06 Sep Find a web designer
How do I find the right web designer?
The first thing to do is, of course, to make it easy for yourself: Google!
If you enter “web designer Cologne”, for example, you will be overwhelmed by offers. In addition to a number of AdWords ads and agencies, there are also some marketplaces that act as intermediaries between customers and web designers.
So: where do I start and what is right for me?
In this blog post I try to shed some light and show you some possibilities.
First of all: The demands on a website can be as diverse and varied as life itself. Therefore, there is no blanket right or wrong. But there are a few points to consider when looking for the right web designer.
What requirements do I have for the web designer?
Before I start looking for a web designer, I should first consider what requirements I have for my website. The areas of application and industries are simply different and ultimately decide what I need for a web designer or whether I should even use an agency or whether I can even create the website myself with a modular system.
So it is important to clarify a few questions in advance. What kind of requirements do I have for my website? Which target group am I addressing? A detailed list of questions can be found here.
A good web designer will ask you exactly these questions!
In addition, the price plays a decisive role in every search. What budget do I have? Is it a simple landing page or a complex shop system with different interfaces?
Good web design doesn’t have to be expensive. But an experienced web designer will also support you with his expertise with technical questions and advise you against certain things. That has its price.
A good web designer is also a good consultant because he knows what he is talking about.
Most web designers will offer different packages for different needs and agree on a fixed price. Experience has shown that this makes more sense than billing by the hour. Of course, this also depends heavily on the project and web designer. A more detailed report on prices and payments can be found here on my blog soon.
What must a good web designer be able to do?
A web designer can never cover all requirements and areas. Some web designers specialize in specific industries, others in specific systems or skills. More complex websites or online shops have many different requirements and are therefore often created and maintained by several developers. That’s why larger projects are often handled by agencies, since they can fall back on different programmers and designers. But that doesn’t mean that a single web designer can’t handle larger projects. It depends a lot on his skill level and experience.
But there are some basic requirements that he should bring with him.
A good understanding of how servers and hosters are used is essential. Because here too there is an oversupply and it is an advantage if the web designer knows his way around and can make recommendations. Good hosting no longer has to be expensive, and many hosting providers offer cheap packages that are perfectly adequate for most websites. Furthermore, there may already be a hosting contract and the web designer is already familiar with the provider’s system.
Most websites run on specific content management systems. Here, too, there is a wide range and a web designer should not only be familiar with it, but also be able to recommend the right CMS for your project. After creating the homepage, you often want to be able to make changes yourself, such as exchanging texts and images. The web designer should also be able to give you a good and understandable introduction here.
The first impression of a website is crucial. Design is everything. Almost everything. Your web designer should therefore have a good understanding of design, possibly even be able to create entire corporate designs.
As the name suggests: A web designer is above all a designer!
Good communication is crucial for good cooperation. A web designer should not only advise you, but also listen to you and respond to your needs. After all, you know best about your business. He can often recommend additional things to you and possibly also advise against some things, because a business on the web often differs from business in everyday life.
A web designer should therefore respond to you and ask you the right questions. Most of the time you notice quite quickly whether someone has a clue or “just” wants to sell you something. In the best case, the cooperation should last over a longer period of time, so communication should run smoothly. But even a web designer does not always have to be available, but should stick to the agreed deadlines and respond promptly.
In the best case, a web designer will also be at your side after the completion of a project. Questions will always arise. It is also important to close regular updates and security gaps.
A good website is never finished.
A website usually has the goal of reaching as many users as possible, generating leads or generating sales. Therefore, the web designer should at least be familiar with the SEO basics. A web designer does not necessarily have to be an SEO specialist, but the website should be on-page ready in terms of structure, loading speed and hierarchies. Online marketing is a huge field and is often considered a separate item in addition to web design. SEO isn’t a one-time thing, it’s an ongoing process that can take a lot of time, analysis, and patience.
Additional qualifications are of course always an advantage. Is he familiar with different image and video formats? Can he edit images and compress them in terms of loading times? Can he possibly even cut or create animations and integrate them into the website? These are not necessarily skills that a web designer needs to have. Depending on the requirements, however, it makes sense if you don’t have to bring third parties into the project for such tasks.
How do I find out if a web designer is right for me?
Of course, whether a web designer suits me or not not only depends on his technical understanding, but above all on his style. I can have a perfectly running website, but if it doesn’t reflect my business and has the right design, it won’t be as successful as I hope it will be.
People want to identify with their website.
