Unless you have the time, the skills and undoubtedly the patience to build your businesses website on your own it is likely you will need to outsource your web design to someone who has.

There are many ways to do this and often someone you know will tell you they have a friend or relative who ‘builds websites‘. There are a couple of problems of going down this route however. The first is that the term ‘website’ covers such a wide range of possibilities that what will be regarded as a website to one person might only be a simple landing page to another.

The other issue with the ‘someone who knows someone’ scenario is there is often no opportunity to establish a proper business agreement in terms of the required quality, timescale, and fees.  If you wish to use people who are recommended to you this way establish that it will be a formal business arrangement and ensure beforehand that they are able to create the sort and size of website you want for your business.

Professional web designers can be found throughout the internet either on their own personal sites or via freelancing platforms such as Upwork and PeoplePerHour. All the designers on these sites have profiles and job histories which you can check and within these you can also read their testimonials from previous clients.

There are two ways to alert potential freelancers that you have a job that requires their web design skills. The first is to post your job and then wait for freelancers to bid on it. Once you have shortlisted the applicants you can then arrange to speak to them to discuss your needs in more detail. This will allow you to assess whether they are suitable and can complete the work to the standard you need.

The second way is to make your job posting ‘private’ and only invite those web designers whose profiles you have already checked. This prevents a lot of freelancers who are not suitable from applying.

No matter who you are thinking of choosing you must ask for a list of websites which they have already designed. What you want is the URLs of live, functioning websites rather than screenshots. Screenshots tell you nothing about a website’s functionality or ease of use and they can easily be made using images of sites created by someone else.

If possible email the owners of the websites to ask what their experience was of the designer, and whether they produced what was expected of them.

Once you have chosen your web designer it is imperative that both of you are in complete agreement to what the final website is going to look like, including images, colours, banners, and menus. You also want to make sure the timescale for completion is also agreed in advance.

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