Should You Hire a Designer to design your website or Do It Yourself?

There are pros and cons to either – if you hire a designer, you have to pay them and they may have different ideas about what is important on a website than you do. They know the Web better than you might, but you know your customers better than they do. If you do it yourself, you will have to spend a lot of time learning, at least how your editor works and to be really effective you’ll want to learn CSS and HTML as well as JavaScript and possibly a scripting language like PHP.

I recommend that most small business owners at least hire a designer to build the initial version of your website. This gets you the benefit of an expert for the hardest parts of getting the site up and running and solving problems with your hosting provider or domain service provider.

What You Need to Know to Hire the Right Designer

If you’re building your site from scratch, most of the things mentioned in this article won’t exist. But you should make sure you know the answers (even if it’s “I don’t use that”), so that your new designer isn’t surprised.

Things to Look for in a Web Designer

How much the designer charges is important, as you need to find one you can afford, but if you look for the cheapest Web designer you’re going to be sorry. Cheap Web designers often resort to tricks like stealing (they might call it borrowing, or tell you it’s public domain), shortcuts (they’ll tell you you don’t need an “about us” page or that contact pages are passé), or simply not be very good. That isn’t to say that all cheap designers are bad, it’s just that you don’t know what you’re going to get.

Look for multiple sites from different companies in their portfolio. A designer who has only built for one company may be good, but they may not be able to get a design job anywhere else. While you can look for a designer anywhere in the world, I recommend finding one local to you. You can meet in person and see their designs and mockups without having to fiddle with online meetings and phone calls.

Finally, find someone that you like to work with. If you find them annoying or arrogant, you’re not going to want to call them when you have problems with your website. And then you’ll be frustrated with both the site and your designer.

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