How to Hire a Website Designer, Graphic Designer or Developer to Build Your Website

Last updated on December 16, 2016

how to hire a website designer graphic designer developer coderBuilding a website is not easy – especially if you are not a skilled graphic designer, website designer, or a website developer (coder).

The good news is, it’s not rocket science, either.

Nowadays, there are a lot of code-free, drag & drop website builders available to help you skip over the “I don’t know how to code” hurdle.

But still, you just might need some professional help with your website and graphics designs at some point.

While we at Website Builder Expert aim to empower everyday people to build a website on their own, but we also recognize the value of hiring a skilled designer that can save you a lot of time when your website is ready for this phase – when your website gains traction with visitors so that your business is benefiting from your web presence.

(Sidenote: If you are just starting off with a brand new business and you’re not sure if the idea will work, we actually discourage you from hiring a designer. We go over our reasons why here.)

Our experiences are a bit unique in that we’ve been on both sides of the fence as:

  1. Website owners who hired designers; and as
  2. Website designers who were hired by other website owners.

So we have a unique perspective on both providing design services to clients, and also on how to hire website designers, graphic designers, and website developers / coders.

If this is something that’s new to you, we understand your frustration and challenges since we’ve struggled with this game before.

In this guide, we will share our experiences of how to effectively find, hire and manage website designers, graphic designers, and developers.

It’s a guide that we wished we found when we first started out. Hopefully, this will help guide you down the right path, and save you a lot of frustration along the way!

 

In this guide, we will:

  • Answer all the frequently asked questions when hiring a designer or developer (as listed above); and
  • Show you a detailed plan on how to effectively work with a designer or a developer.

How To Choose a Designer or Developer that’s Right for Me?

If you’ve hired people before, then you know that a resume doesn’t always reflect how well a person will fit in your company.

Sure, a resume can weed out unqualified people, but what if all the applicants have similar skills and experiences? How do you choose the right one?

This is especially challenging if you are hiring for a position that you don’t have prior experiences with – such as design and website creation.

Hiring a wrong person is a real problem and it’s a problem that everybody encounters at some point.

So know that not every designer you hire will work out like a rockstar. It’s just part of the process.

Having said that, there are certain steps you can take to improve your chances of hiring a solid designer that you can work well with.

The best practice of hiring the right freelancer involves 2 simple steps:

  1. Understand what you need & what type of freelancer can get the job done; and
  2. Understand how to judge whether a designer or developer is good or not.

1. What Type of Freelancer (Designer and/or Developer) Do You Need?

To get the job done properly, you need the right tools. So you better understand what the job entails.

To hire the right designer or developer for your website, you first need to understand what you are trying to accomplish with your website.

How else could you find the right person if you don’t even know what you want to get done?

When you build a website, there are two key components:

  1. Website design; and
  2. Website coding.

These are two different skills. You can either:

  • Find different specialists to get each of the job done (i.e. hire someone to design you website, and hire someone else to code it up for you), or
  • You can hire a generalist that can do both of these jobs (i.e. someone who can design well and code).

When it comes to designing and building websites, there are 3 types of experts who can get involved in the process:

  1. Graphic designers
  2. Website designers
  3. Developers / coders

You can easily find out what type of freelanced designer you need by asking yourself these two questions:

Q #1: What is the Difference Between a Graphic Designer, a Website Designer and a Developer? How Can They Help Me?

#1 Graphic Designers: 

Job Description:

  • Graphic designers focus on creating images.
  • They do not design websites, but some may have a talent for it.
  • They will not code up a website for you.

Graphic designers create the images for websites, ads, icons, logo, prints and etc.

Basically, for any job that involves images and graphics – a graphic designer is what you need.

This includes (but is not limited to) creating the logo designs, header images, banner images, button designs, and icon designs.

While graphic designers mainly specialize in creating images and graphics, some also have the talent for designing websites.

However, most graphic designers lack the expertise to turn a design into a functioning website because they do not how to code up a website using HTML and CSS.

Having said that, I have seen very talented graphic designers make the transition to designing amazing websites (so you get a 2-in-1 graphics and website designer).

The only challenge is you need to find a developer to code up the design into a functioning website.

