Where to Look?
There are always new sites to find designers. First you need to decide if you want to work with a large web company or a freelance designer. If you have a big budget and are ready for a big commitment then a large web company may just be for you. If you are looking for a more personable designer and a more affordable price I would go with a freelance designer. There are always new sites to find designers. Google is a great way to find large design firms and web companies. Places like Craigslist and Freelancer.com are the best for finding freelance designer. Also keep in mind location of the designer. If they across the country and the world you will not be able to meet face to face if needed. These days everything can be done remotely but sometimes getting to know some in person is the best way decide if you can trust them or not.
Browse Through Your Potential Web Designer’s Portfolios
Take a look around before you make a decision about who you are going to choose. Remember this is an investment and a commitment. You want it to be as useful and appealing as it can be. If you are looking for a designer and they don’t have some sort of portfolio or at least an organized way of showing you their work chances are they are unreliable and unorganized. Don’t jump on the first site you see there are a lot to choose from I am sure you have realized this already. It really isn’t as overwhelming as it seems.
Get in Touch With the Ones you Like
Look around for a solid style and someone you feel you can trust and make sure to contact and ask any questions you have. See what kind of communication the designers have.. How quick they email, how they address you and also just their general attitude. You can get a great feel for who someone is just by how the write an email. If someone contacts you and doesn’t take the time to use capitol letters then chances are he is not your guy!! Make sure they have a kind attitude and speak professional no ones wants to work with a bitter designer. Also when contacting them be specific let them know what you need and when you need it so they can be more accurate with their quote and time frame. Designers are here to help you but we also need our time to be creative so every detail helps. Make sure to contact more then one designer too to get different quotes and ideas.
Look Over Their Services and References
When looking for a niche designer make sure that they have solid experience in that type of web design. Say you are looking for a flash designer find a portfolio that has solid flash sites or at least a decent amount of flash experience. Designers that do things more then other usually have more affordable prices and quicker turn around times. This isn’t always true because top designs who have mastered these trades could be more expensive then someone with close to the same skills just because of their name and reputation. References and testimonials are a good way to see how the designer’s past work has gone. References are not there to ask a million questions but more like ” Would you recommend this designer and/or use them again. ” Some designers just starting out may have the skills you require but not the portfolio. If you feel that they have the skills go with them you will get a better price and maybe give them a chance to break out and show their skills. Use your gut and intuition and always ask for contracts.
A Reasonable Cost
Remember you usually get what you pay for. If you find a solid design firm and you give them a nice big budget they can work with you are going to get a top of the line website. If you ask for the cheapest solutions possible and offer them 100$ you are probably going to get more of a headache then a functional website. You could always hire a high school student or a recent grad looking to build a portfolio but they might not know all the ins and outs of the industry. Experience is key in making solid websites. Think about what you really can afford with your budget then look for quotes that are within your limit. Designers are here to help you if you let them. Not everyone is here just for the money some designers like my self are more into this for the love of the work and the joy of helping people.
Your Goal is Important
After all these emails and different ideas and sites you have looked at remember at the end of the day your goal and idea is what is important. Do your research on website similar to the one you want created and think about what are the best parts of those websites. Keep in mind the end result and try to keep your mind on track. Changing your mind in the middle of a project is only going to cost you money and stress so be prepared when you are ready to purchase a website. Think of this website as a semi temporary tattoo. It will be with you for a while and it is an investment. Be creative but also be functional and to the point. Good luck to you in your search and remember I am always here to help so feel free to email me anytime and contact me about a web project you have in mind.