So you’ve decided to hire a web designer to re-vamp your blog. You’ve picked the perfect person whose style encompasses exactly what you’ve been imagining and you’ve been emailing back and forth working out the details.
Before you send them a deposit, here are five things to nail down, so you don’t end up being one of the many people who’ve emailed me saying, “My designer disappeared…help!”
(I’m happy to help of course, but I’d rather you not have to panic over your blog design in the first place!)
First and foremost – you need to have a contract in place, which protects you and the designer just in case there are disagreements, disappointments, or discrepancies. All of the following items should be contained within that contract. I even send contracts to my friends – unless we are dating, you are my one best best best lady friend, or my mother, you will receive a contract from me.
This one just kills me. I’m in a couple of online groups where people have posted that they haven’t heard from their designer or received anything in SIX MONTHS. WHAT?? This should not happen unless your designer has booked you in a time slot six months in advance. You should know up front when your design is expected to begin production and when it is expected to be completed. And if you’re just waiting on a standard blog design…six months is a really long time – six weeks would be more realistic.
How many rounds of revisions does your designer do? While it’s nice to know that your designer will continue to change the mockup over and over until you’re happy, you might be better off with a designer who has a limited number of revisions. Why? Because they will likely be able to nail down your perfect design with just three or four revisions. And a set number of revisions requires you to make decisions instead of hemming and hawing for weeks.
A “just in case” clause
Just in case you or your designer cannot complete the project or fall off the face of the earth for an extended period of time, you need to know if the project will continue, what you owe (if anything), what you’ll receive (if anything), and what you can do with the files you receive. If they send you unfinished files, are you allowed to have another designer use them? Do you get all or a portion of your deposit back? You do not want to be figuring this stuff out after money has been exchanged!
What happens if you want something changed or need something fixed in a week, a month, a year? Will your designer be available? What do they charge? What is the time limit on finding errors they left on your site?
Keep your emails concise, with bulleted lists of questions and your potential designer will be happy to send answers. (Here’s a whole guide to being an awesome client!) Plus, having all of these things in place probably means you’re working with a professional you won’t run into trouble at all!