How to Choose a Blog Designer
Finding a good blog designer is a bit different than finding a good website designer, particularly if you're publishing on a free platform like Blogger. Ask a web designer to make you a nice custom blog layout, and you'll pay a ridiculously unnecessary amount of dosh for it -- I've seen quotes for $500 or more, just for a little blog layout.
That's just stupid.
A blog designer is more familiar with how blog code works and what bloggers want and need on their blogs. We know what your readers are going to tolerate in terms of layout and we know how to make things look good whilst still being practical. A web designer doesn't always get this, and will often create a blog based on a regular website -- which, as we all know, a blog is not. At the same time, not all blog designers are worth the reduced fees they charge. The following tips are meant as guide for weeding out the good from the bad.
1. If you're paying a couple of hundred bucks for a blog layout, you're paying too much. And if you've been unable to find someone who charges considerably less, take a look at my Blogbunnie blog design site and you'll see that some of us really do charge reasonable rates.
2. Do not hire someone who re-uses stock graphics and image kits as they are likely doing so illegally. This often happens because the designer is an amateur and is ignorant of the law, but this ignorance can result in your being sued and forced to take your site down, and start all over again with someone who respects the law. A LOT of blog designers do this, and the giveaway is in their portfolio. Sooner or later it will catch up to you both -- don't put yourself in that position. I know of a very well-ranked and very popular blog that had to take their graphics down due to copyright infringement, and their rank and readership have yet to fully recover.
3. Make sure you are not hiring someone to nick a free template and upload it onto your blog address for a fee -- that would be absurd. For $100 you should be getting a fully original customized layout.
4. Don't work with someone who isn't willing to give you previews along the way, and a set number of revisions -- 3 usually being the max before further fees are incurred.
5. Don't work with someone who doesn't reply to your initial contact within 48 hours. There simply isn't an excuse for that kind of thing, unless you've automatically received a notice saying they'll be unavailable until a certain date.
6. Don't work with anyone who is rude or unwilling to answer all of your questions. With so many friendly and helpful blog designers around, there is no reason to.
7. Don't hire anyone who doesn't have a portfolio!