How To Tell If A Freelance Web Designer Is Good Or Bad [19 Tips]

Hiring a freelance web designer is an exciting time. You have the ability to make your business look more professional and increase your revenues by hiring help.

It’s not always easy, though. You have to find the right person for the job, meet their needs, and create something great together.

Are you ready?

Here are 19 tips to follow when hiring a freelance web designer:

How to tell if a web designer is a good fit for your project
A good freelance web designer should have a strong portfolio that showcases their work.
Communication is key when working with a freelance web designer, so make sure they are responsive and easy to reach.
Look for a freelance web designer who is willing to collaborate and work with you to achieve your vision.
A good freelance web designer should have a solid understanding of SEO and user experience.
Pricing for freelance web design can vary greatly, so it’s important to establish a clear budget and scope of work upfront.

1. Delivers Projects On Time

For work to be delivered on time, the designer needs to know how much time is needed for different parts of the project. This will help to make proper estimates. In case, there are any delays, there should be an effective communication plan and contingency plans in place in order to prevent any delays that might lead to late delivery of the project. A good designer will always ensure that the projects are delivered on time irrespective of all odds that may come their way.

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2. Multiple Payment Options

A good freelancer or agency will have multiple payment options. You should be able to pay with a credit card, PayPal, bank transfer, cash, wire transfer, and many more options. Here are some acceptable payment options:

  • Credit Card
  • PayPal
  • Bank Transfer
  • Cash
  • Wire Transfer
  • Escrow (for large projects)
  • Amazon Payments (if the freelancer is in business on Amazon)

You may even see some of these payment methods when working with a freelancer: Payoneer, debit card, Venmo, money order, cheque, and possibly even Apple Pay! Western Union isn’t as common but it’s still possible. There are even rare cases where you can use bitcoin as a form of payment for your project.

3. Check Upwork Reviews

If there are a lot of reviews, that’s a good sign. It means the designer is busy because he must be doing something right to keep getting work. Even if there are bad reviews, it doesn’t necessarily mean the designer is not good. Usually, it is some type of conflict between client and designer. Always look for reviews that say the designer is hard-working and has integrity with his clients.

Choosing the right freelance web designer is critical to the success of your project. Our guide on 15 tips to help you choose a freelance web designer provides practical advice and key considerations to help you make an informed decision and find the right designer for your needs.

4. Take A Look At The Portfolio

One thing to look for is if the portfolio has been updated recently. Since web design is always changing, it’s important that the designer actively strives to keep their skills up to date through independent learning and practice. If the website hasn’t been updated in a few years, then that might be an indication that they aren’t as involved in their profession as they once were. 

It could be possible that they have another job elsewhere, or simply aren’t taking on new projects while they focus on something else. Either way, you should probably look elsewhere.

Another critical detail you should look for is if the websites are of a similar size to what you need to be done. Someone who has worked on just small blogs and landing pages might not have the necessary experience for larger projects with many more facets (like eCommerce sites). We’ll talk about how to figure out how large your project needs are next!

5. Take A Look At Website Speed And General UX Design

We have talked a lot about website speed so far, but let’s also talk about UX design.

User experience is something that makes people enjoy using your website. It should be easy to navigate, and all the pages should load quickly.

  • Nobody wants to wait more than 10 seconds for a page to load.* If you want to check how fast your website is.

6. Focuses On Clients’ Goals & Feedback

Ask any freelance web designer what the most important thing to consider while they work on your project is, and they will almost always say that it’s your goals and feedback. The more detailed you are in these areas, the better the end result will be.

For instance, if you’re looking for a website that is going to generate leads and sales, then a freelancer might design it differently than if they were just trying to build a place where people could learn about your business. The main thing is communication between both parties so that everyone knows what’s going on at all times.

The best way to get clear direction from clients is by asking lots of questions about their business – what its goals are, any constraints there might be for the project (time frame or budget), who the target audience will be (demographic information), what type of content should go into each page/section of their website, etc… 

Freelancers should always ask about the client’s brand before starting work as this helps them understand how best to design something unique yet consistent with existing branding materials such as logos or brochures.”

Hiring a freelance web designer can be a smart choice for many reasons, from cost savings to specialized expertise. Check out our article on why hiring a freelance web designer may help you to learn more about the benefits of working with a freelance professional for your web design needs.

7. Evidence Of Cross-Industry Experience

You can also tell a lot about how good a freelance web designer is by looking at the range of industries they have worked with. If they have worked with other industries, it shows that they are flexible, and can adapt to any situation.

It’s worth asking whether you can see some examples of work they’ve done for clients in different industries. If a freelancer has only ever built websites for one industry, this could be because it’s the only country or industry that he knows enough about to build a website for. 

This could mean that if you hire them to build your website, it will not be as good as if you hired someone who had worked in multiple countries and therefore had more experience working with different businesses.

8. Is The Web Designer Creative?

Creativity is a must in web design. A good web designer will not only be able to come up with great ideas for your site but also help you bring them to life. To get a better idea of how creative they are, ask them for some examples of their previous work and see how well they can customize it according to the needs of your business.

