Choosing a web designer
So you have decided to get a web page built or you are getting your old one revamped.
The daunting task of choosing a designer, programmer, hosting company begins. This post will help make that task a little easier for you and give you some insider information on how designers and programmers think and work to help make the experience of getting your new web page live a positive experience.
Who do I hire?
This is one of the toughest decisions to make when venturing out into having your web page designed, there are basically three options that you have here.
- Full-Time In house “Web Guy”.
- Web development firm.
- Individual or smaller company.
To make this decision easier for you here are a few basic rules.
When to hire an in house “Web Guy”.
Your website is a large site with constant updates and you require other design media such as flyer advertising, logo design, and plan on hosting the site on a local server etc. There are developers out there that are capable of handling complex design, programming, print media, video production and more. Designers/Programmers/Artists work in particular ways, if you want to get the most out of them you will need to read the section on what to expect from…
When to use a large firm.
If you want no input into the project and want to just leave it to a company to Design, Program and Host based off your provided company logo then a Web development firm could be a good option for you. Larger design firms have less personal interaction with clients but they have usually a few designers that can bounce concepts off of each other.
When to use an individual or Smaller company.
On many occasions this is the best option for your web page for the following reasons. When dealing with an individual on a contract or hourly basis you receive the personal touch during the design process and you will be able to work with the designer closely to develop the right layout for your site. On many occasions the same web designer will have the capability to write the html or other language to publish the site. The key here is to find an individual that you work well with for more detailed information see what to expect.
What to expect…
What to expect from In-House “Web Guy”.
Complete creative control is available here as you will have your designer/programmer in your offices full-time, you will be his/her only client.
- Hire in on a contract basis for a pre-determined amount of time.
- Hire full or part time based on the required needs of your project.
- Complete creative control on all work.
- Salary/Wage is negotiable before contracts and agreements are signed.
- Difficult to end working relationship should anything go bad.
- Insurance and liability.
- Employee vs. Contractor
What to expect from large design companies.
You can expect to receive a couple of samples in which you can make minor revision suggestions to and then sign off on the layout of you choice. The programming team will then add the functionality to layout and add content unless you are requiring a CMS – Content Management System. In the latter case the programming team will develop a Back-End for you to manage the content on the site.
- Can handle any project of any size
- Guaranteed quality
- Proven track record
- Hosting capabilities
- Rates are much higher
- Limited much creative control
- Not as personal
- Updates and changes can be costly
- No real relationship built with client
- Design $50-$75/hr
- Programming $75-$100+/hr
What to expect from Individuals or smaller design companies.
Expect that your designer/programmer will be able to give you the more personal touch and build a solid working relationship throughout the project. Smaller companies and Individuals are more likely to work under a flat rate contract for example instead of working hourly. Smaller companies generally have less clients and workload therefore can give you more personal attention if you require it.
- Flexible payment and contract terms
- Personal attention
- Flexible hours
- Low risk
- Can be difficult to find the right artist/programmer for your needs
- Sometimes personalities clash
- Design $35-$50/hr
- Programming $65-$75/hr
As you can tell it can be a daunting task finding the right match for your web project. Hopefully this article will help you in making your decision. Please read the article “Artists v.s. Programmers”.
Written by: Matthew Paul Chitty 2007