Creating a professional website requires several unique skill sets. Writing, Design, and Programming all have separate degree programs at most major universities. While you don’t need a degree to complete these tasks, knowing how to hire someone to build a website can make your life a lot easier.
Who Are Freelancers?
Freelancers are self-employed workers with valuable skill sets. They offer their skills on a per project basis and usually work for more than one client at a time. A lot of them have the freedom to choose when and where they work. But most importantly, they’re responsible for delivering the project requirements on a given deadline.
If you want to hire someone to build a website, I’d suggest starting with freelancers. The kind of freelancers you should look at hiring are copywriters, graphic designers, and web developers. These are the three main skills it takes to create a website and they can become complex quite quick. Let’s take a look at how they can help you build your website.
Who You Can Hire to Build Your Website
There are many reasons you might want to outsource some or all of the tasks for building your website. Even a seasoned web developer might outsource content creation and logo making so they can focus on delivering a professional website in a timely manner. Creating something great is usually a team sport.
To start, lets break your website tasks into the following three categories:
- Web Development
- Graphic Design
As you go through each section, think of your website, do you need to do any of this work for yourself? Do you have the skills or time to learn them? Could you get a better return on investment by hiring one of the following?
Web developers are programmers who build websites. There are different types of web developers such as front-end developer, back-end developer and full-stack developers. Each focus on different parts of building a website but each write code that creates custom functionality for a website.
Learning how to write code can be a tedious process and takes years to learn. If you’re building a WordPress website and need custom functionality you might want to hire a web developer. Web developers can help you create custom page templates or a responsive design.
Things you can hire a freelance web developer for:
- Initial Website Setup
- WordPress Page Layouts
- Customizing Applications
- Responsive Design
- Custom CSS Design
Graphic designers are responsible for the visual design of a project. Their goal is to use typography, images and illustrations to communicate a message that is memorable to their viewers. Many graphic designers work with marketers, creating brands that identify a company’s values and personality.
The most valuable thing a graphic designer can create for you is a logo. While you can save money creating your own logo, as your site evolves, you’ll probably want a professionally designed custom logo. They can also create beautiful looking templates to help differentiate your website from the others.
Things you can hire a freelance graphic designer for:
- Logo Design
- Brand Style Guides
- Website Color Pallet
- Custom Header or Logo
- Product Images
- Social Media Images
Copywriters are writers who write text for print and online media. Some write persuasive content for advertisements while others use their technical skills to write how to guides. They are the people behind the entertaining, informative, and persuasive content that we read every day.
There are a lot of reasons you might hire a copywriter. The most obvious reason comes soon after you create your website. You start writing cones and find that it’s a lot more work that you have time to commit too. Other times you might not have the technical skills to write what you need. Those are indicators that it’s time to hire a copywriter.
Things you can hire a freelance copywriter for:
- Blog Posts
- Product Reviews
- Social Media Posts
- About Page
- Proof Reading and Editing
Where You Can Hire Someone to Build a Website
We’re entering a time when freelancers are becoming more readily available. It’s not just Uber and Lyft driving this change. Websites like Fiverr, Upwork and 99designs are taking professional services and making them available online.
Fiverr, Upwork, and 99designs provide platforms that allow you to:
- Post jobs or contact individuals for quotes.
- Browse reviews and freelancers’ ratings.
- Find highly skilled freelancers via skill ratings.
- Shared a workspace with the freelancer for your project.
- Easily exchange money for completed work.
While they all provide a way for you to hire someone to build a website, at least in part, they do it in completely different ways. Let’s take a look at why I chose these particular services to find freelancers for your website.
Known As: The Best Freelance Platform to Start On
Fiverr helps you find Freelancers by browsing:
- What services are available.
- How much each service costs.
- How long it will take to complete the work.
Freelancers advertise their services in packages that show what type of work they do and how much it will cost. Many of the packages are at pretty well priced. This is great if you want to test out a freelancer at a low price before moving on to more costly projects.
I’d recommend Fiverr if you have a budget between $10 – $200 or if you want to try out a service you’re not familiar with.
If you want to see what type of freelancers you can hire on Fiverr, take a look at the Fiverr Gigs Directory. It lists freelancers by category.
Known As: The Best Place to Find Top Rated Talent
Upwork is a good resource if you want to:
- Hire top rated talent on a project basis.
- Browse skill sets and past work in resume format.
- Pay an hourly rate for your project.
Upwork operates similar to how the job market works. Freelancers profiles are setup in a resume type format, listing their skills, work history and an hourly rate. After looking through resumes, you can create a job posting and invite freelancers to it or just create an offer to send to them.
Upwork has many services that are appealing to businesses. They can provide a recruiter to find top talent for your project or provide full enterprise services and team building for your business.