#2 Website Designers:

Job Description:

  • Website designers translate what you have in mind (or your vision) into an actual, tangible website.
  • They design the entire website layout for you, and will create all the images and graphics that form part of the web design.
  • They have a good coding knowledge to code up a website. However, their coding chops are not as robust as developers (coder).
  • More and more of them are using use code-free website builders.

A website designer is someone who specializes in designing and building websites.

A designer will design the look of the website, create all the images and content used on the website, and ultimately translate the visual design into a functioning website.

So a website designer can “do it all”, so to speak.

One key thing I want to raise is that a good website designer doesn’t always mean he/she will be a good coder, and vice versa. There is always a wide spectrum of coding skills amongst website designers. So don’t expect a website designer to be a master coder since his or her focus is mainly on the design of a website.

This is why you can find a lot of website designers specialize in using code-free, drag & drop website builders (such as Wix, Squarespace & Weebly) or hosted ecommerce builders (such as Shopify or BigCommerce).

These website builders remove the need for website designers to be coding superstars, and empower very talented website designers to focus on creating amazing designs.

#3 Developers / Coders:

Job Description:

  • Good developers can build almost any type of website you can think of.
  • Most developers are not good designers. So don’t rely on a developer to design your website.
  • A capable developer and a good graphic designer can make a great team. But this approach has its own pros and cons.

Developers or coders are engineers who can create almost any website you could imagine since they are coding the website from the “grounds up”.

They have more coding chops than a website designer, and so they can create more intricate functionalities on your website that may be beyond the ability of a typical website designer.

For example, a developer can debug a coding conflict caused by a plugin or a third party app.

Generally speaking, a talented developer is often not a very talented designer, and vice versa. So developers are experts you turn to solve technical problems that a designer cannot solve.

You can create your own “dream team” by pairing a talented graphic designer and an expert developer to balance their strengths and weaknesses.

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons this option:

Pros: You can find a specialist for each specific skill (design and coding). You might prefer experts, rather than generalists and this approach gives you this option.

Cons: It can double up your work and costs. Instead of hiring one website designer (generalist), now you need to find, hire and manage two people.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different specialists that could be involved in helping you build your website (graphic designer vs website designer vs developer), which ones you end up hiring is primarily driven by what you are trying to accomplish.

Now, let’s take a few minutes and go through this below.

Q #2: What Job Do You Need To Get Done?  What Exactly Do You Want The Designer or Developer To Do?

  • Do you want to create a new logo or some advertisement banners?
    • Hire a graphic designer.
  • Do you want to revamp your website design and optimize your pages’ content layout?
    • Hire a website designer, or a “dream team” of graphic or website designer partnered up with a developer.
  • Do you want to add a custom image slider or a textbox with unique hovering effects?
    • Hire a developer.

It is very important to have full clarity of what you want and be able to describe it in painstaking details to your designer or developer (the job outline).  This is absolutely critical!

It’s okay to ask if your designer or developer for their opinions or suggestions, but you must have some concrete ideas to get started.

After all, if you want to build a house, you can’t just approach a home builder and say, “build me a house.” You have to communicate what you have in mind, such as a few examples of houses that you like, or the style of houses and materials you prefer.

Even experts need a starting point to work off, and that’s your job to guide them towards what you want to accomplish.

We’ll show you how to create a good job description / outline below.

Section Summary

A specific, well thought out job outline can help you avoid hiring the wrong person.

  • If a freelancer knows what you want is not something he/she could deliver on, then he/she won’t apply for the job.
  • If the freelancer knows exactly what you want and has the specific skills for the job, then it could potentially be a good match.

If your job description is not well thought out and excluded some important details, the designer or developer might misunderstand what you need and potentially create a mismatch of expectations.  

  • When a draft or final product doesn’t match what you had in mind, this can be very costly in terms of time and money.
  • You will need to spend extra time working with the freelancer to sync up your expectations, delaying the overall project for you.
  • Depending on how you negotiate, you might need to pay extra as the freelancer needs to do more work

We’ve made this mistake a few times when we first started out!

So how do you create a good job description / outline to make sure you have a good start to your project?

We’ll go over some best practices below. Keep reading…

Rule of Thumb: Be as specific as possible. One of the most common reasons why people hire the wrong designer / developer is because they did not think through their job requirements and were not specific enough. This often creates a lot of uncertainties that leads to mismatched expectations on both sides. 