The best way to know if a designer has any creative skills is by asking him what will set his work apart from others in this field. If he doesn’t have an answer, then you might want someone else who’s more artistic or smarter than just another code monkey doing basic HTML coding jobs (which aren’t very exciting). And do yourself a favor: don’t hire someone based solely on referrals from other people!

9. Is The Web Designer Knowledgeable?

As a potential client, you can’t expect him to be an expert in all these areas. But you should expect that he has the basic fundamentals of each category down pat. You should also expect your web designer to prepare for a new website project by doing research and prep work on their end. When you first meet with a web designer to talk about your new website project, ask them about the industry knowledge they have.

 In fact, don’t be afraid to challenge them on it! They should be able to communicate what they know but also tell you that they are willing to learn more – if something comes up that they don’t know then they should be prepared to learn it before quoting on the project so as not to miss anything out of scope of their quote and time estimates.

10. Does The Web Designer Know Google?

Ask the freelance web designer what they know about Google. In our opinion, this is one of the most important things a good web designer should know: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This means your website ranks higher in Google and hopefully gets more traffic. Make sure the freelance web designer knows how to use Google Analytics, AdWords, Tag Manager, and Search Console. If they don’t then you might not be talking to a good web designer.

Working as a freelance web designer can be a challenging and rewarding career path, but it requires careful planning and effective strategies to make the most of your opportunities. Our guide on how to get the most out of your freelance web design work offers practical tips and advice to help you build a successful and sustainable business.

11. Freelance Designers Should Have An Eye For Photography

If you’ve never worked with a designer before, it can be difficult to tell if they’re good or bad. Here are some tips that you may find helpful:

  • Good freelance web designers have an eye for photography. In addition to being aware of basic design principles, good photographers understand color theory and pay attention to lighting, composition, and the importance of having a story to tell with your photographs.
  • They know when to break the rules and get creative. Understanding the rules first is essential so that you can decide when it’s okay to break them.
  • They look around at what other photographers are doing and explore new ideas all the time. Learning from others will help them grow as a photographer but they also need to come up with their own style and voice through creative experimentation and exploration of new ideas in order to capture images that stand out from the rest of the crowd!

12. Find Out If The Freelance Web Designer Is Local Or Not

This one is pretty straightforward. The more local your freelance web designer is, the better. This is important for a few reasons:

  • You have access to more resources

Whether you’re hosting a website or creating an app, it’s always nice to have someone nearby to help with any problems you may encounter. If you hire someone within your city or state, it’s easier for them to assist with these issues than a designer across the country or in another country altogether.

  • Your freelance web designer will be more knowledgeable

They say knowledge is power—and in this case, knowledge of the area and industry can give your freelancer a definite advantage over their competitors. They likely know what works best when designing websites for local businesses and will be able to provide you with better advice on how to make yours stand out from the competition.

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13. Do Your Research Before Hiring A Web Designer

Before hiring a freelance web designer, the first step is to see what type of feedback they have received in the past. Take a look at their social media pages, their website, and any other reviews or forums where freelance designers have been discussed. If you can’t find information on your prospective hire right away, it may be worth looking somewhere else as this could be a red flag.

In addition to researching the web designer’s website, also check if they are verified on Upwork. Verified freelancers on Upwork carry blue check marks next to their names and profile pictures (not all freelancers are eligible for verification). This indicates that the account has been properly vetted by Upwork and is most likely authentic.

14. List Of Work

In order to be sure your freelance web designer is good, you should check their list of work. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the web designer’s website. Find where they show their work and look at it. If it doesn’t look very good, that’s a bad sign. It means the web designer may not have done much or good work before, which isn’t a good thing if you’re paying them to build your website. 
  • You want someone who has the experience and is able to produce amazing websites that help businesses grow and succeed online. So look at the websites they’ve already designed; this will give you a fair idea of what they can do for you.
  • Go over all their previous clients’ websites one by one – take notes as you go along. Look up each of these companies on Google/Facebook/Twitter etc., try contacting them via email or phone (if possible) – remember any feedback given about the quality of service, etc., then decide whether these fit into criteria ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ according to what other customers say about this firm based on your own experience with them so that if there was an issue

15. Professionalism

  • Are they courteous and professional in their communication? If you are having trouble understanding them, it may be a sign that they are unable to communicate effectively. It can cost you time and money to work with someone who is hard to understand or has a bad attitude.
  • Are they punctual? Do they meet deadlines? Can they deliver on schedule? If not, then it is more likely that the project will go over budget.
  • Are they willing to communicate by phone or video if needed? Not every freelancer will have the same communication needs as you do. Some prefer email and others prefer text messaging or Skype.
  • Are they polite and patient? The best web designers are patient because good design takes time and requires many iterations before reaching its final form. If your designer does not have patience for this process, then there may be something wrong with their method of working or with how well suited they are for the job at hand.

16. Read through the lines

A bad designer will promise you the moon when they’re pitching their services to you. A good one will be honest about what they can accomplish and deliver within your budget and timeline. They’ll also be able to explain why they chose each design decision.

