Is my web designer going to get me a real website?

Did you ever get one of these shirts after somebody’s vacation.  “My mom and dad went to Hawaii and all I got was this lousy t-shirt?”

I recently found a note like that in the comment section of my survey about working with a web developer. (The note is changed slightly but not in essential content.)

I’m tech challenged. I hired a web designer: Wonderful and talented. Took several attempts to get my essence and energy. I finally got a design I liked for style reasons. She called it a “mock.”

Then I found out that there really was no site there, just a pretty picture of what my site WILL look like, if I pay more money for a web developer to write the code. Boy am I frustrated.

There is no test to determine if a person is called designer or developer.

This seems to be a fairly common problem. You want a new website design. So it makes sense you’d look for a designer, a person who can figure out your look, or brand, and decide where all the pieces of your website should go. That’s what designers do. They design.

The designer might think s/he’s done after sending you the picture.

In that case you’d also need a developer who can slice up the image to put it into a workable format to use on line. Your designer may work with a developer (code writer) regularly and may pass you on to that person. Or perhaps the final, coded website is part of what you bought.

There is no test to determine if a person is called website designer or website developer. And there is a pretty murky line between the two anyway.

  • Some people call themselves designers because they figure out where the pieces of your website go and put them there.
  • Some people call themselves developers because they figure out where the pieces of your website go and put them there.

Confusing, huh?

So here’s the bottom line:

Ask the person you’re thinking about hiring about their end product.

  • Will there be code behind it? Or will that be a separate process?
  • Will they find the developer or will you?

Either answer is OK. But you have to know going in what you’re paying for to avoid surprises like the poster above.

You sure don’t want to agree to pay a bunch of money only to find that you didn’t get what you thought you were paying for.

Make sure both you and your WebGuy are on the same page.

Signup for my newsletter and I’ll send you  7 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a New Webmaster/Developer/Designer/WebGuy.

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Then ask the questions!

And let me know how it works for you.

Author: Kerch McConlogue

Harrisburg, PA: A WordPress front end web developer who speaks plain-English to nonGeeks

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