2. How to Craft a Good Job Description to Avoid Costly Confusions & Delays

As mentioned above, it is absolutely critical that you create a detailed job posting in order to avoid potential delays and frustrations.

Yes – it will take time and effort on your part, but it’s a thousand times better than paying for something you don’t want.  A nasty game of finger-pointing and blame-assigning is never pleasant.

Take as much time as you need when preparing a well thought out job outline. Depending on the extent of your design needs, the preparation can take from a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Here are some of the items we always include in our job postings:

  1. Include a design mock-up: If you have an ideal design in mind this can help speed up the planning process by showing the designer what you want to achieve. You can either use a paid tool like Balsamiq, or you can create your own sketches using an image editor. You can even sketch out your design on paper and take a picture of it!  It works!
  2. Include samples of designs that you like: This can be background images or someone else’s website that you like. The key here is to show the designer or developer what you prefer. A skilled freelancer can take this, understand your design “taste”, and provide you with some suggestions.
  3. Include a list of “must-haves” in the design: For example, if I am redesigning an ecommerce product page, I will list out what elements I want to include above the fold.
  4. State what type of design styles you like or don’t like: Example: minimalist, sophisticated or playful. If you can find examples of what you like, make sure to include them.  You can also include examples of what you don’t like. This can definitely provide further guidance to your designer or developer.
  5. State what color schemes you like or don’t like: If you need some tips on this subject, we have a guide on how to pick and coordinate color here.
  6. Set a realistic time frame on when you need the project to be completed:  If you have a tight deadline and you are working with a less experienced designer or developer, double up your time frame. For example, if you have 2 weeks to complete the project, state in your job posting that you have 1 week.

  • In most design projects, expect delays because you could have a change of mind with the design or there could be more coding bugs to fix than anticipated. Always buffer in extra time to relieve stress from the time crunch. It’s an effective contingency plan as this gives you ample time to complete the project the right way – so you don’t need to resort to cutting corners simply because you ran out of time.
  • If you are working with seasoned designers and developers, you stand a better chance at completing the project on time. Experienced designers and developers cost more, but they know how to anticipate problems before they even happen. They are much better at gauging the difficulty of the project and give you a more realistic timeline.

Section Summary

Don’t leave anything to chances. If you want your website to come out exactly the way you’ve imagined, on time and on budget, you need to do the necessary preparation work and clearly show your designer or developer what you want.

Once you’ve found a good designer or developer, built a good working relationship with this person and decide to work on more projects with him/her, you won’t need to outline your jobs as detailed as the first job posting.

This is because your designer or developer should have a good understanding of what you want and how you work.

We have designers and developers that have been working with us for years. For us, starting a new project is fairly simple. We just send a detailed email outlining a new project and ask for a quote and an estimated completion date — it’s that straightforward once you’ve put forth the initial effort and have a good working relationship with your freelancers.

3. How to Judge Whether a Designer or Developer is Good

It is easier to judge the technical skills for a designer or a developer, but it is much harder to judge the soft skills like design talent and project management skills.

Again, even if a freelancer checks every box, it is still possible that he/she may not be the right person for the job.

However, you can follow these general guidelines to help you limit your risks.

#1) What Technical Skills Should I Look For?

This the easier part, because it is just a checklist you want your designer or developer to have.

There are basic technical skills any designers or developers must have. If they do not possess these skills or they are not very well versed in them, take a pass on these candidates.

Graphic Designer Skills:

Website Designer Skills:

  • Adobe Photoshop (or any image editors) and/or Adobe Illustrator
  • CSS / CSS3
  • HTML / HTML5
  • jQuery (this is a bonus if you are using a drag & drop website builder. If you are not using a drag & drop website builder, then jQuery is a must)
  • PHP (if you are using WordPress)

Developer / Coder Skills:

  • CSS / CSS3
  • HTML / HTML5
  • jQuery
  • PHP (if you are using WordPress)
  • JavaScript (a bonus, but not a must if you are using drag & drop website builder)

#2) How to Gauge The Designers’ or Developers’ Soft Skills?

It’s always harder to judge a person’s soft skills, so we’ve created our own checklist to tackle this task.

