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Hire or not to Hire a Website Designer

In the early years of the internet the actual design of a website was either very basic or had to be done using a software package that needed a specialist to use it. Not surprisingly, website designers were in short supply and could command huge fees for their services. All that has changed dramatically and website design is not such a complicated procedure as you might think.

The actual look and feel of a website is more down to personal preferences than current design trends. Internet users want websites that are nice to look at, sure, but they are much more concerned with the ease of use of a website. If a visitor to your professionally designed website cannot find the information that they are looking for quickly and easily they will go elsewhere.

Website designers are similar to fashion designers. Quite often the designs that they come up with are totally impractical or outrageously expensive. Unless you have absolutely no idea of what theme you want applied to your website such as colours and styles you do not need to hire the services of a website designer but can produce the basic outline yourself. Obviously the technical aspects of your website requires an expert but it is becoming more common for website builders to be concerned more with how the site works rather than the aesthetic side of it.

There are a number of free website building sites around these days and these can be a great way for you to play with your design ideas without the expense of hiring a professional. You can also buy relatively cheap software that can produce fairly complex website designs quickly and simply. Drag and drop website design software has become extremely popular. There are also many programs that you can produce your website design with and have it converted to html for uploading to your website.

Personally I have had experience of both sides of the coin. The worst experience was when I was working as a website copywriter for a guy, who shall remain nameless! I first became involved in his website project after he had paid a large sum to a website design team. To be honest, I hated the design that they had produced for the website and it seemed to have taken them an extortionate length of time to produce static pages. The design of a website is very much a personal preference but I was not the only one that hated this particular design. So, the guy decided to hire another person, just for the design while the technical side of his website was being sorted out. He thought it would be easy to apply a different style to the website but he was wrong! The second design seemed to cause problems for the tech guy and eventually had to be dropped. Now on his THIRD website design the website owner decided to find a company who could perform both the design and build aspects of his website. Finally he found a website professional who could deal with both. Unfortunately he had invested so much money in the failed designs that he ended up being unable to fund the final website and the whole project was shelved.

The best advice I can give is that you should be extremely careful if you are hiring two different companies to produce the design and the technical aspects of your site. The two must be able to interact with each other and use the file formats that each other produce. Don’t be deceived into thinking that you have to employ a design professional when you may well be able to do it yourself, cheaper and to your complete satisfaction.
I agree.

Personally, I believe that there should be only two people in the design process.

The first is a person that wants to put the site up and comes up with ideas for CONTENT on the site.

The second is the designer who does all the coding and controls the entire layout and internal structure of the site.

Of course, if they're both the same guy, then that makes it even better. There are plenty of books (or just use Wikipedia/Wikibooks) that make learning html, javascript, and css much easier and anyone that has the time and patience can learn to design for themselves.

Most of all, people need to remember to keep things simple. Give people what they want so they can get in and get out.

Side note: WYSIWYG programs (besides Dreamweaver) are the bane of the internet's existence.
if you dont know then you need to hire but if you think you can make it so dont hire. You may only hire someone if you think there is advance programming needed on your site.
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