I paid $800 for my very first website to be built and then updating it was painful as I had to contact the designer each time I wanted to add a new photo to the collection. There was no such thing as a content management system, website databases, wordpress, facebook, google was relatively new. But one thing I could do was learn the basics of web design so I could take over updating my website. As the years went by my skills got better and better but at the core of it, I was a photographer, not a web designer. But I loved playing around with my website and adding new and cool features, reverse engineering page code to make things work.

But as my business grew I had less time to work to play around on my site and what would take me weeks to work out I needed to be done in a day and this meant finding a website designer to work with and I can tell you there are a lot of backyard shonks out there that can kind of do the job but they lack attention to detail and can’t follow directs or a design well. Finding a good web designer is like finding a good ####. They can be worth their weight in gold especially if you’re paying them by the hour.

WHERE TO FIND A GOOD WEB DESIGNER

The best source online for finding a web designer is Upwork. The skill base on that website is amazing. But instead of posting a job and having a ton of applications from all corners of the world and also the shonks who land your job and then outsource it to other designers happy yo work for half the price their charging you and you’re happy to pay. What I have found best is to write your job application and then search for designers yourself based on their location, feedback, hourly rate that your happy to pay and once you have a list then message them directly to apply for your job.

DO YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR

As I have mentioned before a good web designer will charge you about $50 – $60 per hour AUD even more. A price isn’t really a reflection of skill, but that combined with feedback from past customers is a good indication that the designer puts a solid value on their time, skill and the demand for them to do other peoples sites.

PAYING A LOW DOLLAR PER HOUR DESIGNER

When you search the Upwork list of designers you’re going to see people wanting $100 an hour and you’re going to see designers willing to work for $10 per hour. If you have a tight budget then it is going to be really tempting to employ them for your site design. I can’t overly speak what a cheap designer in India can do, but if you have your photoshop design then I think it would be a worthwhile risk. But I would manage the job in a way that made it safe for me which I will describe for you. As I mentioned you must have a design for them to follow. Having a design for them to follow will allow you to compare how they transfer a design to actual code. One thing I found when you look at the lower hourly rate designers is the websites they have in their profile are pretty cheesy and dated.

— As I mentioned you must have a design for them to follow. Having a design for them to follow will allow you to compare how they transfer a design to actual code. One thing I found when you look at the lower hourly rate designers is the websites they have in their profile are pretty cheesy and dated.

— Get them to build one page. It is a single focused task and there is no room for them to say their working on a number of pages, the more pages the more time and that means more money. Plus with one page being designed you should have your page done pretty quickly so there is no downtime.

— Get a fixed price for the page, so you don’t pay any more than your happy with. You’re the employer so you’re in control.

— When they have designed the page you want them to push it to your website (meaning upload it so it is live). This way you can view it on your desktop computer and also mobile device and see how it looks and responds, you can even get friends to view it as they may have a different operating system or web browser.

If you’re happy with the result then get them to design another page and then another. Have the website built in stages so you manage the risk.

MY PAST PROBLEMS WITH HIRING DESIGNERS

If you’re going to print on FujiFlex paper then this is going to be an unavoidable experience, the dreaded “I stuffed it” most of the time it is going to be because your pen didn’t sign consistently and you need to go back and repair it which can look terrible. Well given you have gotten to the point where you think you need a new reprint done, try getting some Methylated Spirits and apply some to a cotton free rag or to the white gloves your handling your prints with and gently wipe it over the text on the FujiFlex print and you will see the ink be removed and the paper untouched. Allowing you to try again.

Note this may not work every time, if you have pushed too hard into the photo, to begin with, you will see that you have scratched the surface coating off the photo, but this is a last ditched effort to fix a mistake on what could be an expensive reprint.