17. Completion Rate

A freelancer’s completion rate is a simple set of questions that tell you how well they complete projects. The first question is: Do they complete projects on time? If not, then you have to ask yourself if the reason for late delivery was due to unforeseen circumstances or was it because the deadline was unrealistic?

 The second question is: Do they provide regular updates so that the client knows where things stand? A good freelancer will know how to manage your expectations.

If a web designer fails at these two things, then I would say that they’re pretty bad. However, if they succeed then I would deem them good.

18. Personal Profile Photo

The first thing to consider is the profile photo. A good profile photo is a clear, professional-looking headshot. The photo should be an accurate representation of the freelancer’s appearance and personality.

Of course, you can tell a lot about a person by their photo but there are also more subtle details that can help you determine whether or not they’re going to be a good fit for your business. A general rule of thumb is to look for photos that have a positive vibe and show that they’re happy with their work. 

In most cases, photos with friends, pets, or anything else will give off this vibe. It’s important to keep in mind that some people may post pictures of themselves with their family so if this makes you uncomfortable just don’t contact them!

For example: If someone posts an image on their LinkedIn page showing them laughing at something funny while working then it may indicate he/she enjoys his/her job as opposed to someone who looks bored or unhappy in every picture posted on social media accounts like Twitter/Facebook etc.

19. Quality Of Work

The quality of the work they have done is another good metric. If you are looking at a portfolio page and it has three items, that is not saying much about how well they can design. On the other hand, if a designer has over 100 projects in their portfolio then that gives you more confidence in their skills.

You will also be able to see how many of those projects have been completed and what kind of feedback has been given for each of them. This will give you an idea of whether or not they have delivered on time, provided excellent customer support, and remained within budget.

Final Thought

Although the list above should help novice freelancers make informed decisions, it also shines a light on the positives and negatives of working with freelance web designers. Using this as a checklist when hiring a web designer will give you a long way toward avoiding any bad experiences.

Be wary of the freelance designer you hire. Be patient with them, but be skeptical. If they have nothing by incredible work to show you, and nothing that qualifies as proof of their skills, consider consulting with someone else. Find one who offers samples of their work, portfolios, and references. 

Do not rely on a ton of nice words, or great connections alone to determine whether a particular freelancer is right for you. Work with them carefully, do your research and keep checking in with other designers on the quality of their work, and the quality of their actions.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you learn more about freelance web design:

28 Costly Mistakes Your Freelance Web Designer is Making – Learn about common mistakes that freelance web designers make and how to avoid them.

20 Signs Your Web Designer is Terrible – Check out this list of red flags that indicate your web designer may not be up to par.

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Freelance Web Designer – This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about finding, hiring, and working with a freelance web designer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Hire The Right Freelance Web Designer?

The most important thing to look for is whether or not they have the skills that you need. If you’re looking for someone to create an e-commerce site with WordPress, make sure they have experience doing that. It’s also important to consider how well you would work together as a team. A good way to do this is by hiring them for smaller or simpler projects first, so you can get an idea of how well you mesh before committing to anything long-term.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Freelance Web Designer?

The average salary for a freelance web designer is $40,000 per year or $30 per hour. This can vary greatly depending on your location and experience level, so make sure you research your local market before setting any prices of your own. Also, keep in mind that when working with freelancers it’s common practice for them to charge by the project rather than hourly—so keep that in mind if you

How Long Does It Take To Build A Website?

How long it takes to build a website depends on the designer and the type of website you want. If you want a simple site that shows your contact information, services, and portfolio, then it will take less time than if you want a more complicated site that provides your customers with the ability to create accounts, upload photos, and leave reviews for others to see. In general, the more custom functionality you want, the longer it will take to develop the site. 

The complexity of the design also impacts how long it will take to build. The more complex the design, the longer it will take because more attention to detail is required.

 What Exactly Does A Web Designer Do?

A web designer turns your website into a reality. They’re the ones that make sure your website looks good and functions properly. They’ll make sure your site is optimized for search engines and works on all devices—cellphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc. They’ll also make sure everything moves smoothly from page to page. 

Basically, they give your brand the best chance at success online by making sure your website is slick and user-friendly. Plus they’ll help you figure out how to manage it once it’s up and running!

What should I look for when hiring a freelance web designer?

When hiring a freelance web designer, look for experience, expertise, and a portfolio of work that demonstrates their skills. Ask for references and check them, and make sure you have clear communication about timelines, deliverables, and costs.

How much should I expect to pay for freelance web design services?

The cost of freelance web design services varies depending on the designer’s experience, expertise, and location. According to Upwork, the average hourly rate for web designers is around $60-80 per hour, but rates can range from $20-150+ per hour.

How do I know if a freelance web designer is the right fit for my project?

To determine if a freelance web designer is the right fit for your project, review their portfolio and ask for references. Have a clear understanding of your project goals and timeline, and make sure the designer is able to meet those expectations. Effective communication and a good working relationship are also important factors to consider.

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