How to Choose a Website Designer
Published On: November 29th, 2022Categories: Articles, Web DesignBy

In the age of remote work, finding a website designer is easier than ever. There are countless freelancers and agencies available right at your fingertips.

But here’s the problem: with so many options, how do you choose a website designer for your needs?

It might seem overwhelming, but fear not — you don’t have to sort through hundreds of applications to find a great website designer for your business. This blog post will walk you through 5 simple steps, from planning to hiring, to find a designer who will help your business thrive.

1. Know Your Needs

First thing’s first — what kind of website are you looking for? Finding the right website designer all depends on your business’s needs. If you hire just anyone, you’ll end up overpaying or stuck with a low-quality site that doesn’t help your business grow.

That’s why it’s important to have a vision in mind before you hire anyone. Here are a few factors to consider:

Your Business

How will this website benefit your business? Do you want a simple brochure site to give your customers more information, or are you hoping to use the site to drive sales?

The skills and time required by your designer will vary depending on the purpose your website serves. Define your business’s needs before you start looking for a website designer.

Website Functionality

Once you’ve determined how this website will benefit your business, you should have an idea of how complex it needs to be.

Generally speaking, there are three stages of website development: back-end, front-end, and pure-play. Back-end and front-end web designers establish the functionality of a site, while a pure-play designer specializes in branding, content, and user experience.

If your website is the main way you interact with customers, you might want to work with an agency that can build the site from the ground up. A simpler site might require just one front-end designer who can work with a website-building platform, or a pure-play designer who can adapt your site from a template.

Design and Visuals

Along with how you want your site to function, you should have an idea of how you want your site to look and feel.

Scroll through some competitor websites to find designs you like. You can show those examples to your applicants or look through their portfolios to make sure they’ll meet your design needs.

2. Set Your Budget

Remember, your website is not an expenditure — it’s an investment.

The goal isn’t to find the cheapest website designer out there (if they can’t deliver a quality site, you’re just throwing money away). But you do need to establish a budget to avoid overspending.

Here are a few factors to keep in mind when you set your budget:

  • R.O.I — How much is one new lead worth? What are you able to invest now to bring that lead in?
  • Your priorities — Consider the must-have features of your site. Write down the things you need to benefit your business vs. features you’re willing to compromise on.
  • The payoff period — Think of your upfront cost in terms of your monthly budget. For example, a $20,000 website that will last 50 months breaks down to $400/month. Does that investment line up with your monthly spending?

3. Decide Where to Look

With your vision and budget in mind, it’s time to find a website designer.

Here’s what not to do: Google “best website designers near me.” That will lead you to the same cheap agencies and targeted ads everyone else is seeing. To find a great professional, you’re going to have to dig a little deeper.

Consider starting in these places:

Local Designers and Agencies

Looking for local designers limits your options, but you might prefer to work with a designer you can talk to in person.

If that’s the case, check local listings and ask around. Other business owners can give you recommendations — or head to a local design workshop to chat with people in the industry.

Freelance Platforms

There are tons of platforms out there to find global talent. To find a great freelance website designer, try:

You can also stalk popular web developer hangouts, such as:

Other platforms that aren’t specific to website design (but still host talented freelancers) include:

Hiring online comes with its own complications, but it’s a great way to find global talent and stick to your budget. To ensure quality, you might want to hire a freelancer for a trial page before you start your contract.

4. Post Your Listing

Found your platform? It’s time to get proposals.

Whether you’re looking locally or on a freelancer site, the best way to find a professional is to clearly define what you’re looking for and let designers come to you.

Here are a couple of tips to narrow down the number of proposals you get.

  • Be as specific as possible — Clearly define your project in your listing. For example: “I’m looking for an experienced front-end/back-end developer who specializes in __ to help me with a one-time/ongoing project.”
  • Include your budget — A great website designer knows their worth. Don’t waste your time or theirs — be upfront about your budget so freelancers know what to expect.

Once you start receiving proposals, look through every designer’s portfolio to find a good match. Don’t be afraid to contact their references! You should be 100% certain this person is right for the job before you set up a contract.

5. Communicate Clearly

When you find a website designer you want to work with, communication is key.

Make sure you clearly communicate your vision to the designer. In return, they should let you know exactly what to expect in terms of timeline and results.

Be upfront about your budget and don’t be afraid to ask questions — it’s your website, and you hired a designer to work with your needs. Not the other way around.

Be Picky About Your Website Design

You have access to tons of talented website designers. So don’t hesitate to be picky!

Take your time before you start hiring. Think through all your needs, establish your budget, and browse for talent across multiple platforms.

A new website is an investment in the future of your business —make that investment worthwhile by hiring the right professional.

As always, if you have any questions, or would like some expert help, feel to give us a call anytime.

About the Author

As the founder of Durling Digital, Tyler Durling has dedicated himself to assisting local businesses in Sonoma County since 2011. He has a passion for helping business owners achieve their goals in the digital world, and now offers consulting, blogging, and expertise on building a successful online business.