8 Things Business Owners Should Know Before Designing Their Site (Part 1)

Learning how to fly takes time and effort, just like website design

1. Expect to pay at least 25% of the total cost prior to the designer starting the project.

From what I have read on many design blogs and through first-hand experience, the industry standard is to charge 50% upfront for graphics work. With 50% of the total cost paid upfront it helps motivate everyone to stay on task and keep deadlines. This will not only motivate you to keep up and respond in a timely manner to the designers requests, but it will also provide insurance for the designer in case the project doesn’t reach an accomplished state with that designer. Problems will arise in any job, this one is no different, and thus 50% payment upfront gives a little insurance for both parties and shows they are interested in seeing the project reach completion in a timely manner.

2. Most designers will require you to have your content pre-written.

Website designers and graphic artists are usually not experts in journalism, there are some exceptions out there though. There is a reason why designers are in the field that they are it’s the talent and passion for design. If the designer does not have the content of the website beforehand it is hard to design around it and know how to present it best. There is only so much design work that can be done prior to adding the content to it, sure designers have work-around methods of generating text, but it doesn’t work as well if it’s not your actual site text.  Have your content ready by the time you meet with the designer or have it close to completion so they can have it as early as possible.

3. Do your research on a designer before hiring them.

Look at their website, is there website professionally designed; does it have the same quality you would like to see for your website? The designer’s website is the best glimpse you can get into their skills and quality. Designers have total artistic freedom on their own portfolio sites, so if it isn’t designed well, don’t expect better from them on your site. Scope out the designer’s clients, are these sites quality, could you be satisfied with the type of design work done on those designs? Lastly, search for them online and see if they are being talked about. This can be done by checking their social media accounts or by simply plugging their names into Google; Twitter is great for seeing people talk about designers.

4. Expect a logo to cost more than $50 and a website to be more than $500.

There are many reasons that designers charge so much for their work. First of all, designers spent time, effort and energy to come up with your unique design. They didn’t just pull a design out of thin air, create it in Photoshop and then send it your way in 15 minutes. Second, designers charge based on work experience and background. Classes, software, and time spent honing their skills are worth something and you are not paying simply for one logo, you are paying for the knowledge and expertise of their years of training. There are always friends or someone’s neighbor’s son who can design an inexpensive logo or website, but most times it won’t be the same quality as what you will receive when you put more money into the project and work with an experienced designer.

Come back next week for the second part of this post, the final 4 things that business owners should know before designing their website.

What do you think about these points? Which is the most important one in your mind to emphasize?

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