I’d recommend Upwork when you need to find highly qualified talent and have a budget of at least $300+. Or if you don’t have time to sort through freelancer profiles to find the best fit for your project.
On their hire page you can browse top freelancers and agencies by category.
Known As: The Best Place for Quality Design Work
99designs is a good place to go if you want:
- Designers who have had their skills verified.
- Multiple designers competing for your project.
- Pretty much anything designed.
99designs specializes in connecting clients with highly qualified designers. They offer pretty much any design service you may need. If you need a logo, website design, or even a T-Shirt designed you can get the job done.
Designs are created through contests. Contests have an initial round where designers submit work to your project. You pick the designs you like and provide feedback. Over 4-6 days you choose the designs that move into the final round. You don’t have to pay for the qualifying round, but you have to commit to the project in the final round.
In the final round, you submit feedback and the designers continue to submit designs until you choose a winner (or winners). The winner will continue to work on the design and sign over rights to you at the end of the project.
I’d recommend 99designs if you don’t have time to screen designers and have a budget of $100 – $600. I also recommend it when you prefer to have more than one designer submitting designs for you to choose from.
99designs is well known for creating logos but if you browse all their categories, you’ll see they do much more than logo design.
How to Hire Someone to Build a Website
At first hiring freelancers can be a little tricky. The first freelancer I hired was on Fiverr. I needed a website article created and jumped in headfirst. I hired someone based on their good reviews, sent them a brief outline and let them take the reins.
Sorry to say, it wasn’t the best experience. The person was super helpful and tried their best but, in the end, I had to rewrite an article I paid $80 for.
Fortunately, you can learn from my experience. I’ve got much better at hiring freelancers and I’ll share some tips with you, so you don’t make the mistakes I’ve made. I’ll use hiring freelance writers in my examples.
Prepare Work for the Freelancer
Make sure you provide clear expectations. Freelancers won’t know what to do unless you can give them a good idea of what you want.
Before I post a job, I like to prepare some documents. For example, with writers, I include three documents.
The Project Plan and Scope: Includes a description, outline and keywords that the article should target. I also include the requirements for the article. The success of the article is determined by the requirements.
The Style Guide: The style guide is an editorial guide on how to format text in the article. This includes how to write headlines, headers, paragraphs and a word list.
Freelance Writer Contract: Do you want to own the intellectual property your freelancer is creating? Then you should have a contract that specifies the assignment and ownership of intellectually property.
Create a Job Posting
Creating a job posting lets you reach as many candidates as possible. If you see a freelancer you like, you can invite them to the job posting. Having as many candidates as possible will give you the best chance of finding the right person for the job.
At minimum you’ll want to include the following in your job posting:
- The scope of the project.
- Examples of what you’re looking for.
- Experience that you’re looking for.
- Ask to provide links to past work or their portfolio.
- Ask what rate they charge for this type of work?
Some freelancers are great at selling themselves. Your job is to make sure they’re what they say they are and not just a great salesperson. Interviews can help find a candidate who can demonstrate they have the skills to complete your task.
The first round of interviews can be via email. Email interviews are good when you have a lot of applicants or when you’re short on time. Put together an email with several questions. In this round you’re looking for:
- How responsive they are.
- How well they communicate.
- Do they pay attention to details?
In the next round do a phone interview. Phone interviews are great because you get to know the person better and can ask questions on the spot. They won’t have time to think of the perfect answer. In the phone interviews you’re looking for:
- What previous job experience they have in a particular field?
- What experience they have writing for your topic.
- Why they started writing.
During the phone interview, try to get an idea of what passions they have and what they did prior to this.
Start with a Paid Test
Paid tests are scaled down projects used to test your freelancer’s ability and skill. They show you what you didn’t learn from their portfolio or in the phone interview. They show you exactly what the freelancer is capable of doing.
They work well when you have medium to large sized projects and want to see how well the freelancer does on a smaller scale before making a larger commitment. They also work well when you have several promising applicants but can only hire one.
You might be wondering, well what about small projects? If your project has a small budget, in most cases, it’s hard to scale the job down into smaller chunks. It’s not impossible but usually the smaller one-off project is the test.
So how do we come up with paid test projects? Going back to my example about hiring freelance writers, I usually scale the article down. If I’m writing an article about the 9 best shared hosting providers, I might have them write a review on 3 of them. If they do a good job, then I assign them the remaining 6.
There are three tasks you might want help with when building your website: Web Development, Graphic Design and Copywriting.
Learning how to hire someone to make a website, especially in these three categories, can save you a significant amount of time and let you focus on doing the things you enjoy doing in life.
Before you hire someone, learn the basics of How To Make a Website so you understand how the process works. This will ensure that you can ask the right questions and hire the right person for the job.