How long would it take you to watch a film with poor picture quality? Would it last more than 10 minutes? The same happens with a website. 38% of users leave it if they find its layout unappealing.
Think about this: you might lose every third potential client because of unattractive design. Moreover, this increases your competitors' traffic, as in such a case, clients still try to find another website.
If you don’t want such a scenario to become your reality, hiring a web designer is your absolute must. However, finding the best one without losing your mind might be challenging. This article will help you to get unstuck and find a real expert easily.
The main role of a web designer is to create visual aspects of the website. Using prototyping tools, different layouts, and fonts, web designers turn the client’s vision into something meaningful and appealing to the target audience.
A professional web designer knows how to find proper visual elements for websites with different styles. For example, a website for kids should have bright colors, easy-to-read fonts, and a lot of interactive elements. Besides that, hiring a web designer to work on your website brings much more advantages:
Company websites can vary significantly even within the niche. That’s why pre-made website builders typically fail to meet professional expectations. By hiring web designer services, you can work more on customization and long-term improvements, which make your website stand out.
There are many ways web designers can improve the performance of your website, for example, by optimizing image sizes. According to the 2020 Deloitte Digital review, only a 0.1-second improvement in the loading speed makes visitors stay for longer and spend 10 times more.
Hiring a web designer who is familiar with accessibility guidelines can significantly improve the positions of your product among the competitors. With their help, you can add to your potential users at least 12.7% of the US population, which consists of people with some type of visual or hearing impairment.
Now, you can take an easy road and build the website yourself, using website builders, such as Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, etc. Small business owners and entrepreneurs choose them because of the following features:
Using different building blocks, you can compose a simple 2-3 page website in 2-3 days. Or, you can use a pre-made website template and just fill it with content. This is an excellent option for jumpstarting your online presence.
Squarespace prices range from $12 to $40 per month, and Wix is even cheaper. If you have a tight budget, website builders are a great way to save money and create a functional website.
Creating a website with builders is like playing Lego: you pick one of the pre-made templates or blocks and arrange them until you’re happy.
However, if you want your business to look professional, then website builders actually might do you more harm than good, and here’s why:
The first impression lasts, and if you want users to stay on your website, it’s better to design something eye-catching. Website builders with pre-made blocks produce generic designs. Plus, Wix and Squarespace place their signatures at the bottom, right next to a contact section.
Thorough contact information is important to 54% of users, according to the 2015 B2B Web Usability Report. So, if a person sees that your website is made with builders, they might think of your company as less credible.
We live at high speed, and most users won’t wait patiently for a website to load. Unfortunately, a website built with Wix fails to compare with a website created by an experienced web designer who knows how to optimize things.
Given the fact that slow loading speed contributes to a 6.8 billion dollars annual revenue loss, it’s better to find a web designer who will help you avoid that.
Creating a website with builders doesn’t require coding skills, but it also means that you have no control over the code. Unfortunately, website builders often have unstructured code.
This negatively affects Google ranking and may even result in shadowban on the results page. So, don’t tempt fate and use the help of a professional who will create a light structured code for quick SEO optimization.
Depending on your project, you might need to choose between a web designer and a web developer. Those titles may sound similar, but they’re not the same. Even though these titles may sound similar, they're not the same.
A web designer is mainly responsible for the visual layout of a website as well as its usability. In contrast, a web developer is someone who builds the main structure of a website. In fact, let’s see what responsibilities each of them has.
Relevant skills are the most important piece of the puzzle. Being a proficient Photoshop user is far from being enough to call yourself a web designer. Along with that, your desired candidate should have ticks in the following boxes:
HTML is the backbone of every website, and CSS handles its structure and creates a visual appearance. Being proficient in both of these languages is what defines a web designer from a graphic designer.
Make sure that your freelance web designer knows how to create a user-friendly and visually appealing interface. This knowledge will help you encourage your users to stay on your website as long as possible and continuously turn to it.
Implementing CMS for the website usability and functionality is also among top responsibilities of a web designer. Note that every CMS is built for various purposes, and a skilled expert should differentiate between them and propose the optimal solution for your needs.
According to Statista, 55% of the global internet traffic is consumed via mobile devices. It means that mobile optimization is essential for generating clicks and improving the user experience of your website.
However, at the same time, there is still almost the same amount of users that consume traffic through other gadgets. So your web designer should be able to make the website efficient for any of the devices.
Prototyping is a powerful tool that will help test the final design in real-time, identify potential issues, and prevent mistakes that can cost
big money. This is a quite useful way of checking how a designer's skills work in reality.
A web designer who possesses search engine optimization skills can help you reach the desired result of converting traffic into sales. For example, optimizing the images on your website makes it load faster, which increases its ranking on the search engine results page.
The next thing we recommend you to look at is the candidates’ portfolios. Real cases can tell a lot about the candidate, so here are the things that will get you closer to finding the expert you need:
Pay attention to font pairings, color schemes, and the overall flow of the website. Looking at 3-4 cases can give you an approximate idea about the candidate’s knowledge of the design basics and whether it clicks with your vision.
You can go even further and ask what the reasons behind each of the decisions are. This will let you know that their visual choices are backed up by theoretical knowledge and are not just pure guesses.
