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How to Hire a Web Designer? Mistakes While Finding One

It is a challenge to hire a good web designer. Follow our list of mistakes made by people to nail this task and find the best website designers or agency.

Written by RamotionDec 4, 202016 min read

Last updated: Feb 14, 2024

Whatever company you have: small or big, local or international, it is advised to have its place under the Sun on the Web.

While several years ago it was a recommendation, in 2020, the situation has changed drastically. The Covid pandemic has imposed new rules and forced people to conduct their business the other way, turning recommendation into an obligation.

Migrating your company into online expanses is a must-have for running a successful business these days. Top companies all around the World, starting from New York and ending with Tokyo, are perfectly aware that to survive this crisis, they need a good website. And even if they already have a website, still it is no time to get too comfortable, since it should be regularly updated and improved to meet the current requirements and most importantly continually changing market. For this and for much more, they need to hire website designer.

Hire the best Web Designer

Whether you will go for a web designer in one of your local firms, or one of the leading digital web design agencies in San Francisco, like Ramotion , getting this task done by a true professional is imperative. The deal is, only the expert can ensure that your internet presence is of a high standard:


πŸ“ Location: San Francisco, CA

πŸ‘€ Top clients: Mozilla, Xero, Turo

🌐 Social networks: πŸ“· Instagram 🐦 Twitter πŸ‘₯ Facebook

Without doubt, finding the right person for your beloved brand can be a real challenge; still, it is not insurmountable. Follow our guide that turns this quest into a child's play by de-mystifying the process of hiring web designer. We will reveal 6 popular mistakes that you should avoid in order to find and hire the best web designer ever.

1. Do Not Have a Goal

As banal as it sounds, no goal – no website. Well, you may have a website, but it won't make any difference for your company. It will be just a beautiful HTML template with text and images that do not resonate with the audience and do not make any impact at all. Therefore, before starting your search for a good website designer, get your thoughts straight, and set your goals.

Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve with your website? What should it do? Should it be a mere online representative? Should it create a wow factor? Should it promote goods? Should it collect subscribers? Should it sell products? The website can do all of the listed above things, and even more, you should always have a plan and a goal that will channel your efforts in the right direction and give your web designer a solid foundation to build on.

On top of that, visit Awwwards, one of the leading website galleries, to get inspiration and see the modern interface look like. Write down what functionality you want to have, what design features you want to use to impress visitors. Use real-life examples to support your demands and get an idea of the future interface. Those who can envision the final result always get it at the end, avoiding additional payment caused by the blurry target.

2. Overplay your Hand

Another big mistake that people made when hiring a web designer is not getting a specialist.

The deal is, we are living in an era of flourishing technologies that has spoilt us.

There are so many online instruments that do all the heavy lifting for us and thousands of video tutorials that guide us from top to bottom; it seems that with the right tools at your fingertips, anyone, even your neighbor, can do everything.

Therefore, even creating a website looks like a simple task to do. However, it is not that simple.

Of course, you can create everything from scratch. However, if you are not a web developer nor website designer, it is a terrible idea. The deal is, to create a decent homepage, you need to have

  • design skills to draw your future website in a digital canvas inside Photoshop or Illustrator;
  • basic knowledge of website color schemes to make your website look stylish and modern;
  • usability skills to create a website with handy user experience and proper usability level;
  • marketing skills to understand where to place offers, how to promote goods, where to place buttons to direct attention to a product and generate sales;
  • SEO skills to write the copy that converts and help the website to get the best ranks in search engines;
  • basic knowledge in the accessibility since like it or not but your website should serve information for all groups of people, even those who use AT to get the information;
  • extensive coding skills to pull off everything together;

Do-it-myself solution works great for professional web designers and website developers, and website agencies out there, but if you are not one of them, then forget about this.

Alternatively, you can use one of the popular online website builders like Squarespace, Slides, or Wix. For just a small amount of money, you will get access to tools that may help you assemble almost any website. Unlike the first option, you do not need to have extensive coding knowledge nor design skills. However, you still should feel comfortable in fixing bugs and customizing the appearance.

Along with that, you should have a kin sense of style to mix and match blocks in a way that creates a compositional harmony. So, again, if you are a non-tech-savvy person, it is not an option for you.

Finally, you can, and you certainly should hire a standalone website designer or a website agency with determined web design process. If you are a non-tech-savvy person or entrepreneur who believes that time should be invested wisely, this is away.

Do bear in mind that the first rule of every successful venture is, time is money. Therefore, when you invest your time into one of the approaches listed above, ask yourself, is ROI the one that you expect? Is it time-effective and, most importantly, cost-effective to use a website generator or create everything from scratch?

