How To Hire A Web Designer: Questions to Ask

by mking on November 19, 2012

How to hire a Web Designer
Asking the right questions up front saves a lot of headaches later on.

  • What's the reputation of the web designer?
  • Is that person is able to accomplish the scope you are expecting?
  • How long will it take them to complete the job?
  • How much will it cost you? Does their price match the job?
  • How does their price compare to others with similar credentials?

Know who you are working with

When looking to employ a designer understand their design language and capability.

Have they worked on sites in your industry?

If you want to promote a nightclub, you might want to hire someone who has designed sites for restaurants, not non-profits. 

Reach out to that web designer's former clients ask them about the designer's work ethic.

Are they flexible, communicative, creative, hard working and easy to work with? Try to gain an understanding of the person before hiring them so you can make sure they are comfortable with taking on the task you need done.


                                        Be Specific

Make sure you and your designer are on the same page.

Find sites that illustrate what you envision can be very helpful to a web designer. They won't have to guess. This includes the type of colors, word fonts, images, audio and videos you'd like to see or avoid.

Be open to hearing some ideas or opinions of the designer as well, especially if they have a lot of experience in this field.


Be clear with the designer of your goals for the website. Establish who you are trying to target, so the designer could have a better understanding of how the site should be presented. Its best to have an outline of your ideas written out so it would be easier to explain and help create a clearer picture of what you want.



When you feel you have found the right person to hire make sure that you have a written  contract for both parties to sign.

The contract should consist of what you expect the designer to do, a deadline of when it should be done, how much they will receive for completing the job, and how you will go about paying them.

Word of advice, NEVER  PAY BY CASH!!!

Always keep receipts for everything regarding the project. Do not pay the entire invoice at once, but scope the job out in stages. As the web designer completes a phase of the project, they get paid for that phase.

Have more than one way of getting in contact with your designer. If given a phone number and email address. Make sure their contacts are frequently used so you can reach out to them at anytime needed. Also make sure you take the time out to make frequent calls to check the progress of the web page.  











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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Seltzer December 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I would add a few key points:

1) Make sure you like the designer's work. While it's a good idea to find other sites you like, the most important consideration when choosing a designer is, do you like the sites that they've created? If the answer is no, then no amount of bargaining, back-and-forthing, etc. will ever get you the site you want.

2) Your are always a co-creator of your own site. In some sense, this doesn't sound right.  Isn't the designer really the creator? But remember, the designer needs to get your opinions and approvals to move forward at key stages. If you don't give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down when called upon, the project will stall. Be prepared to stay actively involved in building your site past the hiring stage.

3) Be prepared to answer the tough questions. If you've never worked with a designer before, and haven't given a lot of thought to marketing on the Web, you may be caught flat-footed by some of the questions they ask. You can ready yourself by familiarizing yourself with a basic Creative Brief. You can find a sample at

Mark R December 16, 2012 at 3:35 am

I’ve tried bidding a web designer job locally and it took me 2 weeks to find the best candidate for the position. So after that, I started doing outsourcing whenever there’s a vacant job in our office. I tried almost all well known outsourcing sites today but I found superb freelancers from They have quality workers, and reps…and above all a fast service because of their recruitment team.

Dawn Fotopulos December 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm

 This is brilliant advice, Tom. Thank you so much for coaching small business owners who have spent untold thousands of dollars on websites that don’t work hard enough for them!


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