Be extra careful when assessing the usability of your designer’s websites. Is the website menu easily accessible? How many swipes and clicks do you make to get to the checkout form? Those small details define how users view your website and the amount of time they spend on it.
If you need a website for a hardware store or a flower shop, look for web designers who can offer these cases. Following this simple advice makes it significantly easier for you to evaluate the expertise of a designer with a request similar to yours.
Take a look at the portfolio from a user's point of view. Click on random pages, analyze the flow of the website and ask yourself if it prompts you to order something. However, you should be careful not to let your professional knowledge fill in the gaps of not-given information.
This tip is especially important for those who have a tight budget: don’t be afraid to hire web designers with a small portfolio. Usually, new specialists can bring some refreshing perspective into your design. Also, they don’t hesitate to experiment with different visuals, which can make your website unique.
Looking at reviews and recommendations or communicating with the past clients directly is the quickest way to see if a potential candidate can deliver what they mean. Also, this allows you to briefly assess some of their soft skills, such as communication, and problem-solving and see if they’re a good team worker.
Most company owners feel confused when it comes to costs, so if you’re one of them, don’t worry. First of all, decide whether you’re looking for a full-time or an independent web designer. After that, you should consider many factors, such as the candidate's expertise, skillset, portfolio, and productivity.
However, even after considering all these aspects, deciding on the payment might be a real challenge. To help you deal with that, let’s take a look at the four possible payment scenarios.
If you decide to hire a web designer for a full-time position, you have to consider two primary factors that impact the payment: their skill level and location. For you to see the whole picture, Awesomic did research on such platforms as Indeed and Glassdoor.
If you prefer the model of paying per number of hours, be ready to find a wide range of pricing depending on the candidate's location, skills, or expertise. For example, Upwork’s median hourly rates fluctuate within $15-30/hr, but if you want a designer with a senior experience level and full-cycle website optimization, be ready to spend $50-75 per hour or even more.
Other freelance platforms, such as Freelancer.com, can offer employees price tags as low as $10 or as high as $50 per hour. At the same time, the average cost is like on Upwork. Again, the price depends on your project scope and the candidate's general experience.
So, how much would it cost for the whole project? Generally, it takes 50-100 hours to develop a simple 6-8 page website. This marks the final cost of web designer services at $2,000-3,000, on average.
Those who prefer to have a clear picture about the budget for a project, may turn to platforms that offer an already set price for a design. For instance, Fiverr allows its users to hire web designers by applying location, level, service type, or delivery time filters.
What is more, you can even set a specific budget for your project and find a designer that fits it. However, on average, you’d have to spend at least €192 per one design.
Additionally, this platform requires a significant amount of your time and thorough attention, as you’ll need it when browsing numerous accounts. You can find professionals there, but they are a rare gem in an ocean of entry-level web designers. And of course, their pricing starts from €785 and goes up to €2,176.
This variant is a perfect fit for those who don't want to spend their time on analyzing web designers’ profiles and price negotiating. On subscription platforms like Awesomic, you don’t have to worry about hours or revisions needed for a project. All of these are included in one price you pay every month.
There is no golden standard for how much these services should cost. Mainly, such platforms have a range of subscription tiers for you to choose, depending on your request. Logically, the more you’d like to be offered, the more you have to pay.
For you to see the average price on the market, Awesomic prepared a brief comparison of the three popular subscription services:
The process of recruiting a web designer is a whole story that has a set-up, action, and resolution. But not every story might have a happy end. Let’s look at the three most popular directions your story might take and where each of them ends up.
Set-up. You decide that hiring a web designer is not such a difficult thing to do. So your choice is to take care of it yourself.
Action. You monitor social media looking for web designers offering their services. At the same time, you ask around if anyone knows a professional that you need. But seeing that not much happens, you decide to post a job offer on job boards, sites, or networks.
Result. You spent a lot of time and effort trying to cover all of the platforms. And if you were lucky to find qualified candidates, now you also need to do the screening, interview them, and conduct tests. After that, you realize the onboarding process is only about to start.
Set-up. You decide to look for a web designer on platforms made especially for this purpose, like Upwork or Dribbble.
Action. You start your search by entering the request options and applying filters. Next thing you know, you’re in a predicament where you need to go through hundreds of candidates. What is waiting for you? Reading and analyzing all their profile descriptions, portfolios, and narrowing that huge number down to several candidates.
Result. You spent so much time and effort that you ended up choosing the first good enough choice. But the real action is ahead of you. There will be a design briefing, passing over the details, setting up the communication, and price negotiation. After all, you might end up with a bad choice or no choice at all.
Set-up. You’ve heard that you can get a pre-selected professional web designer on subscription platforms, like Awesomic. So, you want to give it a try and see if it’s really as easy as they say.
Action. Within one day, you select a subscription tier and get an expert that fits your request for a fixed price. After that, you can spend the saved recruiting time on filling in a design brief. In 24 hours, you already get the first concepts of your design, so, you only need to keep reviewing them and giving your feedback.
Result. You have plenty of time saved by delegating the designer searching, screening, and price negotiation. Instead, you invest this time in building effective communication and onboarding processes. At the end of the day, you have a professional delivering great results on time.