If you want a good website, you need to hire a web designer to make it happen. Unfortunately, there are plenty of nightmarish stories involving web designers. Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to avoid web designer problems before they begin.
The Web Designer
Web designers are a dime a dozen. There are almost as many of them as there are lawyers! While this gives you plenty of choices, it also can make it difficult to find a designer who will do a good job and do it on schedule.
I am continually shocked at how little research people do before hiring a designer. Don’t make this mistake. Look into the reputation and background of the candidates you are considering. Yes, their portfolio looks nice, but would you expect anything differently? Do searches for “designer name + complaints”. Take a look at review sites to see what others are saying. If you see a number of negative comments, you should mark the designer off your list of potential candidates.
The Artist Mentality
Many web designers view themselves more as artists than business people. Business people do things on time. Artists take their sweet time and consider schedules more of a suggestion than anything they need to meet.
It is important that you understand this distinction when hiring your designer. If there is one common complaint people have with web designers, it is that they take a very long time to complete projects. You might verbally agree to a two-month timetable, but then find yourself six months down the road pulling your hair out waiting for the designer to finish the project. To avoid this scenario, you must force the designer to agree to a legally binding schedule.
The Client From Hell
This isn’t to say clients can’t be a problem as well. That means you. Consider your business. What if you were working with someone who changed their mind every few weeks during a project? You would hate them.
If your web designer is not calling you back, there is a reason. You might be the client from hell. Know what you want with your website design. Describe it in detail to your webmaster and get mockups up front, so you know everyone is on the same page. Then let the designer do their job. If you have a schedule set in stone, and you should, the designer will have certain parts of the site done at certain periods of time. Stop bothering them and let them get it done!
How do you bring all of this together? You enter into a web design contract with the designer. The agreement should cover milestones, design specifications, copyright transfer, remedies for late performance, and so on.
Your contract is going to put a stop to much of the shenanigans that can arise with a web design project. The milestones will force the designer to get things done, and the specifications will clarify exactly how the site should look. Ultimately, this is the recipe for getting the website design you are after and in a timely manner.
If you need assistance with such a contract or one written up for you, contact me for a free consultation.
Richard A. Chapo, Esq.