Choosing A Freelance Web Designer; Creative, Techie or Perfect Mix?

Finding a web designer to suit your needs can be a bit of a minefield, particularly if you don’t really know how to judge one from another. How do you choose? And what exactly is a web designer?

If you go to a web design agency, web design teams will often be split into a ‘backend’ technical team and a ‘frontend’ creative team, all of whom may be referred to as web designers. These will most likely be bound together by good project management and probably involve web editorial or marketing input to bring the content of the website to life.

One way of thinking about this is to think of the technical team as the mechanics who roll their sleeves up and get into the nitty gritty of designing the engine of the website; the database, the scripting and code. The creative team are like the interior designers furnishing the interior of the car and spraying on the paint. In addition to the visual creatives you have the wordsmith creatives whose job it is to lure visitors from the home page deeper into the site by making you hungry for more of their content. So, when you choose a freelancer you are trying to find one person who either has varying degrees of all the above skillsets themselves, or who has access to these skillsets. No easy task!

Most likely the freelancer’s strength will lie in one of the above areas and they may be weaker in the other areas. For example, you may have someone who is a whiz at the technical stuff but not so hot at the graphic design; and, is a site that is functional but perhaps not so visually appealing likely to achieve your goals? On the other hand, you may find someone whose visual designs look amazing but whose copy lacks the sparkle to entice prospects beyond the home page. As with most things it is all about weighing up what is most important to you. At least if you are aware of whether your web designer’s roots lay in the techie, visual or marketing sphere you will be clear about what you are getting for your money and where their potential strengths and weaknesses may lie. And, if you’re really lucky you will find someone who is strong in all areas!

Read more about marketing your business and web design advice for the small business