So you need a web developer or designer for your new website. You don't know the first thing about it or how to find a web designer, or how to evaluate their past work or references.
- One solution is to hand off the job to a creative staffing agency. They take care of vetting designers and paying them, however in our experience their ability to vet designers and developers is only modestly better than yours. The general rule of thumb is that the talent gets half of the hourly rate you are charged by the creative agency. This means you are not getting prime talent because they will not work for half their normal rate unless they are desperate for work.
- Craigslist is an okay option to find a web designer. We still use it. Of course ripoffs abound, but believe me this cuts both ways. We demand a substantial deposit from all Craigslist clients, so you should expect to do so. We have a reputation and a substantial portfolio showcased on our website bbdsdesign.com. In any event you should be looking at the designer's portfolio and find projects there that you like. We showcase a broad range of work and we sometimes compromise our design aesthetics to satisfy a client's taste. There is a style for every taste and not all of them align with our own. That's okay, we are here to serve your vision, not to impose one.
- Referrals from colleagues, friends and family who have worked with a designer is a great way to find someone you can productively work with.
- Find sites you like and work back to the designer. Sometimes you will find a link to designer in the footer. Otherwise contact the site owner for a referral.
- Outsourcing. This is most viable if you find a web designer you like and are developing multiple sites. Communication can be problematic because of the time difference. Finding someone you can work with may be too much trouble for a one-off.
- Know the rates in your area, and expect to pay accordingly. This is true of hiring a freelancer or engaging a creative staffing agency. A good designer is efficient and will save you money in the long run. Being organized and knowing what you like and want will also reduce your project cost. Prepare your site structure, content and graphics. Being organized, planning methodically, and communicating well are key to limiting revisions and redesigns, and keeping costs within budget. Have a firm agreement with your designer or agency about revisions, and how they fit into the budget.