When you start work with a new web designer it is important to know a few things first. There are a wide range of designers out there. Some are better at design, some are better at programming, but at the end of the day, web designers can be notorious for poor turn around times, poor communication, and a lack of accountability. They have given web designers like myself a tough act to follow because of all of the negative publicity. However, we can learn a great deal from them.
1. Make sure you have an understanding of how your web designer works and what you are receiving for your money. Are multiple drafts allowed? Is there a time limit on the end result? Is everything mapped out ahead of time for the website?
2. Do you own your website? Don’t ask your web developer to purchase your web domain and hosting for you. Instead, take control of your domain and hosting by purchasing them with your own credit card which will solidify your ownership of everything at the end of the day.
3. Make sure that you have logins, passwords, and copies of any necessary files or graphics. It is important that the web designer gives you rights to all files and graphics. Also make sure that you stress that all images are supposed to be original content. If you use an image that has a copyright on it, at the end of the day, you are responsible for it because you own the domain. There is no getting around this in the courts.
4. Speak up when you start. There is nothing worse than telling a designer what you really want when they are already on the third draft. It is better to be upfront about your desires in terms of appearance, appeal, and content.
5. Trust your instincts. You need to create a working relationship with your web designer. If your initial meeting doesn’t really click for you, then how can you expect them to understand your vision for your website? Find someone that you like, find someone with a solid portfolio, find someone that is willing to think outside the box.
The rest is cake.