Hiring a web designer or design company can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

Hiring a web designer or design company can seem like a daunting task. Too many speak in nerd and the good ones never seem available to take on new work.

I realize that maybe your cousin is a web designer who builds websites on the side. Or that your friend’s brother in college once updated your Tumblr in exchange for a case of beer. Or that you can, quite easily, figure out web design, programming and WordPress yourself, but you just haven’t found the time.

Web designers hear these types of comments a lot (possibly second only to “make the logo bigger” on mockups). While there’s nothing wrong with learning new things or having hobbies, for the love of whatever god you believe in, hire a professional to design and program your website. Professional, as in someone who does web design full-time, as a job that they get paid money to do, and has done so for a while.

Here’s a list of important questions to ask before you hire anyone.

  • Can you provide a list of 3-5 references I can contact?
  • Do you do this full-time and how long have you been doing web design?
  • What is your process?
  • What is the typical budget range for your projects? how are payments broken down for projects?
  • What is the typical turn-around time for your projects?
  • When can the project be started?
  • What do you need from me before we start?
  • Do your clients see a return on investment? Do you have proof of increased conversion rates or goals being achieved after you’ve done a redesign?
  • Does the price include making the site mobile friendly?
  • Will the site be supported by retina screens?
  • Do you custom design or use templates?
  • Who will own the website design when it’s paid for?
  • Do you offer maintenance or training or post-launch support?
  • Who is the contact person and who is doing the work? is anything outsourced or subcontracted out?

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