Working with a professional website designer can expedite the process of launching or updating your brand’s online presence. Finding the right designer for your project — meaning someone who has the experience, skill, and vision to bring your ideas to life — is key to making your collaboration a success.

Read on for a four-step guide to how to match with the right designer for you.

Hiring a website designer

If you decide to hire a website designer, start by identifying the services you’re looking for. This way, you can tailor your search to designers who have experience in your industry, and find someone who brings a competitive advantage to your project.

You can start your search from scratch or browse experienced, third-party designers on Squarespace Marketplace. Marketplace Experts are pre-screened for their skills, experience, and knowledge of the Squarespace platform, so that every potential collaborator you view can deliver on your needs. Connecting with a professional through Marketplace ensures transparency, quality work, and empowers you to hire for your project’s specific requirements. To match with a designer who is well suited for your project, follow these four steps:

1. Scope your project

Before starting your search, make a wishlist for your website. The more detailed your requirements, the more specificity you can bring to your search. If you’re launching an online portfolio, your wishlist might include a visually-driven layout, landing pages for each project, a contact form for visitors, and/or a store where people can order prints of your work. Someone with advanced knowledge in code and design can build a unique portfolio that sets apart your online presence. If your primary goal is to sell products online, it might be beneficial to partner with an Expert who has strong experience in marketing and ecommerce SEO.

Next, identify which assets you already have available, and which ones aren’t quite ready yet. Maybe you want to launch a blog on your new site, but don’t have any posts written yet, or you’re building a portfolio site but haven’t chosen finalized projects to include. It’s good to let a prospective designer know what assets are ready to add to your site, and what will come later in the project.

2. Determine your budget

One of the first questions that pops up around hiring a professional is: how much does it cost to hire a website designer? Pricing varies based on factors like the scope of your project, the designer’s rates, and other variables like turnaround time and degree of customization. 

It’s a best practice to determine what you want to spend up front, and let your budget and brief inform your search. For example, if you have a strict budget, it might make sense to narrow the scope of your project to include the most important aspects of your new site first. If you’re launching an online store, that might mean tabling a highly stylized custom homepage to prioritize needs like product pages and the checkout experience for customers. Alternatively, a Marketplace Expert can also work with you to set up an installment-based payment plan for your project. 

3. Browse Experts

Start your search online. With Marketplace, you can filter your search by industry and project type, and spend time reviewing each Expert’s past projects. Read reviews from previous clients and see average response times to gauge whether an Expert is the right match for your needs. After you’ve reviewed your options, you can either choose one Expert to work with and submit your project brief directly to them, or submit your brief and select from up to five Experts who have been curated based on the details of your project.

4. Get a quote for your project

Whether you choose to submit your brief to one designer or several, compile your project details, including your wish list and available assets, to share with potential designers for a personalized quote. Escape Web Designs will help you get an accurate quote by organizing your request around key elements like your goals, services wanted, budget, and timeline. As you make your selection, keep in mind that you’re establishing a long term relationship with someone who can help you update your website as you scale your brand or business.

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