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How to Hire a Website Designer

In 2022, your website is your retail business’ façade, welcome letter, and product-filled shelves all rolled into one beautifully backlit digital product. And as a retailer, you know your site’s design and functionality is crucial to the success of your business.


Thus, the pressure’s always on when it comes to finding the right person to create or re-create your website’s design (which then goes to a developer who breathes click-able life into your site’s designs). Which is why we turned to an expert—Christie Thompson, co-founder of chic Richmond, Va.-based branding, website, and interior design firm Campfire & Co.—to find out how to hire the right designer for your next redesign. Here are the considerations she recommended


Define Your Goals

“Defining your goals at the beginning of a project is really the most essential step in narrowing in on your ideal design partner,” Thompson writes. “Do you have a specific budget in mind? A deadline you need to hit? Is there a specific way you want be involved in the process? Any pain points you’re concerned about?” Knowing the answer to these questions, she says, will help you ask the designer the right questions in your interview.


Look for Like-Mindedness

“The design process requires that everyone at the table feels comfortable and supported to communicate freely, so make sure your potential design partner is someone you enjoy talking to!” she adds. “Meeting someone in person or talking over the phone will give you a much better sense of their communication and working style versus just chatting via e-mail.”


Shop Around

Many elements vary when it comes to designers—from availability and price to working hours and how involved they like clients to be in the creation process. So, talking to a few designers before hiring one is always a good idea. You may love someone’s work, but then find out they can’t deliver designs on your timeline (eek!). Shopping around also means you have a solid back up should your top choice fall through.


Ask for References

“Any trustworthy partner should be more than happy to offer up contact info from a past client or two so you can do your due diligence,” Thompson says. Once you have the names, make sure you do that due diligence.


Get It in Writing

“Once you’ve narrowed in on that ideal partner, it’s time to get your agreement in writing,” Thompson advises. “Make sure you know what deliverables you’re receiving, what the fee is, when you’re expected to pay, and if there are any terms you and your design partner are agreeing to. Legally you want to make sure you’re covered, but more casually, having these items in writing confirms everyone is on the same page before getting started.”


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