Woman in glasses with long hair looking at her laptop with a concerned look on her face.

10 Concerns When Hiring a WordPress Web Designer

Blog Audio: Read/listen time: 9 minutes

Introduction

Choosing the right WordPress web designer is an essential step toward creating a website that not only looks great but also functions smoothly and meets your business goals. Whether you’re building a new site from scratch or redesigning an existing one, it’s natural to have questions and concerns. Let’s explore the most common concerns you might experience when embarking upon this process.

My name is Paul Edwards, I am a Web Consultant and WordPress Developer and I’ve been working with websites and businesses like yours since 2005.

Cost, Experience, and Timeline

1. Cost Concerns

Why does hiring a professional WordPress web designer cost so much, and how can I be sure it’s worth the investment?

Hiring a professional WordPress web designer ensures you get a high-quality, customized website that leverages the power, flexibility and scalability of the WordPress platform. The cost will likely reflect the designer’s length of experience and the number of times they have previously carried out theme customization, plugin integration, and optimising for performance and security. A well-designed WordPress site can significantly enhance your online presence, improve user experience, and offer better SEO performance. The ROI can be substantial through increased sales, better customer engagement, positive impact on brand reputation and lower average costs for site edits and improvements.

2. Experience and Expertise

How can I be sure that the WordPress designer understands and can execute my company’s vision?

A professional will take the time to understand your business, industry, and specific needs. This might be called research and discovery or pre-project consulting. The result of discovery work should end with the presentation of a strategy or proposal for how to manage the project and clearly articulate how the project goals will be met. The strategy and proposal will be supported with real data acquired in the research phase.

The designer will be able to clearly articulate the process ahead for you and provide references from previous happy clients. They will also provide mockups and prototypes to ensure their ideas align with your goals and seek sign-off before moving forward. You can read more about using a web consultant here.

3. Timeline Issues

What if the project takes longer than expected to complete?

A professional web designer will provide a detailed project timeline, outlining each phase of the research, design development and testing processes. Regular updates and open communication help manage expectations and address potential delays promptly. By setting realistic timelines and keeping you informed, the designer can work efficiently to meet your deadlines and minimise the chances of overruns.

Sometimes, a client will change a goal or brief part way through the project, and that’s OK. We are all allowed to change our minds and when that happens, the project will be halted and a new estimate and timeline provided for the new direction of travel. This allows expectations to be managed and both parties to keep on track.

Any contract in place will clearly express what happens in case of project overrun, how this is handled practically and any potential financial implications. For example, client delays which prevent a deadline from being achieved may attract extra time costs at an agreed rate per day of delay. Being clear about this upfront allows both sides to measure the impact of decisions and changes in direction. The contract in tandem with the quote will clearly state if the project is fixed cost, or if overruns are billable. No professional will have a problem agreeing on these terms with you before proceeding.

The Design Process: What to Expect

Understanding the web design process can help alleviate concerns about timelines and quality. Typically, the process includes initial consultations, design drafts, development, testing, and revisions. Clear communication and defined milestones ensure the project stays on track and any issues are addressed promptly.

Quality, Communication, and Compatibility

4. Quality and Reliability

How can I trust that the WordPress designer will deliver high-quality work and remain professional throughout the project?

Reputable WordPress designers build their careers on delivering high-quality work and maintaining professionalism. You can verify their reliability by checking client testimonials, case studies, and reviews. A well-established designer will also provide a contract outlining the scope of work, timelines, quality standards, and evidence of their professional indemnity and/or public liability insurance.

A good designer will provide an unhurried initial consultation and answer any questions that you may have which will give you a sense of their commitment to quality and professionalism. Trust your gut, do you feel that the designer has done this all before and this is routine for them, or does it feel like they are feeling their way through the early days of working in the industry? Don’t be scared to ask, and expect a full and honest response.

5. Communication and Collaboration

What if there are communication issues, and the designer doesn’t understand my needs or feedback?

Effective communication is crucial for a successful WordPress design project. Professional designers use clear, structured communication channels, such as regular meetings, progress reports, and project management tools, to ensure ongoing collaboration. They prioritize understanding your needs through detailed briefs and questionnaires and encourage feedback at every stage. This iterative process ensures that your input is valued and incorporated into the design.