Here are some criteria we’ve used in hiring designers and developers.

  1. How fast do they respond:
    • When you are working with a freelancer online, responsiveness and quick feedback is a must. If you have a problem, you want to be able to reach your freelancer within a reasonable time frame.
    • When we see a designer or developer we like, we’ll email them. We might have 2 to 3 correspondence so we get a better sense how fast they respond.
    • Everyone can have a bad day, so we do give second chances. But don’t be afraid to drop candidates if you feel they are marginally responsive.
    • Yes, they could be busy with other projects, but if you’re going to pay someone, you deserve a reasonable amount of attention too!
  2. Does the freelancer have a good understanding of your job post:
    • You will be surprised at how many designers or developers “blindly” apply for jobs without carefully considering what the jobs are asking for. A lot of their applications are boilerplate templates and don’t address what you need.
    • A trick to weed out these type of applicants is by burying a unique question in your job description. It doesn’t have to be a hard question. It can be “what is your favorite website?” and see if they answer that specific question.
    • The point of the question is to test if the applicants actually read your entire job post and whether they understood it. If the applicants do not address ALL our questions, we then know they are either not very detail oriented, or don’t care enough about the project (cherry-picking what to answer and what not to).
  3. Ask for examples of previous projects:
    • You want to see what each applicant has done in the past. All candidates have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, so they tend to keep within their comfort zones when they bid for projects.
    • See if the type of work the designer or developer had done matches your job requirements. This will also give you a sense of what each applicant is capable of.
  4. Ask the designers to discuss their own design styles:
    • Designers may need to take on jobs that he/she may not like or are the polar opposites of their personal design style. So it is hard to judge a designer’s personal style just by reviewing his or her past projects (point 3 above).
    • To get a better sense of the designer’s design taste, you can ask for websites or images that represent the designer’s personal style. You can also ask what websites they visit to get inspirations.
    • Ask what is his/her favorite past project and why.
    • These questions are to help you gauge whether a designer’s own interests align with what you are looking for. It’s always better to hire someone whose personal style matches yours. This increases the designer’s job satisfaction, which can ultimately benefit you.
  5. Look for high customer ratings:
    • Freelance job portals like UpWork is great because they allow past customers to rate each freelancer. This is a much better gauge of the each designer’s or developer’s skills, compared to asking for references.  We all know references tend to be biased, as an applicant would never provide a negative reference!
    • Customer ratings are more likely to give you an unbiased feedback of the freelancer (just like Amazon reviews).
    • If you look for a designer or developer in job boards like Craigslist, it will be very challenging to assess the quality of the applicants. In this case, you should rely on guidelines we suggested above (i.e. email response times, examples of previous work, thoroughness of answers, etc.)
  6. Look for experienced designer or developer:
    • It’s always a healthy debate as to whether an expensive freelancer or an affordable (cheaper) freelancer is better. There are definitely good and bad freelancers at any price range.
    • A general rule of thumb is, a seasoned designer or developer will always cost more because they are more efficient and make fewer mistakes. A project that might take a new designer 1 day to complete, might only take a master designer a couple of hours to do the same job – with fewer mistakes. The efficiency and fast turnaround time are what you are paying up for.
    • Personally, we’ve hired designers and developers at all skill levels. As expected, there are good and bad ones at any given level. But all in all, we found that experienced designers and developers were easier to manage, have faster turnaround times, and made fewer mistakes. They knew what clarification questions to ask, and were able to anticipate roadblocks earlier on.
    • We will gladly pay a little more for fewer headaches. We just want someone to get the job done right the first time and have as little revisions as possible.

Section Summary

These 6 criteria above will give you a good starting point.

The bottom line is to exercise common sense. If something smells rotten, it probably is.

Don’t be afraid to accidentally reject good designers or developers, if they initially don’t pass your “tests”.  It is better to let a few good freelancers fall through the cracks than end up with a bad one.

Supplementary Guide

Why You Should NOT Hire a Website Designer – Find out when is the best time to splurge on hiring a website designer. See our arguments on how to prioritize your resources to build a successful business – without breaking the bank.

How Much Do Website Designers, Graphic Designers or Developers Cost?

Pinpointing how much it costs to hiring website designers, graphic designers or developers is always difficult and often confusing.

