So you’re thinking about hiring a web designer? That’s great! Hiring out to someone with expertise is always a good idea if your budget allows. But hiring a web designer isn’t as easy as just looking one up and paying a deposit. There are some things you need to do before you even think about hiring one, especially if you want to make the most out of working together. Here are 4 things you need to do before hiring a web designer.
Brainstorm a plan for your site
Perhaps the most important thing you need to do before hiring a designer is to plan. Without a proper plan in mind, you’re going in blind and your web designer won’t be able to help much. So sit down with a notebook (or a fresh Google Doc) and give your website some thought.
Think about why you want to hire a designer. Are you looking for a certain outcome? Is there something you’re struggling with that you need help with? What are your goals for this redesign? Us designers want to know why you’re hiring us so we can help you!
And speaking of goals, if your blog or business doesn’t have a defined set of goals, now is the time to lay it all out. Where do you see your blog or business in 5 years? Who is your ideal audience? What are you hoping to achieve? What is your mission statement? What are your brand’s values? These are all questions you should be asking yourself if you haven’t given them much thought.
Also think about what pages need designing and/or creating. Nothing is worse than launching a new site only to realize that a confirmation page or landing page was forgotten about. Create a sitemap and go through every page. They might not all need to be designed (often the standard page template will suffice), but if there are any pages that require a custom design or special attention, make note of them!
Lastly, take note of any special features your site might require, like a shopping cart, a appointment calendar, or Instagram feed. But don’t get too hung up on these features. While some features might be mandatory (such as a shopping cart), others might not align with your goals and your web designer’s plan for your site. So if you want a slider on your homepage, make note of it, but know that features like this shouldn’t be set in stone and may change.
Write site content
Before your designer even begins designing your site, they need to have your completed site content. Why? Well design isn’t just making something look pretty. Sure, that is part of it, but most importantly, design is making something functional. Without content, how can a designer layout a page in a way that will allow you to see results?
So again, make a list of all the pages your site needs and then start writing content for those pages. Include photographs, calls to action, and of course copy. Try to get as close to a finished product as possible. Of course, pages can be updated and edited once a site goes live, but for best results, you want to create content that is close to being final.
Hire other professionals
Since you’ll need to write all of your content before hiring a designer, now is also the time to hire any other professionals that are needed to get that content together, such as copywriters and photographers. As I previously mentioned, your site copy needs to be as close to the final version as possible. If you wait to hire a copywriter after the design has started, it’s just going to throw a wrench in things.
Same goes for your site’s images. Don’t use placeholders. If you’re planning on hire a photographer for headshots or product images, do that now. That way you’ll be able to provide them to your designer, who can plan out your site with those photos in mind.
One of the best ways to show your designer what you’re looking for is to provide inspiration. Now is the time to scour the web and gather inspiration. Take note of sites you like and what you like about them. Is it the mood? A certain feature? Be specific!
Pinterest is also a great tool for gathering site inspiration. Create a private board and start pinning images that evoke the mood you’re going for. Many designers will require you to create one anyway, so it doesn’t hurt to get a head start.
Once you have the above ready to go, then it’s time to hire a designer! By going to a designer with a solid plan and content already in place, you’ll be making our job easier, which means we can serve you better. Hiring a designer when you have no idea what you want is a recipe for disaster, so do your homework beforehand so your project can start off on the right foot.Thinking about hiring a web designer? Here’s what you need to do before doing soClick To Tweet