Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Things to Be Aware of Before You Employ a Freelance Web Designer for Web Design

As a freelance web designer myself I think I know enough about my job to give some sound honest advice if you were thinking of getting a freelance web designer to implement a web project for you, what to look for and what to avoid.

Do they have a good portfolio of work?

A good portfolio of work is absolutely necessary, if the designer doesn't have one then walk away. Look at the styles of some of the websites that they have designed. Do you like the styles? Look at the individual web site designs to see if there is continuity throughout the site and it has remained on brand throughout the aesthetic look and feel.

Do they have any testimonials from their clients?

This is really important, I mean if the designer doesn't have any testimonials from clients then he either hasn't been bothered to ask them (why?) or the clients didn't want to give one (why?). If he or she has some good testimonials then that's a great start and if you can actually speak to their clients directly that is even better. I always let potential new clients contact my existing ones so they can hear exactly what they think of me.

Ask what experience they have

Another important factor in employing a freelance designer or come to that any designer is to know what experience they have within the Industry.

1. Do they just design static websites?
2. Can the design and implement dynamic websites
3. Do they have e-commerce experience
4. Can they hand code or do they use a design package? I'm not putting anyone down who uses a design package like Dreamweaver or such like, I use it myself at times but if you can hand code it just means you don't need to use a commercial package because you actually know how to code, again experience.
5. How long have they been in the industry?
6. Do the websites they code have compliant web standards code?

These are just a few things to ask when considering employing a freelance web designer.

Are the websites that they design and build optimised for the search engines?

By this I mean search engine friendly, optimisation is a totally different aspect. The way your website is initially built is very important when it comes to SEO. It should have a good structure, good code and use style sheets for layout.

Are you going to get on with them?

This may seem a bit of a stupid question but it is important that you get on with however is going to design your website. A good web designer will have and want good long-term relationships with their clients.

I always meet with my clients because I want to know who I am going to be working for and so do they. It is important to build up trust between you both for a good working relationship.

Ask as many questions as you feel the need. The designer won't mind and if he knows his stuff then he will be able to answer them all.

One final piece of advice. In my experience in the web design industry (15 years) I would say this. You normally get what you pay for.

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