Building a website design that meets current standards is a challenging task. There are so many pitfalls and crucial details that should be taken into account that even the mature specialist may find it difficult sometimes. Therefore, it is better to save your precious time and invest it into tasks you can do and delegate website creation to professionals.

Image credits - Dan Dimmock

3. Overpaying or Underpaying

Suppose you have finally made your mind and you are ready to hire a real pro. The time has come to mount a search and find this specialist or digital agency. It is here where the third biggest mistake occurs.

As a non-tech-savvy person or entrepreneur whose business lies in a different sector, you are simply unfamiliar with price formation. It is very easy to fall for conventions and stereotypes and overpay or underpay. Let's consider these two scenarios closely.


When you have a strict budget, you can be easily seduced by a small price or discounted offers. Even though it is in our nature to hunt for better deals, still, when it comes to a website that is much like brand identity, represents your company, no compromises should be made.

Let's say you are going to save money and go for a low-cost solution like using a website generator. Although it provides a relatively handy playground with numerous instruments inside that let you bring any idea to life, it still requires some coding and design skills. On top of that, you may face some tough challenges when you need to extend the functionality or integrate your website with other platforms. The website builders are a bit limited in what they can do. Also, they provide general solutions. If you have a specific situation, they won't cover it.

Therefore, you risk spending your precious time and money and get nothing in return.

Another popular situation of underpaying implies to hire a low-cost web designer.

As we all know, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Low cost always means compromises. For instance, the website designer may use a one-size-fits-all theme, making your website look ordinary and bland. Or he or she won't make your website inclusive, excluding all the vital information for assistive technologies. Or he or she may be entirely unaware of SEO principles that help business rank better in search engines that is a deal-breaker.

To make matters worse, low cost may imply a scheme that may pull out more money from you. It can also be a scam to access your website and secretly use it as a platform for link building or collecting personal data.

Before underpaying, do bear in mind that your website is the face of your company in the digital expanses. It is your communication mode with clients and a platform for promoting goods and ranking in some cash. Therefore, it requires good investments. Low-quality solutions won't work for you. Be ready to spend some money.


The second situation implies you to pay too much. This scenario is more beneficial than the first one since, in the end, you will get something worthwhile. However, you will lose your precious money that can be invested in promoting your brand or running advertising campaigns in Google to get some traffic to your website, for example. There are some other good reasons why you should not overpay.

First, you risk being disappointed since you won't get something extraordinary. In the core, all websites are the same. It is just a bunch of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files on the front and PHP files and a database on the back. If you think about that, WordPress, one of the most popular CMS in the World, gives you an opportunity to create a website with the same filling but for a less amount of money. Therefore, if you think that your exclusive agency, whom you are going to pay loads of money, will create something else, then you're mistaken.

Second, you may disappoint your target market. Some fancy digital agencies may win you over by offering extravagant solutions like, for example, creating a VR experience or use WebGL-powered centerpieces that produce powerful first impressions and leave a long-lasting effect. Who does not want that? However, do not fall for that since, as a rule, all the pioneering techniques lack overall browser compatibility. It means that the lion's share of your market won't be able to enjoy your extravagant solution. You are going to pay for nothing. It even may ricochet since these trendy solutions may cardinally slow down the website and make the user experience lousy.

Third, you risk paying someone's rental. Often, huge companies that need to pay enormous bills for rent, stuff entertaining, and advertisement charge much more than they should. Sometimes you will even pay for a brand name.

Therefore, do not be seduced by ultra-modern features and one-of-the-kind solutions. Do not be fooled by technical slang and jargon. Do not pay someone's rent. Focus on your final result. Do the research and find the best solution for you.

Image credits - Slidebean

4. Choose Design Over Experience

The fourth big and pretty much serious mistake that people made when hiring web designer is choosing design over experience.

Obviously, the design of your website matters because people eat with their eyes. After all, wrapping sells. However, the situation is slightly different in digital expanses since the content is a king and user experience is a queen.

If your users won't be able to locate information that they need quickly, or if they experience problems with your website, they will leave and never come back, regardless of the beauty of your frontend. At the end of the day, user experience is what matters. If you cater to your clients' needs, you will win them over even without a spectacular hero area or exclusive design solutions that stand behind outstanding aesthetics.

Besides, not only should your website present your company but it also should complete a marketing mission. Ask yourself at least these vital questions:

  • What types of people are coming to the site?
  • What goals do they pursue?
  • What products do you want to show them?
  • How to lead prospects to the CTA unobtrusively?

Therefore, when you choose a website designer, make sure he or she focus on your goal and user experience that helps to achieve this goal, not on a design.