Honestly, there are no exact numbers, because the prices vary from:

  • Skill levels
  • Experiences
  • The size and complexity of your project
  • Which job search portal you are using (where are you sourcing these freelancers)
  • Where the freelancers are located (developed vs developing markets)

For example, any designers from a developed market country (such as the US, Canada, the UK, etc.) will be more expensive than another candidate from developing countries (such as India, the Philippines, eastern European countries, etc.), even if their skill levels are the same.

So be aware of this when you post a design job, as the quotes you receive from applicants may have a very wide range.

Before we start looking at the costs, you should get a good handle on how to budget for a design project.

How To Set A Budget For Your Project?

When it comes to payments, you could negotiate either to pay on an hourly basis or a fixed price on a per project basis.

Just know that there are pros and cons when it comes to paying on an hourly basis versus on a fixed price basis.  We’ll discuss what they are that below.

#1: How to budget for smaller projects?

Smaller design projects usually take less than a week to complete and can range from a few hours to a few days.

Since the project has a shorter time frame and would be relatively inexpensive, we recommend the following approaches:

  • Experienced designer – pay on a per hour basis
  • Less experienced designer – pay on a fixed price basis

As mentioned before, experience equals efficiency. So paying by the hour is generally the right approach here.

Generally speaking, good, experienced designers or coders just prefer to be paid on an hourly basis. They work quickly, efficiently, and prefer not to go back and forth estimating costs on a per project basis for smaller projects.

Less experienced designers and developers will require more time and can potentially need more project revisions.  As such, a fixed project price gives you a bit more control and protection, just in case the freelancer needs excessive revisions.

If you’ve provided your detailed job descriptions as highlighted above, you really shouldn’t be paying for the freelancer’s mistakes.  A fixed price here will protect you from that.

#2: How to budget for larger projects?

A larger project is anything that takes a couple of weeks to months to complete. This could be a complete redesign of your website or improving the usability design on key webpages that are frequently visited such as your home page (see our guide to creating an awesome home page here).

Larger projects have more room for error simply due to the massive amount of work that needs to be done.

In this case, a fixed project price will be the better option.

A fixed project price protects you from the freelancers missing deadlines, their underestimation of project difficulties, and also from excessive, unexpected fixes and design revisions that are common in larger projects.

Designers or developers usually allow you a set number of design changes. For example, you are allowed to alter your initial design up to 3 times.  These are factored into their pricing proposal.

If you end up making more design changes than allowed, you may need to pay extra on top of the previously agreed price. If you think you may potentially need more design revisions than the designer allows, make that known up front. Be aware that the more revisions you want to have, the project cost will be higher.

A good way to avoid unnecessary costs is to plan out your design project in painstaking details beforehand and discuss the design with your designer or developer to see if he/she spots any potential issues or challenges.

The more time you invest in project planning and preparation, the less likely you will go over budget and not be able to meet your project deadline.

Take some time and decide if hourly or fixed cost works better for you project.

Another part of setting your budget is to consider if you want to set the price or let the designer or developer submit a quote.

Section Summary

For smaller projects (project timeline: less than 1 week):

  • Experienced freelancer – Pay on a per hour basis
  • Less experienced freelancer – Pay on a fixed price basis

Experienced freelancers work efficiently for smaller projects and prefer not to spend a lot of time negotiating fixed price contracts. They generally don’t make many mistakes for smaller projects so hourly pay is reasonable.

But if you are hiring a less experienced freelancer, protect yourself with a fixed price contract.

For larger projects (project timeline: weeks to months):

  • Both experienced and less experienced freelancer –Pay on a fixed price basis

The fixed price approach protects you from the freelancer under-estimating the amount of time he/she requires to complete the project, from having more than expected amount of revisions or bug fixes, etc. If the project drags on, you’re reasonably protected due to an agreed price.

So we do recommend going with a fixed price approach for larger projects regardless if you are hiring an experienced or less experienced freelancer. Larger projects take longer, are more complex, and therefore have more uncertainties.

Should You Set Your Project Price or Let the Freelancers Submit Quotes?

When you post a job, you can usually set your project price ahead of time, or let applicants submit quotes based on your job description.

Again, this is why it is very important for you to be very detailed in what you want to accomplish.

