With the rise of the ecommerce market, staying relevant has never been more difficult. There are thousands of sites similar to yours and, if you don’t stand out, you won’t be able to cut through the noise and attract new customers.
Now, there are numerous ecommerce platforms and tools that may help you launch your ecommerce website on your own. Still, to level the playing field, you should consider leaving this job to the pros.
With numerous online business directories and freelancing sites, finding the right web designer is pretty simple.
But, how to choose the right one? Let’s find out!
1. How Experienced are They?
No matter if you’re hiring a freelancer or an agency, you need to check how experienced they are.
First, ask them to show you the projects they worked on in the past. Every established web designer has an extensive portfolio . If they don’t, you should probably run away immediately. The goal of analyzing their previous work is not only to check their expertise, but also to see whether they’re the right fit for you.
So, when looking at one’s portfolio, here is what you should ask yourself:
● Are there any sites similar to the one I want?
● Do these sites look professional?
● Are they responsive, user-friendly, and visually appealing?
● Do I like the designer’s style?
● Are these sites unique or they look the same?
● How well do they rank in the SERPs?
2. Have They ever Worked with a Platform You Use?
When launching your ecommerce site, the first thing you need to do is choose the right ecommerce platform. Like you probably know, these platforms vary and that’s why you need to be careful when making your decisions.
For some ecommerce merchants, open source options like Magento ecommerce website design would work the best. On the other hand, some online retail businesses may find SaaS platforms like Shopify or Volusion more effective.
Once you make your choices, you should hire a web designer that has already worked with a platform you’ve chosen. Keep in mind that some ecommerce platforms offer extensive partner programs. So, you should check them out first to look for a certified web designer.
3. How Responsive are They?
When hiring a freelancer or an agency, you need to keep in mind their responsiveness. While some of them would answer your calls or emails immediately, others would take more time to get back to you.
Now, if you’re calling them to brainstorm ideas for a future site update, the fact that they didn’t get back to you instantly is not such a big deal. But, what if something goes wrong and your customers cannot complete their purchases? In that case, every second counts and that’s why you need to work with a reliable partner.
One of the major factors you need to take into consideration is their physical location. I know, we live in the hyperconnected era, where IM apps, video conferencing tools, and project management platforms give us the opportunity to hire the best experts from all across the globe.
Still, experience has proven that, even with these sophisticated technologies, working with remote employees may not be that productive. Let’s take time zones as an example. Unless an agency or a freelancer is willing to work on your time, there will definitely be numerous communication problems. Just imagine if a problem occurs and it needs to be solved immediately on a Friday afternoon, but your developer is 8 hours ahead, meaning that they’re probably out or sleeping.
4. How much do They Charge?
Before you hire a web designer, do your research and familiarize yourself with the quotes and billing practices. For example, some recent statistics show that, for creating a custom site from scratch, web designers charge between $45 and $75 per hour . Some even team up with web developers so that a client pays one price for both website development and design.
Your website is a long-term investment and this is exactly why it needs to be handled by professionals. Don’t look for the cheapest options. At the same time, keep in mind that the price is not the indicator of the quality. High hourly rates don’t necessarily indicate quality, either. So, instead of considering the price alone, let your candidates’ experience and previous work decide the price of their services.
Also, keep in mind that the prices don’t have to be fixed. Sometimes, they vary based on your requirements. This is why any professional agency or freelancer will ask you a bunch of questions and send detailed proposals before they set the price.
5. Check Them Online
If you’re hiring a designer from freelancing sites, pay attention to their reviews and ratings. The same goes for web design agencies. Online business reviews, testimonials, or any other form of social proof really matters . Still, don’t trust these too much, since you can never know how authentic they are. Even if someone has 5-star ratings or stellar testimonials, you need to talk to them about their previous experiences, take a look at their portfolio, and even ask for references to confirm their expertise.
When following up with their previous clients, here are some questions you may ask them:
● Were you satisfied with the end results?
● Did an individual or an agency complete their project on schedule?
● Did you get what you paid for?
● Was there anything you didn’t like about them?
● How professional were they?
● Would you hire them again or recommend them?
6. Do They Offer Website Maintenance?
Once your website is launched, you can finally relax. Unfortunately, that’s not true. To stay relevant and rank well, ecommerce sites need to be regularly maintained and kept up-to-date.
This is something you need to talk to your designer about. Namely, when your site is up, they won’t be obligated to offer some additional maintenance services. This is why you need to ask them on time if you can call them if you need new updates and how much this would cost you. Some companies even offer regular website maintenance services to their clients.
Back to You
Hiring a web designer may seem a tedious task to you right now, but don’t worry. Once you know what type of ecommerce site you want, set your goals, figure out what to ask candidates, and determine the scope of your project, this process will seem like a walk in the park. Remember, to find a web designer that is the right fit for you, you need to know what exactly you expect from them in terms of your site’s looks and functionality.