Second, as we have already said, not all users have the ability to enjoy modern solutions. Some people have old PCs; others have a poor internet connection.

There are even people who still use outdated browsers like IE8 that do not support Flexbox, which is with us for ages. You should take into account these factors as well. It is better to choose a less impressive design yet good user experience that lets you cater to all people.

Last but not least. Every new project creates a window of opportunity. Talented people easily get carried away with new projects since they can't help but let their imagination run riot. They offer true masterpieces. However, these masterpieces are only artworks. Do bear in mind, not every fantastic idea can be brought to life.

There are still some restrictions and limitations when it comes to coding. You may end up paying much more money for converting it into a working solution or, worse, seeking replacement since it just could not be done in a way that all your clients can enjoy.

Therefore, prioritize user experience and choose a good-looking neat design over the extravagant and resource-consuming one.

UX Indonesia

5. Not Getting Backend

Frontend (design and user experience) is the first thing that concerns entrepreneurs. What color palette to choose? What images to use? What products to promote? How to make visitors navigate comfortably? However, one of the biggest mistakes made when hiring website designer is not getting the Backend.

Of course, Frontend matters. It is that part of the website with which regular people deal. It represents your product; it advocates your brand; it communicates with the audience: it does so many important things to take your business to the next level. However, people always forget about backstage, where all the magic happens.

Like it or not, you need a control center to manage the site off your own bat. Even if you are a web developer who knows the website inside out, it is always better to have a handy panel to edit content, modify the design, or add elements with only a few clicks. It is so time-saving and cost-effective.

Therefore, always think about the ease of use, since with the proper Backend, you will save yourself so much time and keep yourself away from frustration and disappointment. On top of that, when the Backend is well-done, you do not need to worry about additional maintenance costs.

When choosing a Backend, you can go two ways. The first one is to get a CMS-based website, for example, WordPress. This solution comes with both advantages and disadvantages. For example, the website's admin is very easy to handle; it is powerful, flexible, extendable, and pretty fast. However, it can overload your project, making the website heavier. Also, WordPress has some security issues that should be addressed by the developers' team separately.

The second option is to use a custom admin panel. Again, it has its own merits. At some point, it is much lighter and faster than CMS-based solutions; however, it can be hard to handle; and it may require some additional support from the web developer's team in the future.

Therefore, not only get a Backend but also weigh all the pros and cons to choose the one that fits you most.

Image credits - Stephen Phillips

6. Do Not Do Your Research

The last big mistake that smart people made when hiring web designer is choosing a vendor without doing research. Do not fall for flashy advertisements, corny speech, intricate slang, or all kinds of big promises. A trust-but-verify approach applies to every situation; there are no exceptions. Always do your research. When you hire web designer, make sure he or she

  • has all the necessary qualifications to design and develop a website;
  • has experience in creating similar projects;
  • uses time-proven tools in work;
  • provides you with life examples;
  • can give you contacts of clients so that you can get real feedback;
  • stands on top of the field and keeps abreast of all matters;
  • knows all the laws and regulations;
  • uses license assets.

On top of that, always check the portfolio since works always speak volumes.

Doing your research is increasingly vital. Do not be shy to contact previous clients to get real feedback. After all, you will pay for this service. Ensure you make an informed decision.

Although we have listed the 6 biggest mistakes that are widely made by even smart people, there are a dozen more that you also should take into account. While they are not critical and can be fixed, they will still "eat" your precious budget and time.

So, popular mistakes that people made when hiring web designer are:

  • Overlook the design deliverables;
  • Do not deliver the actual content;
  • Use open-source photography, video, or graphical assets;
  • Do not align a website with brand identity;
  • Ignore a mobile-friendly design;
  • Ignore accessibility;
  • Ignore laws and regulations;
  • Ignore quality assurance tests;
  • Ignore A/B tests;
  • Ignore SEO;
  • Overlook overall performance;
  • Overlook future maintenance and its costs;
  • Overlook security;
  • Stop updating and renovating website;
  • Looking only for website designers near you;
  • Overlook differences between a web developer and a web designer;
  • Working with website designer who requires long-term commitments;
  • Working without a contract.
Image credits - Glenn Carstens-Peters


Whether you go for a local webs designer whose works speak louder than ever or a group of web developers settled in fancy Los Angeles, who constantly test their limits in projects and adore everything eco-friendly, make sure you do not make these mistakes.

Be open to hiring website designers from around the World since it is the only way to find the best deal for your budget. Set your goals, do your research, prioritize user experience and avoid all those mistakes that we have just listed to get a beautiful and functional website that meets current requirements, resonates with your audience and reaches your goals.