Hiring a designer can be a stressful and confusing exercise. We would like it to be an ‘abracadabra’ process where you said a funny word and everything gets done magically, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. However, not all the time must be a titanic task, at least not with the appropriate knowledge.
Beyond design being a more subjective field, unlike other fun investments likeclothing or entertainment, you really just don't know what you're buying into and the commitment you’re acquiring.
After working with several unsatisfied clients who have come to us after disappointing experiences with web designers we’ve determined that there are a few core questions that can help you decide if your new designer or agency is really capable of met your vision... before you lay down your bucks (and trust) on anybody’s hands.
Questions to ask a Squarespace web designer
To get the most out of your newwebsite developmentpartnership, in order to achieve quality design, usability, and excellent customer service, it's important to ask your designer the right questions. By asking these questions, you can ensure that you’d satisfied with your final design and your choice of a designer/developer. Let's get started
1. What is your step-by-step process?
When you’re hiring someone to build your website, it's important to know their processup close. You wouldn’t want to go after someone who takes on web clients without any previous branding work (and no branding built into their design process).
If you don’t have abrand guide made for you, ask your designer/developer how they plan to develop your color palette and fonts. Will they use Squarespace defaults or do they create a mood board to explore the options before proceeding with the designing stage?
The right designer should have a roadmap for developing these key visual elements or require them to be done before you could book. If they don’t ... it might be a signthat they will build your site, yes, but with no taking care ofcreating a well-considered visual experience.
2. Do you use code? What level of customization are you able to provide me?
This is one of the most important questions you should be asking if you plan to hire a designer. Although Squarespace gives the chance of buildinga gorgeous site without knowing a lick of code, if you want to take thingsup to the next level by customizing your ideas, your new designer should be CSS capable.
NOTE: CSS is a front-end code language that allows designers to edit how things look. For example, if you want to create hover effects with your mouse over things or some stellar collages, your designer will need to be able to write a few lines of CSS. It isn't mandatory to build a beautiful site, but it sure helps set your site apart from other drag-and-drop sites.
3. What specific Squarespace features are appropriate for my industry-website?
Just because your designer can use a wide selection of Squarespace features doesn't mean that he should or you really need it. A good designer/developer would be able to advise which tools are best for you and in order to get your target audience attention. If you know how to combine design with functionality you would be able to keep your site loading efficiently and relevant among your competition.
4. How can you help optimize my website to get more organic search leads?
Website development isn’t only about achieving a stellar design, it goes much further. Your designer/developer should be able to set up your Squarespace site for SEO and give you the appropriated tools to do it by yourself.
Google receives more than 100 billion searches every month, so being well ranked in search engines will help your site stand out. Once your website is optimized for organic leads, you can then supplement with leads from social media and other sources.
5. How will I know when the site would be launched? Will we sign a contract?
Working without a contract is like steering without a rudder, i.e., you will not have complete control of what may or may not happen. Skipping this step during such an important part of your brand's presence is a huge mistake as this can cause major (legal and money) problems.
At first it may seem silly for such a creative process. However, sometimes creative processes can be tricky and get wild if you let it ... DO NOT SKIP IT.
Get everything in writing, including:
· Legal matters
Talk aboutthe ins& outs of your process from second 1, daily if possible, till’ everything is setting up and ready to launch. These things can’t only add up financially, but can also be your legal responsibility, so be sure your designer let you know all the details.
It's just about respect, your designer must respect you enough to put his promises into writing and honor his commitments. And if something serious happens, like your designer steals an entire website and sells it to you as unique (it happens more often than you think), or you don’t like the final result, with a contract you’d be protected from any legal action.
6. How will you prepare me to perform website duties on my own?
The last thing you want is a developer/designer who will leave you with website responsibilities that you have no idea how to handle. Ask how much training you can expect and how they will teach you once your design is complete. You must make sure that your needs are met when it comes to managing your own Squarespace website.
Tips to hire the best Squarespace designer
Verify their work
See if their work is up to the standard that you would like yours to be. Also, has the designer created any sites similar to yours, i.e., of the same industry? If so, their previous experience creating sites in that field will streamline things in each stage of yours.
Take a look at the Payment plan & Cost
Every agency or designer will charge slightly different. After checking their work, see if their price is within your budget. Also, make sure their payment plan fits with your needs. Some charge half upfront and half upon completion, while others charge hourly or a percentage of work completed month to month.
Check the Turnaround
Are you on a specific time scale? Before any hiring is done, make sure that the designer/developer can meet the deadlines set by you. A slow turnaround could mean loss of money and business.
Look at the testimonials
Having zero testimonials isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you should ask yourself if there is a reason for this. Maybe they’re new, or they’ve listed their feedbacks on their Facebook page instead. But seeing what experiences other people have had with the designer is crucial to give you an insight of how your project and outcome could be.
Hearing that our clients have haddisheartening results when investing in someone only to find out that they just cannot deliver bothers us completely. But not all experiences should turn out this way. The key is to ask the right questions upfront and be open-minded about the designer's process. This attention to detail will help you understand your Squarespace website and stay involved in the entire development process