client.
How can I sift through all of the different options without losing my mind?
At the end of the day, there are more freelance web designers and developers out there now than ever before with more on the way every day.
This is definitely a buyers market (which helps to keep the cost of web development down), but at the same time you’ll have almost too many options to pick and choose from that it can become really easy to get overwhelmed.
This is one you want to look into the track record of the web designers you are thinking about working with. Not only do you want to look into the work that they have done in the past, but you’ll also want to look into their reputation online, testimonials from any past clients (the good and the bad), and anything else you can dig up about these freelancers before you dive right in.
You’ll be able to narrow down your choices dramatically, and you’ll be able to narrow things down even more so by firing off the same email to all of these potential developers – requesting answers to questions you have regarding the process – and then basing your decision off of those responses.
How much is this going to cost me?
It is impossible to tell you exactly how much a freelance graphic web designer is going to cost you without knowing the specifics of your project and the actual developer/designer you are going to be moving forward with.
A website built completely from scratch is going to cost a lot more than a website built on the back of a platform like Word we don’t nice Press (the most popular Content Management System – CMS – on the planet), and a WordPress website is going to cost a lot more than a standard template you can buy online and customize all on your own.
By using the information above, you should be able to find the right designer for your vision and your budget without any headache or hassle. Best of luck going forward!