While hiring a web designer there are few things that need to be considered, like whether to go for a freelance designer or an agency, is the designer creative or he can design only specific sites. So how do you make the choice? What should you look for while hiring a freelance web designer? Generally web design agencies are preferred over freelance designers so you don't have to worry about the skills of each team member working on the design. But agencies are expensive and hence a freelance web designer becomes a good choice.
Before you start searching for a designer, you need to decide what exactly you want or are expecting from the designer. This is necessary because that will help you to decide what type of designer you need. Designers are of different types. Some specialize in a certain technology while others are good in a specific visual style. Very experienced designers would create innovative designs in a specific technology and at the same time have a very attractive and intuitive user interface. Such designers who also have very good technical skills are rare to find!
Many times people consider web designer and a web developer as one and the same thing. The difference is that if you are looking to make something on website work then you probably need a developer whereas if you are looking for something to look great on the website then you are looking for a designer. If you come across someone who claims that he can develop as well as design, it is a good idea to assert his claim from people who are expert in that technology before you go ahead and hire him.
Also before you hire a freelance web designer make sure you check his or her portfolio. It would give a clear picture whether the designer has different creative designs or all the designs are just clones of one of the design. This means that they have one basic design and all other designs are just small changes to the basic design. While looking at the designs in the portfolio, you can also see what type of clients the freelance web designer has catered to. Also check if the designer has received recommendations from his clients. Commitment to the project and adhering to deadlines should also be checked before you hire a web designer.
The payment strategy can be discussed in the initial stage itself. A fixed amount can be paid before starting the work and remainder of the payment can be made at the end of the work.
Good communication skill in a designer is an added advantage. It helps to keep your communication clear and easy for each other to understand requirements. The designer should be able to pick your inputs and add to it so as to give the desired output.
The disadvantage of hiring an agency is that there is a lot of time wasted between contacting them, receiving a response and signing the contract. On the other hand the moment you contact a freelancer through his website, you would receive a response within a few hours. With freelancers negotiation on the price also a skill you need to have. Depending on your negotiation skill you could land up with a good price especially with a freelancer rather than an agency.