If you have never used a freelancer or even needed the services of a freelance web designer, then you may need to learn a little more about what to expect so you can realistically start the buying process forearmed and forewarned.
I am going to set this post out so you can learn more about what to ask and also what to look out for.
The first part in our key freelance procurement helper guide is:
Forearmed: What to ask and have prepared
While web designers are by and large a pretty clever lot, they are not miracle workers and if you have any suggestions on what you may be after by virtue of another website (links to send) or indeed some sketches or drawings or basic ideas such as a colour scheme, then please do send these along early doors so they can learn more about what you want and get in your head a little.
Basic outline of budget
Ok, so this is one of those areas some clients feel the need to keep close to their chest until costings have been given after the proposal has been received.
Mainly for fear of prices stretching just enough to fill the budget exactly, though in all honesty my prices are dotted around so you can get a feel of what I charge, though of course most jobs do not fit the exact prices I offer in a package due to specific changes, desires and needs but you get the ball park price from the off.
Do not be afraid to state your budget, what you need to be aware of is can they deliver the quality expected on that budget. This we will be covered more in the lower section of ‘Forearmed’.
Forewarned: What to look out for
Bait and switch (pile em high, sell em cheap)
Of course price is important but what you need to know is that many many (so called) web design companies run on a business model designed to lure you in with seemingly cheap prices and then charge you for so many other things that in the end you pay as much or even more than the really high quality freelancer you wanted to use in the 1st place. The only problem being you have a lower quality site than you wanted that does not perform and people to deal with who are a nightmare.
This may take a year to fully realise with fees and hosting charges, updates etc.
Freelancers however tend to work on reputation and do not have sophisticated call centres and sales processes in place to generate tonnes of potential customers and a few sales per 100 leads.
Check past work
One vital area all new purchases of freelance web design need to look at is the past work of the company or freelancer, even call the company up and ask those questions you want answering.
Go with your gut instinct
If you feel like one person or company deserves your trade more than another go with it, 9/10 times you have processed vital information that has helped you come to that decision, unless you truly have not instinct at all!
Do not be afraid to call:
Sometimes the best reception I have had is when I have had a Skype call or phone call from a new client and we have had a proper chat about requirements. Do not be afraid to ask to speak to people and do not feel silly if you are unsure what to ask, its a great way to see how people help you and what they are made of!