Please note – I originally published this design blog on the Transparent Design blog. I then decided some of the content there was more applicable to me, not Transparent Design (who is me and my partner who is a web developer) so I have decided to re-published it here. I am hoping Google won’t penalise me for it!
Are you looking for a new website and are looking to get some quotes from freelance web designers? I hope you’ll will find these top tips useful. I would love to know if you can think of any more I may have missed!
Do a little bit of research beforehand – I love it when someone approaches me and says ‘I want a website with (list of pages they want), something along the lines of (a similar sized website)’. It makes my life so much easier if you have an idea of what sort of site you are wanting. Please look at what your competitors, or similar businesses offer – yes I’m asking you to Google!
Have a budget in mind – I know it’s hard but there is a huge difference between what you can get for £500 and £50000 (yes some sites do cost that much – don’t worry, my sites are never that expensive!). I always say it’s a bit like a house – think of the rooms as the content and the more rooms, the more content / pages there are. Each house has different configurations and complexities. I can always work to a budget and can tell you what you’d get for a set amount, and also let you know you if your budget is more than what I’d normally charge. I like to be honest – I never promise more than I can offer and if needed I get in other freelancers to help.
Mention where you found out about the designer – did you find me through LinkedIn? A recommendation? Via Google? This is so useful for us freelance designers – we need to know how people find our portfolio websites and work and if our SEO is working.
It’s nice to know why you’ve contacted me – what drew you to getting a quote from me? Was it a particular piece of work? A personal recommendation? Or location – because I am a York-based freelance designer? I often get potential clients contacting me who are live or work in York as I live near York (towards Selby) and they would often like an initial meeting face to face, or like to think they’re keeping their money locally and supporting their local economy.
Have a think about your content – you may want some professional photography, or maybe you’re on a budget so stock images will be fine. You will need some words – and a copywriter who specialises in SEO and websites could be worth their weight in gold. However, SEO friendly text isn’t as necessary if your website is somewhere you point people to, rather than want people to find.
If you already have a website think about what it is you would like to improve. What isn’t working well and what is working well? What is missing or which sections don’t you use? For example maybe you have a blog but never update it or maybe you think a social media feed would work well on your homepage to keep the site up to date. Is the lack of a content management system (CMS) annoying you and you would love to be able to update the site yourself?
Please don’t ghost us! We understand that you don’t always choose us for your new website and that is totally fine, but a quick email to say ‘thanks for your time but we’ve decided to go with someone else’ really helps. And a reason is even better – perhaps it’s cost, location or just the design style. Often quotes take a few hours so it’s just nice to awknowledge that! If you ever did decide you would like to revisit that quote in the future then it also helps if you kept in contact from the beginning.
The more information we get as freelancers, the easier it is to quote! This list isn’t exhaustive – I will definitely want more information for you, but it makes my life so much easier if you’ve done a bit of research and work beforehand and I’m also not bombarding you with lots of questions which can sometimes be a big daunting!