If you’re not detailed enough, the good designers or developers will not bother responding as they know they will be spending more time than necessary going back and forth with you just to sort out the scope of your project – basically figuring out what you really want to get done.

A lot of times, good freelancers will think you’re a newbie and move on to finding better, more experienced employers!

There are pros and cons with setting your own project price ahead of time, or asking the freelancers to submit quotes:

  • If you are budget conscious:
    • Set your own price if you don’t have much financial flexibility.
    • This helps you set an expectation and only attract designers or developers that can work with your budget.
  • If you are flexible on your budget and just want to find the best designer or developer:
    • You may want to allow the freelancers to submit their quotes.
    • If you accidentally set the price too low, it can alienate talented designers and developers who are too experienced for your price point.
    • If you have some flexibility with your budget and want to find a skilled freelancer who you can work with for years, you may want people of all price levels to apply for your job.
Section Summary

Set your project price – if you are on a tight budget. 

If you have a tight budget, setting your price up front will set an expectation for applicants. Designers and developers looking for larger payouts will not submit their applications, which will end up saving you time.

Only those who can work within your budget will apply.

Ask for quotes – if you have a flexible budget.

If you have some financial flexibility, asking for quotes can attract really talented designers and developers. You’ll get a lot more bids on your project, so you’ll see a lot of unqualified applicants, along with a lot of really good candidates.

If your goal here is to find the best person to do the job, being willing to fork out a little bit more money can go a long way.

Now, let’s move on to discussing the actual costs of hiring a designer or developer.

Cost of Hiring a Designer or Developer

The following estimated price list will give you some idea as to what price range you could expect.  Keep in mind this price list is meant to use as a reference point.

The price quotes you will receive may vary according to many different factors, including project scope, the level of complexity, how well you articulate your job description or the availability of projects (i.e. freelancers may accept lower fees if there are not a lot of projects available).

In the following pricing tables:

  • Developed countries – mature markets such as the USA, Canada, the UK, etc.
  • Developing countries – emerging markets such as the Philippines, India, Eastern European countries, etc.

 

#1 Cost of Hiring a Graphic Designer

Experienced graphic designers Developed Countries: $60 – $120/hour

Developing Countries: $20 – $40/hour

New to lower-end graphic designers Developed Countries: $25 – $35/hour

Developing Countries: $5 – $15/hour

Now, there are good and bad designers from any countries. So it is not always accurate to judge if a designer is good purely based on how much he/she charges. So screen your candidates as mentioned in step #2 above to help you pick the best applicant rather than picking someone based on how much he/she charges.

Aside from hourly fees, graphic designers can charge by the project (fixed price). While we can’t go over all the different types of design projects due to practical reasons, we’ve listed out some common ones:

Logo Design Developed Countries: $99 to $2,000+

Developing Countries: $30 to $200

If you don’t need a high-end, completely customized logo, you can use logo generators to create a logo instead.  These tools range from free to under $30.

Icon Design Developed Countries: $80 to $400

Developing Countries: $20 to $100

Ad Banner Design Developed Countries: $100 – $450

Developing Countries: $25 to $200

Brand Design Developed Countries: $2000 to $60,000+

Developing Countries: $500 to $10,000+

Here is a really good post by worstofalldesign.com if you want a more detailed breakdown of different price ranges for a branding specialist.

Webpage Design by Page Developed Countries: $200 to $350

Developing Countries: $80 to $180

* The price range seems higher on a per page basis when compared to entire website designs (below). This is because most designers have minimum charges. Entire web design projects receive a “bulk” discount.

Please note these price ranges only involve the visual design of the website. It does not include translating the design into a functional website or populating the page with content.

Entire Website Design Developed Countries:

  • Drag & drop website builders: $500 to $1,500
  • WordPress: $900 to $2,000+
  • eCommerce: $3,000 to $6,000+

Developing Countries:

  • Drag & drop website builders: $250 to $700
  • WordPress: $400 to $900+
  • eCommerce: $1,000 to $2,000+

Please note these price ranges only involve the visual design of the website. It does not include translating the design into a functional website or populating the page with content.

