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Choosing a Web Designer

Choosing a web designer can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you have never had a website built for you before. It is important, therefore, to arm yourself with a litle bit of information to ensure you make the right choice when looking for a designer. There is no shortage of web designers offering their skills, so hopefully by reading this article, you will feel a bit more informed and better prepared to make that choice.

Portfolio

The single most important thing to look for when selecting a web designer is to look at their portfolio. This will tell you all that you need to know in terms of the type and style of websites they have produced in the past. If you like the look of their past work, then you're ready to take the next step.

A good portfolio, as well as being visually striking, will also boast a good variety of different projects, and should almost certainly feature some which have been completed recently.

Brief

Before you approach anyone, it is important you have a clear idea in your own mind about what you want your site to consist of. Do you need to sell anything online? How many pages do you need? Do you have an idea of how the site should look? Do you have a deadline? Try and get as clear an idea as possible about the whole site.

When it comes to discussing the project with a web designer, they should be able to help develop your idea either by making further suggestions about what might work and what won't. By the end of it all, they should be in a position to give you a price for completing the work, although this may not be instant. In all likeliness, they will take away your brief and then come back with a detailed quotation.

Qualifications

You may be interested in seeing what qualifications a designer holds, but in all honesty, this is a minor consideration. A web designer's portfolio will be able to tell you much more about their abilities than any certificates or qualifications. That said, it certainly does not do them any harm if they have the paperwork behind them.

Price

If you have never had a website built for you before, you will probably not have any idea of how much it is likely to cost. The cost will very much be dependent on the size and complexity of the site you require. If you have a budget, it is perhaps best to keep that to yourself at this stage.

Once you have prepared a solid brief, draw up a shortlist of designers you feel happy with. Discuss your brief with each one, and wait to compare the prices, but remember the cheapest is not always the best. The trick is to weigh up the price along with any other considerations such as your deadline, and see which fits your circumstances the best.

Payment

It is important to arrange a proper payment schedule between yourself and the designer. The designer may have their own terms that they will require you to comply with, but on the other hand, may also be flexible should you wish to deviate from this in any way.

Most designers will require a deposit to begin work. Once this has been agreed, depending on the size of the site, it might be worthwhile to create a series of payment intervals which relate to milestones in the project.

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