Web design can be tricky. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, finding the right graphic designer for your blog can be tough, as you may not have the same tastes as someone you bring in to do the work for you. However, at the same time, you may be way too busy to do the graphic design work yourself. Here are a few tips that, if followed, can probably take most of the hassle out of trying to hire the right graphic designer for your blog.
Check out Freelancing Sites
A great place to start your search for a graphic designer to do your web design is freelancing sites. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of people out there who earn a full time living by working from home and getting freelance graphic design jobs on the web. Sites such as Elance or Freelancer.com are probably a good start. If you do not find who you are looking for on one of those two sites, there are plenty of others as well.
The good thing about these sites is that they offer a public reputation score for the freelancer. You can be fairly assured that the person you are hiring will do good work based on their reputation on the site. In addition, you can usually see examples of their work on these sites as well.
What websites do you really like and want to emulate? Check the site to see if there is credit given to the graphic designer or web design firm. You can often find this in the footer down near the bottom of the page.
If you cannot find who did the work, shoot the site owner an email and ask them who did it. They will probably be more than happy to give you the information if they are happy with the design themselves.
Ask For References
Once you have a few graphic designers who you are interested in hiring, ask them for a couple of references. This could be sample sites they have done that you can review, or actual clients who you could call or email and chat with about the designer.
Looking at a few samples will probably really help you to know if you are aesthetically compatible. In addition, talking to past or current clients will help you determine their professionalism.
Once who have narrowed it down to the one graphic designer that you do want to hire, make sure you are very specific in what you need. Too many times, graphic design work goes bad simply because the designer and the client are not on the same page on the results.
Be specific about colors, graphics, sizes, columns, everything. Make it as definable and straightforward as you can so that you can rest assured that you and the graphic designer are working toward the same goals.
Have A Timeline
Have a schedule for the person you hire to design your blog. This is not so that you can hold it over their head if things go a bit awry along the way. This is simply to make sure that, again, you and the web designer are on the same page. With a solid schedule, they can understand exactly what your expectations are, and there will not be any guesswork involved for them or for you.
Be realistic about this schedule, of course. Think in terms of how long it will really take to do the work, as you can bet that there will be some revisions along the way, as revisions are just a natural part of the process. Also, discuss with the designer what they think a realistic amount of time for completion would be.
Communicate Expectations Well
We have already discussed this in part above, but just to reiterate – you must communicate overall and specific expectations well for your web designer. Again, not because you want to hold it over them later, but just to ensure that you both truly understand what the desired outcome of this project really is.
This might work best in writing, or it may be better to chat in person or over the phone. In any case, make sure you get these expectations in writing in order to have proof in case there are any problems later. Give Them Examples
You probably have a few designs or websites out there that you are a fan of and want to emulate on some level. Make sure that you give these examples to your designer. This information can be crucial for them to get the job done right, as it gives them a visual to work off of when doing your design.
Of course, you want to be careful not to steal or copy someone else’s design, but having a few examples for the web designer to look at can at least give them a much more detailed idea of what you what that sometimes simply words cannot express.
Ask About Revisions
Make sure that you and your web designer are clear about the number and the time limits of revisions on the work done. Are they going to be ok with doing 6 revisions over next 3 months? As long as you have that information set in stone up front, there should not be any hard feelings about it later.
Sign a Contract
Finally, put everything discussed in writing, and each of you sign it, whether on paper or electronically through the contracts on a freelancing site. This will protect both parties in case anything goes wrong along the way, and keep everything clear.
If you will follow these simple tips, you can expect an enjoyable experience with your web designer!