Established web designers will seek constant feedback and request signoff at significant stages before proceeding to ensure that misunderstandings either don’t happen or are rectified before they impact the project. Probability dictates that very rarely an issue may arise, look to reviews to see how the designer has handled any conflict and ensure that if you proceed, your contract includes a section explaining how to manage a potential breakdown in the working relationship.

6. Compatibility

How can I ensure that the WordPress designer’s style and approach align with my company’s brand?

Before starting the project, a professional WordPress designer will conduct a discovery phase, where they learn about your company’s values, target audience, and branding guidelines. Discussion with your designer will also help you assess their style and see if it matches your brand aesthetic. Open discussions about your brand’s identity and providing examples of websites you admire can further align the designer’s approach with your vision.

Although a designer’s website will likely have told you a lot about them and their approach before you contact them, it will become quickly apparent what their approach is when talking, if it doesn’t ask about their values and what they enjoy working on.

Hiring a WordPress Designer: The Process

  1. Consultation: The first step is an initial consultation to discuss your project’s needs, goals, and budget. This helps the designer understand your vision and establish a strong foundation for the project.
  2. Proposal and Agreement: After understanding your requirements, the designer will provide a detailed proposal outlining the project scope, timeline, and cost. Once agreed upon, a formal contract is signed.
  3. Design and Development: This phase involves creating design drafts and wireframes, followed by the development of the website. You’ll have the opportunity to review and provide feedback at each stage.
  4. Testing and Revisions: Before launching, the site undergoes thorough testing to ensure functionality and performance. Your feedback is crucial during this stage to finalize any necessary revisions.
  5. Launch and Post-Launch Support: Once approved, the website is launched. The designer will also offer post-launch support and maintenance to ensure your site remains up-to-date and secure.

Technical Skills, Scope, and Support

7. Past Experiences

I’ve had negative experiences with previous designers. How can I be sure this won’t happen again?

To mitigate the risk of repeating past negative experiences, look for WordPress designers with strong reputations and positive client feedback. Request references and speak directly with previous clients about their experiences. Clear contracts and setting detailed expectations upfront can prevent misunderstandings. Opt for a designer who is transparent about their process, timelines, and deliverables, and who prioritizes building a trustworthy relationship.

8. Technical Skills

How do I know if the WordPress designer has the technical skills needed for my project?

Assessing a WordPress designer’s technical skills involves reviewing their portfolio and looking for examples of work similar to your project. Ask specific questions about their experience with WordPress themes, plugins, and customizations. Certifications, ongoing education, and participation in WordPress communities can also indicate a commitment to maintaining technical proficiency. Additionally, many designers provide case studies that detail their problem-solving and technical capabilities.

I encourage you to seek evidence of continuing professional development in core and supporting subjects and technologies. CPD shows that your designer is engaged in actively learning and developing and will likely take the same approach with your web design project.

9. Scope Creep

What if the project scope changes and leads to increased costs and extended timelines?

To manage scope changes, a professional WordPress designer will define a clear project scope and deliverables in the initial contract. Any additional requests or changes are handled through a formal change order process, which includes revised cost estimates and timelines. Regular check-ins and setting priorities can help keep the project on track. Transparent communication and a flexible but structured approach ensure that any scope changes are managed efficiently without compromising the project’s overall success.

10. Post-Launch Support

Will there be support and maintenance available after the WordPress website is launched?

WordPress professionals often offer post-launch support and maintenance packages. These services can include regular updates, security checks, plugin management, and troubleshooting to ensure your website remains functional and up-to-date. Discussing and including post-launch support in your initial agreement can provide peace of mind. Reliable designers may also offer training for your team to manage basic site updates and provide access to documentation to facilitate ongoing site management.

Conclusion

Hiring a WordPress web designer is a valuable investment that can significantly boost your business’s online presence. By addressing these common concerns you can feel more confident in your decision and ensure a successful collaboration with your chosen designer. If you have any more questions or are ready to start your project, feel free to contact us!