 

#2 Cost of Hiring a Website Designer

Experienced website designers Developed Countries: $80 – $150/hour

Developing Countries: $25 – $50/hour

New to lower-end website designers Developed Countries: $25 – $45/hour

Developing Countries: $8 – $18/hour

There are a lot of overlapping skill sets between website designers and graphic designers.

As discussed above, the key difference is that a graphic designer is a specialist in creating graphics (images, banners, logos, icons, etc.) while a website designer is a generalist when it comes to website design.

While website designers can create logos, icons, and ads for you, they don’t often bid for pure graphic design projects that may or may not link to a website project for them.

Due to this reason, we’ve only included estimated prices for website design projects:

Webpage Design by Page Developed Countries: $350 to $500

Developing Countries: $100 to $210

* The price range seems higher on a per page basis when compared to entire website designs (below). This is because most designers have minimum charges. Entire web design projects receive a “bulk” discount.

Entire Website Design Developed Countries:

  • Drag & drop website builders: $1,500 to $2,500
  • WordPress: $3,000 to $15,000+
  • eCommerce: $5,500 to $25,000+

Developing Countries:

  • Drag & drop website builders: $600 to $1,000
  • WordPress: $1,500 to $6,000+
  • eCommerce: $3,000 to $12,000+

More Recommended Guides on Website Design Costs:

 

#3 Cost of Hiring a Developer or Coder

Experienced developer Developed Countries: $90 – $200/hour

Developing Countries: $30 – $65/hour

New to lower-end developer Developed Countries: $35 – $75/hour

Developing Countries: $15 – $20/hour

Website developers generally cost more than website designers and graphic designers. However, when it comes to really good developers and designers (those with a lot of experiences), the hourly rate start could be fairly similar.

In addition, the prices will be higher for coding languages that are more complex. For example, a jQuery project will be significantly cheaper than a JavaScript project, and a CSS / HTML project will be cheaper than a PHP project.

Here’s a list of some common projects we’ve outsourced to developers:

Minor PHP, JavaScript & jQuery Code conflict fixes Developed Countries: $150 to $600

Developing Countries: $40 to $150

Fixing of existing plugins or app code issues Developed Countries: $200 to $500

Developing Countries: $30 to $120

Create custom sliders, accordions or small widgets Developed Countries: $400 to $1,000

Developing Countries: $100 to $350

Have you hired a designer or developer before? Was it smooth or were there challenges?

Let us know how much you paid for your project and what was your overall experience in the comment section below!

Sharing our collective experiences will serve to help each other out!

Click to get to the comment section below

What is the Process Like When Working with a Freelancer – From the Beginning to the End of the Project?

If you are hiring a designer or developer for the first time, here is a general list of steps you can expect.

What you will experience yourself will probably be different from our steps below, but at least it will give you an overall picture of how the process might work.

Once you find the right person, the process is actually more straightforward than you might think.

We’ve list all the steps involved in a design project — from preparation, screening the designer / developer, approving mock-ups, design process, and finally receiving the completed work.

#1 Identify the type of work you want to get done and decide if you need to hire a graphic designer, a website designer or a developer / coder.  (refer to step #1 above for more details)

#2 Prepare a detailed job description, complete with mock-ups, examples, expectations, project timeline and likes or dislikes. (refer to the “Tips To Creating A Good Job Description Posting To Avoid Costly Confusions & Delays” section above for more details)

#3 Set a realistic budget for your project. Do you want to pay by the hour or pay a fixed price? Do you want the designers or developers to submit their own quotes? (refer to the “How Much Do Website Designers, Graphic Designers or Developers Cost?” section above for more details)

#4 Choose a job posting portal where you can find a freelancer that has the skills you need. In the next page, we will share with you some job posting portals we use that can help you find the right designer or developer for your project.

#5 Post the job, wait for applications, and review and shortlist a handful of candidates that satisfy the technical skills and soft skills you need for your project. (refer to step #2 How to Judge Whether a Designer or Developer is Good for more details)

#6 Narrow down to two to three candidates and ask them if they are willing to accept a quick / short, paid test project. Think of this as an internship. Once you get a chance to work with your candidates directly, you will have a much better feel as to who is the best for you. This is especially useful if you are looking for a long term designer or developer that you want to continue to work with for future projects. Set aside a small budget and pay them to create something “small” so you can get a “real life” assessment of their working habits.

