What to Look for When Hiring a Website Professional
What to Look for When Hiring a Website Professional
Websites are easy to create but difficult to master. That’s why successful small business websites are often the product of several website professionals working in conjunction with a client. By hiring and using website professionals effectively, you can create a stand-out site that drives organic traffic straight to your door. The key is knowing how to find the right professionals for your website. In this guide, we’ll provide all the information you need to know about hiring a website professional throughout the website process.
Where Do You Find and Website Professionals?
One of the hardest parts of finding and hiring a website professional is knowing where to start looking. This is especially true if you are moving past large named companies and hoping to work with individual contractors or freelancers.
Although Google is one avenue you can use to locate professionals, it may not always be your best bet. Other ways to find professionals include:
- Asking for word-of-mouth recommendations from people in your professional network
- Checking social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn for people who market themselves as website professionals
- Using sites like Upwork or Toptal to connect with freelancers
- Posting a job listing on a board like Monster or Indeed
Once you have a selection of potential professionals, you can narrow down your selection and find the perfect professional for your needs.
How Do You Choose the Right Professional?
There are a number of factors that go into choosing the right professional — or, more likely, professionals — to help you bring your vision for a website into fruition. You may need a freelancer, a small design firm, or a full agency. There is a lot to consider in how to choose a web design agency.
Before you do anything else, you need to know that you are hiring the right type of professional for the job you’re trying to accomplish. A website designer is not the same as a graphic designer. An SEO specialist is not the same as a content writer.
Although there may be some overlap, at times, you’ll have the best success with your professionals when you know their strengths and hire them to do the job they specialize in. Pay attention to how they advertise themselves. If a person’s LinkedIn profile says they’re a “favicon developer,” they may be able to do other graphic design work, but you know they specialize in favicon development. That is the job you’ll have the most success hiring them to do.
Past performance is your best indicator of future work quality. Ask for a professional’s portfolio or work samples. This can help you determine if they are capable of the quality of work you’re looking for. This is a time when word of mouth and reviews from other professionals can really help you narrow down your selection.
Before you ever begin working with a professional, you want to make sure the two of you can communicate effectively. Set up a time to have a meeting with them. Although this is a time to ask them about the services they offer and their turn-around times, it’s also a time to get to know how they communicate and determine whether you can get along with them. The perfect professional communicates effectively and quickly.
Another task before you hire a website professional is to set expectations — and to ask them about their expectations. For example:
- Do they have set office hours?
- How quickly can you expect to hear from them if you reach out with a problem?
- How quickly do they expect you to respond if they have a question?
- What is their turn-around time on new requests?
- How much work can they take on at this time?
- Are they currently working with other clients in your niche? Do you care if they do?
Setting up expectations ahead of time helps ensure those expectations are met while clarifying any questions you have. A strong professional will know how to set those expectations and communicate what they need from you to be effective in the position.
Every task has a budget, and price will be a deciding factor for many of the professionals you hire. Remember that low-price point professionals may be just starting out. This is an area where you often get what you pay for. You may need to prioritize which website tasks are most critical to you and allocate more of your budget in those areas while making sacrifices in other areas.
How Do You Provide Feedback to Professionals?
Once you’ve lined up a website professional, continual communication and feedback keeps things running smoothly. If your expectations aren’t being met, communicate that to the professionals you’ve hired.
Although it can be tempting to become frustrated when your hired professionals aren’t performing the way you’d prefer, you also don’t want to burn bridges. Always communicate your feedback in a friendly, professional manner.
Remember that newly-hired professionals may take time to understand your brand’s unique expectations and goals. It’s normal to have to provide a little more feedback on initial projects and less feedback down the road.
If, after providing feedback and giving professionals a chance to adjust, they still aren’t performing up to snuff, you may need to sever that relationship and hire someone else to do the job. Although poor previous experiences can be frustrating, past frustrations may also help you ask better questions and set better expectations in the beginning.
Takaway for Hiring a Website Professional
Ultimately, the right website professional for a project is unique to you and your goals. These guidelines will help you weigh your options, but in the end, trust your gut!
If you’re looking to hire a web professional to help you with a site redesign or development, contact us today and let us help you determine if Alt Creative is a good fit for your website project.