How to find the perfect web designer for your website
So you finally decided that it’s time for you to get a website for your business or to redesign your existing one. That’s excellent and exciting news and you have two options: you can absolutely do it yourself… or you could hire a web designer.
Now I have a feeling that, like most girl bosses, you probably don’t need yet another thing to add to your already long to-do list amirite? And you’d rather spend what little free time you have reading a good book or binge-watching your favorite Netflix show.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to statistics, 54% of small business owners outsource web and graphic design to the pros.
Not to mention, hiring a web designer will save you a lot of headache down the road because you will have a website that
looks good and gets visitors and random internet strangers to take action
You don’t have to spend hours trying to Google how to do add an Instagram feed to the bottom of your footer or connect your email list to your website.
So let’s talk about how to find a web designer that’s the right fit for your project.
Before going into details, there is one important thing you need to know and that’s the difference between a web designer and a web developer. The reason why this matters is because knowing the difference will help you find the right person for the job. Trust me, the last thing you need is to spend money on a designer only to discover they won’t actually build your website outside of Photoshop layout.
Web designer and web developer are often used interchangeably, however they’re not the same. A web designer is responsible for laying out your website visually. They can help you choose colors, fonts, patterns, and other visual elements and create a mockup of your website in a tool like Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch or similar. More and more, you’ll find web designers who also know basic HTML and CSS and rely on tools like page builder plugins for WordPress such as Elementor or Divi or platforms like Squarespace to create a website.
Depending on what you want your website to do, you will need to hire either a web designer or a developer or in some cases you might need to collaborate with both.
Here’s an example to help you understand the difference. Let’s say you’re a business coach that wants an easy way to build brand awareness and share your services with potential clients. You want them to be able to read your blog post, learn about your packages, and book a discovery call with you. Working with a web designer who specializes in platform like Squarespace or uses a page builder plugin like Elementor is a natural choice.
Now, let’s say you’re an established business coach that wants to launch an online membership portal to host your courses and you want to sell digital products like workbooks, course materials, and similar. This is where things get a little more complicated and you need a payment gateway, the ability for students to create accounts and manage their profile, access course material, and more. In this case, you’d need to work with a developer or a developer and designer team.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about how to actually find a web designer.
1. Ask your friends, family, peers, network, and anyone else you know for recommendations
Ask anyone you know if they know or can recommend somebody who designs or develops websites. Chances are, they will know someone and you will have a peace of mind that you’ll be working with a trusted person who does a great job.
2. Do a Google search for a web designer
You can search for terms like web designer near me, web designer in Tampa, Florida if you’d prefer to work with someone local.
You can also search for a term like Squarespace web designer or web designer for coaches as this can help you find the person who specializes in a particular platform or works with certain industries.
Once Google spits out results, what I recommend, is checking if they have any reviews on Facebook or Google. You should also go to their site and check out testimonials, look for an updated portfolio, an active blog — basically anything that tells you that they are still active and that would show they are a great fit. I have a whole blog post on what to look for in a web designer as well as what to avoid so be sure to check it out.
You can also check out their social media profiles and see if they’re active there and if they’re posting their behind-the-scenes work as this can give you an insight into their design process.
3. Check websites like Upwork or Toptal or 99designs
A word of warning though -- while you might find a cheap designer on any of these platforms keep in mind that you’ll often get what you pay for so don’t let the price be the deciding factor. Do your research and make sure they have a decent portfolio as well as positive reviews.
4. Use social media to your advantage
Ask around in Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups if anyone knows or is a web designer. Chances are you will find someone or get a referral for a designer. You can also use the search feature on any social media platform and use the same search terms you’d use in Google. Don’t forget to check out hashtags like #webdesigner #Squarespacedesigner, #WordPressdesigner, #webdesignerTampa, or similar. Lastly, you can always post a status update that you’re looking for a web designer. Your followers might just know the person or a web designer could be following you without you even knowing it!
5. Do some sleuthing
Become a private investigator for one day and go look at other websites in your industry. Once you find a website you like, scroll all the way down to the footer and see if you can spot a designer link in there. See if there is a “Designed by” or “Made by” or “Created by” credit link and then click on over and check out the designers website.
So now you know how to find a web designer. However, finding a web designer is only the first step towards getting a beautiful website that converts as good as it looks. There are a few steps you need to go through to prepare for your web design project. Curious what they are? Well then, enter your email below and my “Before you hire a web designer” checklist will be landing in your inbox shortly. So what are you waiting for? Download that checklist and prepare to have a gorgeous website.