I often hear stories from people who’ve had a bad experience with a website developer or a website designer, but I promise, we’re not all bad.
Unfortunately, like any other trade, there are some bad eggs out there that not only act in an unprofessional manner but also who take advantage of people who might not be as technically minded.
So how do you find someone who won’t, and at the same time just know they will be the right choice for you?
Ask your friends or colleagues for recommendations
They may know someone who they can recommend, but avoid ‘family and friends’ who dabble as they may not offer you the after-service or training you need, or they may simply not have time to finish the job.
Look at websites you like for contact details
If you find a site you like the look of, there may be a link at the bottom of the page to the company who made it so you can visit their website and find out more about them.
Get plenty of quotes and ask for a detailed breakdown of what it covers
How many pages do you get, is the hosting included, are images included, do they provide training, etc etc. Cheap isn’t always the best option, try looking for the best value option by discussing options with a few companies.
Look at previous work
Most designers will have a portfolio and some designers might even show you what they’re currently working on. Checking out a few of their sites/examples will also give you an idea of their style and capabilities.
Meet the designer face to face
In the digital world, it’s normal for businesses to work together over great distances but sometimes it’s better to meet the person to see how well you communicate. If you can’t meet them face to face, why not use something like Skype or Facetime and always make sure one party puts what you have discussed in writing.
Don’t pay for it all up front
Most companies do ask for either a deposit or 50% in advance which is fine but hold at least 50% back until you have something to show for it. Once they have the money, there’s no incentive to either complete the job or make sure you are happy with it.
Get a contract
I’m surprised by how many companies do not provide contracts. They should be provided to not only protect the designer and of course, the client but also to ensure everyone is on the same page and there are no misunderstandings on what is being bought.
How does it work, what’s the next step, when do you expect to see something. Once you know the plan, you will be able to monitor performance and make sure you are getting what you are paying for.