#7 Once you have selected a designer or developer, set up a time to have a chat over the phone, Skype, Google Hangout or in person. You want to run through your project from top to bottom to ensure he / she understands the project completely. This is a chance for you and your freelancer to address any questions or potential problems with your project. This also gives you an opportunity to build a good working relationship.  At this stage, you can work with your designer or developer to create project milestones if this is a larger project. Milestones are important for a larger project because you want to spot any mistakes as quickly as you can. If the first time you review the project is on the completion day and you spot some major problems, it will take a lot of time and possibly extra costs to fix things. It is better to be cautious and setup milestones where you and your freelancer can review the project, and reconfirm your goals and discuss any other matters before proceeding to the next milestone. In addition to setting up milestones, you also want to discuss the payment schedule with your designer or developer. Different people like different payment arrangements. Choose the payment option that works for you and your designer or developer.  (refer to “How Much Do Website Designers, Graphic Designers or Developers Cost?” for more details)

#8 Pay deposit or milestone payments as agreed. But don’t make the final payment before you are completely happy with the end product. 

#9

Review the completed work and send any feedback or changes you want to be made. If this is a larger project, you want to review every project milestone so you know exactly how the project is progressing and if there are any changes or mistakes that need fixing. One key thing to understand is that it is your responsibility to audit the project, to make sure there are no errors and all the necessary changes have been made. We have yet to work on a larger design or coding project that we did not spot problems that need fixing. Even the best designer or developer can make mistakes, so make sure you double check everything! The main goal is to catch any major fixes. If you missed a few minor issues, a good designer or developer will still help you fix it even after you pay the final payment. If you want to be extra careful, you can also ask your designer or developer if they have a warranty period, just in case you find some issues a month or two after the final payment was made.

#10 Release the final payment once you are happy with the project results. 

Where can you find trustworthy and affordable designers or developers?

Continue on page 2…

Have you hired a designer or developer before? Was it smooth or were there challenges?

Let us know how much you paid for your project and what was your overall experience in the comment section below!

Sharing our collective experiences will serve to help each other out!

Click to get to the comment section below

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Connie Wong

About Connie Wong

Designing and creating your website (especially your first one) is not a simple task. If you're a designer like me, then you're already way ahead of the game. But what if you're one of the 99% of business owners who are not technical or creative? I want to share my website design expertise with you to help you build a professional looking website to grow your business.

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Connie Wong

About Connie Wong

Designing and creating your website (especially your first one) is not a simple task. If you're a designer like me, then you're already way ahead of the game. But what if you're one of the 99% of business owners who are not technical or creative? I want to share my website design expertise with you to help you build a professional looking website to grow your business.

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8 Responses to How to Hire a Website Designer, Graphic Designer or Developer to Build Your Website

  1. #

    Web design is as much a science as it is an art form. While half of the job is based on sound coding and design know-how, the other half is based on just having an intuitive sense of what looks good and what doesn’t. good one

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      That’s true, Divp. I suppose what we’re trying to communicate is that for those who don’t have a good intuitive sense of design, there are still options for them!

      Thanks for adding to this discussion!

      Jeremy

  2. #

    You have provided to hire a designer and I agree that these point must be check before hiring .

    What about hiring any volusion developer ?

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Hi Stella,

      Follow the same steps / approach as they are applicable to hiring any developers.

      Jeremy

  3. #

    My brother is thinking of having someone build him a website for his bowling club. What you said about how you should be detailed in what you specifically want in a site, because different designers have different skills in coding etc… Like many people, I thought most web designers could do it all. Thanks for the information.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      No problem. Glad you found this guide helpful.

      Jeremy

  4. #

    I feel all of them, Web designer, graphic designer and Developer are important for you to have if you are planning to develop a website ? Mobile App or are planning have a Website development company.

    Looking at the larger picture, each of them has a role to play.

    • Jeremy Wong
      #

      Thanks for your comment, Hemang.

      Each profession definitely has a role to play, for sure. I’d like to add that it’s matter of timing – when to hire.

      For instance, does it make sense to lay out thousands of dollars to build a website when one still hasn’t proven a business concept? Probably not.

      But once a business concept is proven and starts earning revenues, then deploying capital to hiring professions probably makes a lot more sense then.

      Jeremy