With so many web designers out there, it is a wonder anyone finds someone to fit their needs. You must determine a few things about your project before you begin the search. Then you must find out if the web designer has a competent and trustworthy history.
The first thing you have to determine is your budget, and the complexity of your project. If you have a small budget, and a simple project, then you don’t have the means or the need for a large scale web design firm. Instead, invest your money properly in a freelancer.
Search around the internet for freelance web designers. Once you a freelancer ask for a few examples of their work. Make sure to check these examples, and insure they were made by the freelancer you are speaking with. Contact the Site Administrator for confirmation of the freelancers work. You can look for a “Contact Us” page to find someone to speak to about their website.
If the websites are confirmed to be made by the freelancer, make sure the website samples have all the qualities you need for your site. Check any other references, or reviews for the freelancer. Freelance web designers rely on their reputation. So if the reputation is bad move on. Use a third party for the transfer of funds. Freelancer.com is a good site to post your job for bid, and it takes care of all interactions.
If you have a bigger budget, and a more complex project, a larger web design firm may be where you need to look. They will have a quicker turnaround time, and be much more secure. Do a web search for these companies. As with freelancers, check examples and references for the larger web design firms as well. Do not trust any “testimonial” listed on the web designer’s website. Instead, search for reviews on the company through basic searches.
The Better Business Bureau is an excellent source to check for problems with any company too. Investigations into complaints made against other companies are investigated by the Better Business Bureau. They develop an unbiased decision based on information provided by both parties. It rates businesses with a letter grade. All complaints against the company you search for will be listed here, including the details of the case. If you see a lot of unresolved cases, and cases where the company was determined to be at fault be wary accepting their bid.
Examples and references provided by a web designer should paint a professional picture. Whether it is a freelancer, or a big firm, the final step would be to contact the web designer and negotiate terms on how the website will be developed. Use the sources around the internet to do your research. Analyze all data you collect, and find the web designer that is best for your project.