So references play an important role here. A certain style can often be recognized in the designs. Does he rather rely on static websites with images or does he build in animations or does he value details. References also show how broad a web designer is. Can its designs adapt to and reflect different service providers and industries? Has he possibly already implemented projects from similar industries? A variable portfolio often indicates how much the designer responds to the customer and implements his ideas in such a way that they fit the company.
A good web designer has his own style, but can also implement external corporate designs.
Don't feel like looking for someone?
Just ask me
Where can I find a good web designer?
Recommendations from friends and acquaintances
Recommendations from acquaintances have the advantage that a person you may trust can tell you about their experiences. So you have a first-hand reference. It also makes the first contact easier.
I haven’t done any prospecting at all for years and got all my orders through referrals. First and foremost, of course, this speaks for the web designer. Satisfied customers recommend you to others. Of course, an absolutely positive effect and a sign that you have a good web designer with experience.
But here, too, one cannot say in general that this web designer is the right one for exactly your project. The web designer may have created a page for a practice and you are looking for someone to create a coaching page with videos and subscriptions for you. It depends on your requirements and whether the web designer is able to implement them.
Where do I look for the right web designer?
Local search via e.g. Google Maps
Of course, it’s always nice to get to know a web designer in person that you might want to work with for a longer period of time. This is an absolute matter of taste and, in my experience, not absolutely necessary. From my personal experience I can say that I have been looking after many customers for years that I have never met in real life.
Nowadays, in addition to the classic mail traffic and telephone calls, video conferences are of course also an option. This not only saves resources in terms of travel time and costs, but also shows which communication tools the web designer brings with them. Because even in the case of a face-to-face meeting, communication will mainly take place online in the future.
However, there may be reasons why a local search makes sense. Depending on the project, it can be an advantage if the web designer is familiar with the region, local conditions or even cultural customs. A professional web designer does not have to identify with the project, but it helps if he has a basic understanding of the subject.
A professional web designer should of course also have a correspondingly local presence. A Google Business Profile or, more recently, a Google Maps entry gives a first impression. How long has the business existed, what contact options are offered and how is the entry rated. Of course, like everywhere else on the internet, reviews should be treated with caution.
Furthermore, there are also local business directory entries in every larger region. This is certainly not the first place to go when looking for a web designer, but it also shows how broad and well represented he is.
Seek inspiration from others
Every day you are on the Internet and visit a lot of pages. As soon as you want to have a page yourself, you see websites with completely different eyes.
You quickly notice which pages you particularly like or which elements of a page you find particularly appealing. So you can get endless inspiration. Either you just take a few screenshots of certain pages or you simply create a folder with bookmarks. If you have found a web designer later, he can get a better picture of how you imagine your website to be.
To be even more specific, you can of course look at competitor websites or search for industry-specific websites. Often you will also find a reference to the web designer or the agency in the contact or imprint.
Image portals such as Google or Pinterest
You can of course simply search for web designs on Google image search or on Pinterest. But here, too, one is often overwhelmed by design templates. And by templates, I mean ready-made templates that can be found millions of times over the Internet. Maybe such a “standard template” is enough, but you won’t stand out from the crowd with it. That said, there are also plenty of industry-specific templates that may be pretty close to your taste. Frequently, these searches do not usually lead to the web designers, but rather to modular systems.
On Instagram you can use hashtags such as #webdesign #webdesigner. Helps with inspiration, but mostly not when looking for web designers. Many images are actually not from the actual web designers.
Web Designer Platforms
Here, too, the market is huge. Platforms such as bark, 99designs orfreelancermap offer a large number of web designers. You should definitely bring time here. One should definitely note whether the portal offers German-speaking web designers. It may not matter to the customer which country the web designer comes from, but not only the language can be a problem here, but also the time difference and thus the response times of the web designer.
You can of course advertise jobs in these portals and state your requirements. Despite everything, there will be many who do not meet these requirements at all. And ultimately you are back at the beginning with the question: Which web designer is the right one for me?
It should be noted here that either the web designer or the customer has to pay something for the lead. In addition, the offer is enormous and it is difficult to find the right web designer. Ratings and references also play a role here. For many customers, ratings are crucial. But as already mentioned: reviews should be treated with caution.
From personal experience I cannot recommend most platforms. Too often you don’t know what and who you’re getting! There are often web designers there who wouldn’t otherwise get orders, which is ok, but doesn’t necessarily speak for a good web designer.
So there is a lot to consider when looking for a good web designer. As different as the projects and requirements are, only a rough outline can be given here. You first have to know what your website needs to be able to do, so that you know what demands you have on your web designer. Think about what you want to achieve with your website, it is your “baby” and will represent your company online. So take your time! Compare, ask questions and research. You certainly want to leave your “baby” in good hands.