I work for a lead service, connecting clients and designers every day. I have also been doing design for 15+ years. In my position I see the mistakes made by both designers and clients. Hopefully, if you are looking for a designer, this article will help you avoid making some of these common mistakes.
A professional looking website does not guarantee that the company is qualified to handle your project. Many companies offer impressive looking websites, with very vague or generic information. Look specifically for pages like Testimonials and Meet The Team. Take notice if the person you are talking to on the phone is the same person that is on the website. Look for examples of projects that have been successfully completed, read the details in their "Case Studies" and ask to speak to former clients. Find out how long they have been in business, and check them out with the Better Business Bureau website.
Just as if you had done a search through google, you will want to thoroughly investigate each company you are considering. Different lead services have their own way of operating. Be sure to read each lead services policies.
We do allow our users to rate the designer after using their service. Many designers have several ratings listed on their profile.
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I am looking for a website designer to develop my new site. I need help with hosting. I would like to be able to edit the copy on the website myself. I will need custom graphics created for my website. My site will have 4 main pages. About Us, Order, Contact Us & Gallery. I will need to set up a shop to sell products on my site as well. I need help with social media, like linking my site to facebook, twitter and instagram.
Once you have communicated to the designer what you are looking to accomplish, expect to receive something close to the following:
1. A detailed outline of the project broken down into phases and/or tasks.
2. A time estimate based on the project outline.
3. A ballpark figure based on the information provided.
Let's say your total comes to $3000.00. Just like you break the project up into phases, you should also break up your payments. Below is an example. You may choose to break it up more or less depending on your specific needs. See how much graphic designers earn in your state.
Here is a rough idea of how your proposal/contract will look with a deadline of January 1, 2016
PHASE I (5hrs)
Consultation & Research (Via email and/or phone)
WordPress Theme Installation
Login & Basic Setup
PHASE II (20hrs)
Consultation & Research Part 2(Via email and/or phone)
Site Menu Setup
Header & Artwork Setup
1 set (completed list) of revisions.
PHASE III (20hrs)
Consultation & Research Part 3(Via email and/or phone)
Social Media Integration
Assist in overseeing insertion of site copy & graphics.
Assist in any copy formatting issues.
1 set (completed list) of revisions.
PHASE IV (20hrs)
Testing Cross Platforms, Mobile, Windows, Mac, ie, Chrome, etc
Payment: 50% Down 50% Upon Completion Per Phase
Phase I: 5hrs $50hr =$250
$125. Due 10-28-15 (upon receipt) / $125.00 Due 11-1-15 (or upon completion)
Phase II: 20hrs $50 =$1000
$500. Due 11-1-15 (upon receipt) / $500.00 Due 11-15-15 (or upon completion)
Phase III: 20hrs $50 =$1000
$500. Due 11-15-15 (upon receipt) / $500.00 Due 11-30-15 (or upon completion)
Phase IV 20hrs $50 =$1000
$500. Due 12-01-15 (upon receipt) / $500.00 Due 12-15-15 (or upon completion)
It is impossible for even the most experienced designer to foresee every possible (aka probable) technical difficulty that is bound to arise.
Each project is so very different that it is difficult to give exact scenarios of things that could take longer than expected, however here are a few off the top of my head.
Keep in mind that all cost estimates and time estimates are given with the best of intentions, based on the information that is available at the time. Rarely do things run without a hitch, especially in web design. Asking for "little changes" adds to both the time and cost. Be prepared. Account for it as much as possible in advance.
Look at it like you would when planning to drive to the airport. On the map you can see that it should take twenty minutes to reach the airport. However, you have to take into consideration that there will certainly be traffic, and possibly accidents, road blocks and other unforeseen obstacles along the way. You allow two hours for your commute so that you will arrive on time for your flight.
Keeping these items in mind as you enter into a relationship with a designer will help the process run more smoothly for everyone. Best of luck with your project and happy designer hunting!
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About the author: Jessica is an artist and designer living in the San Francisco East Bay Area.
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