Hiring a Vancouver Freelance Web Designer

Craigslist ad for web designIf you are considering hiring a freelance web designer in Vancouver, there are many to choose from and all are competing for similar clientele. I was on Facebook a few days ago and saw an ad for a web design company (a freelancer really) who was promising responsive, mobile-friendly design for around $900. Always curious about what other website designers are doing, I visited their website. Their “recent work” page consisted of four thumbnail images, only two of which led to an actual website (one of them incomplete).

I’m not judging here: everyone starts somewhere, but this freelancer’s websites were certainly not as advertised. They were in no way, shape or form mobile-friendly and two of four the samples were nothing more than a heading and a couple of paragraphs upon a very large JPG background. Cheap can be cheap and good, or cheap can be cheap and really very bad. Would a client get $900 of value from the freelancer I’ve mentioned? They may think they are getting value, but with a very little bit of education they’d see they are not. A website is more than a large graphic with text positioned upon it.

Questions to ask a freelance web designer

Clients owe it to themselves to ask questions and educate themselves (a little) about web design. You may very well get a good design for $900 but you should know exactly what you are getting for your money.

  1. Will my website be viewable in most modern browsers? Do you cross-platform test?
  2. Do you write the code yourself? Are you using Dreamweaver? Are you using someone else’s web template?
  3. Will the code be valid HTML5 or close-to-valid HTML5?
  4. Are you using CSS or a table-based layout?
  5. Can I get a reference from a client or two?
  6. How long have you been designing websites, doing Web marketing, SEO?
  7. Will my site be mobile-friendly?
  8. Do I have to pay for images in the design or are they included in the price?
  9. Are you providing a wireframe of the website so we can envision how it will function?
  10. How many mockups will you provide?
  11. How many revisions are included in the price?
  12. Is content insertion and formatting part of the quoted cost or extra?
  13. Do they provide SEO services as part of a website package?
  14. How long will it take to design my website?
  15. In the end, who owns the copyright on the graphics and website itself?

These are just  a few questions that can help you decide whether or not you are getting value for what you are paying. You may be able to find a Vancouver freelance website designer who’ll design a site for a few hundred dollars — I’ve seen many such ads on Craigslist — but what, exactly are you getting? Make sure you look under the hood and kick the tires before you buy.

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