Hiring a Web Designer? FAQs for Everything You Want to Know


Hiring a web designer is an important step in creating a polished and professional website for your interior design business. Since 2016, I’ve worked with nearly a hundred business owners on their websites. Each new website project first begins with a conversation where we get to know one another and I answer any questions they may have before booking their new website project.

While all web designers work differently, I’ve included both general answers as well as how I work with clients specifically. This article will walk you through some of the most frequently asked questions and answers from clients prior to hiring me as their web designer.

If you have a question not listed here, pop in the comments below.

General Web Designer FAQs

How long does it take to build to get a website?

While every designer and developer works differently, generally speaking, you’re looking at about 3-6 months for a standard WordPress website. If you add in branding, you might add another month or two.

My brand and website design process takes 30 days from start to launch. By working on only one new website design project at a time, I’m able to work much more efficiently. My creative + strategic mind is immersed in your business, so you get a design that feels personal, works for your goals, and prioritizes you. Quickly.

Should I hire a design agency or a single website designer?

When working with an agency, you’ll likely have an initial point of contact, project manager, brand designer, website designer, and web developer all working together to create your finished product. Agencies also tend to take on several projects and clients at once.

Personally, I prefer a more intimate approach. Once your project is booked those dates are reserved for you and only you. During this time, you’ll have my undivided attention and direct access to me. Every design and deliverable will also come from yours truly.

Then, after launching, you’ll be invited to sign up for a Website Care Plan where you’ll have access to my support team for worry-free, expert support every day of the week.

How much does hiring a web designer cost?

The old saying you get with what you pay for can be accurate in the web design world. When I first started out I was charging a mere $499 a website. Granted I was definitely undercharging but didn’t have the experience (or confidence) to charge what I was worth.

Today, my brand and website projects start at $6,800. While many clients said the investment was a stretch, in the beginning, they noted it was one of the best investments they’ve ever made for their business.

Like many services, you’ll always be able to find someone who does it cheaper and someone who is more expensive. You’ll need to decide on the budget you’re comfortable with and then hire a web designer within that budget. No matter what you pay be sure your web designer is experienced in their craft and truly understands your business.

Should I use a local website designer?

I live in a small town in West Virginia and most certainly believe in supporting our local community whenever possible. However, when it comes to hiring service-based businesses for my own business, I always ask my online community for referrals.

For instance, one of my copywriters lives overseas, my accountant lives in Florida and my support team is scattered across the country. I couldn’t imagine finding the level of support and service they provide me in my small town.

I’ve also had a few experiences where clients decided to hire local because they liked the idea of supporting local. However, their experiences with the professionals were terrible. They wasted thousands of dollars, tons of time, and energy only to receive a website they weren’t going to launch because it would hurt their brand.

I recommend hiring a web designer you jive with, that gets your business and your goals. Nowadays, location does not be a barrier to who to hire to design and develop your website. 

Will my website designer also provide branding?

Most website designers I know will also provide brand design services alongside their website projects. When I first started out I only provided website design services. But after several clients requested I also design their brand identity, I slowly rolled this out as an add-on. Today, it’s included in my main scope of services.

The benefit of hiring a brand and web designer is the guaranteed cohesiveness of your brand design and website design. I also offer several design add-on services for clients who need additional digital or print designs, such as business cards, social graphics, and more.

Most Commonly Asked Questions About Branding

Does new branding or a new website come first?

Most brand designers will want to create all of your brand visuals first. This process can take 2-4 weeks to complete. Then they’ll move on to the website design which can take 2-4 months.

While I agree it’s important to have clarity on your logo, brand colors, and typography, I combine this process alongside the website design. In my experience, it’s hard for clients to conceptualize how their new brand design will look without seeing it used in their website design. This is why I combine both brand design and homepage design in the first phase of every project.

The first deliverable for clients is their homepage mockup that includes their new logo, brand mark, color palette, and typography. This gives them a much better sense of how everything plays together rather than seeing a logo design via a PDF.

What’s the difference between branding, brand design, and brand identity?

Branding is the process of creating a distinct identity for a business in the mind of your target audience and consumers. At the most basic level, branding is made up of a company’s logo, visual design, mission, and tone of voice. (Shopify)

Brand design is the visual elements that make up your brand, such as a logo, brand mark, color palette, typography, and more. Brand identity and brand design can be used interchangeably and tend to refer to the same thing. A strong brand identity keeps your brand polished, cohesive and consistent everywhere it shows up both online and in person.

Can you just use my old logo?

If you’re in the market for a new website but want to keep your existing brand identity, that’s ok! So long as you already have an elevated brand design pre-established. You wouldn’t want to invest thousands into a website that showcases a poorly designed logo design or brand identity.

Keep in mind if you have an existing brand and just need an upgrade, a skilled designer can take the best parts of your existing elements and elevate them with a fresh feel.

What’s included in a typical brand identity design package?

This can vary depending on the brand designer. My standard brand identity package includes a primary logo design, logo variation, brand mark, curated color palette, and typography.

I also have a variety of add-on services for those needing digital and/or print collateral pieces, such as lead magnets, social graphics, business cards, yard signs, and more.

Can I hire you only for brand design?

While I primarily work on brand and website projects, I will take on a branding-only project if the fit is right.

Here’s a branding-only project for an interior designer who had an existing website and just needed an elevated brand identity.

Web Design FAQs

What is the best website platform for me?

Slightly biased, I’ve been WordPress loyal since 2011. Seeing how 42% of the internet uses WordPress there is good reason to follow the crowd. WordPress has beautiful design potential, powerful features for growth, and the freedom to build anything you want.

With that said, I recommend hiring a web designer to design your WordPress website. The initial setup and foundation can be a little tricky if this isn’t your area of expertise. Once built properly you can choose to take over the upkeep and management or hire your web designer to take care of ongoing maintenance and support.

Who writes the content for my website?

Prior to your start date, you’ll be responsible for sharing your website copy (ie the text that will be used on your website) and your website photos. I always recommend hiring a professional to write your website copy. (Would you hire a hobby decorator to renovate your bathroom? Same thing.) Experienced copywriters have a writing AND marketing background; their craft involves strategically designing a potential client’s experience on your site, with words. If that copywriter is niched to the design industry, even better. Their specificity and business savvy will be invaluable.

If you decide to DIY, start as early as possible. DIY website copy is one of the biggest culprits for a project delay. I require all my clients to submit their website copy and images one week before their start date.

What pages should be on my new website?

Every page and website requires its own strategy. Common pages that should be considered is a homepage, about page, services page, portfolio, and contact page. Additionally, you might consider adding a FAQ page, process page, resources page, press page, individual portfolio pages, etc. If you have multiple services you’ll likely want to separate them out on their own pages, too.

Will my web designer also provide SEO services?

All web designers should be well-versed and skilled in building an SEO-friendly website. There are certain strategies they can implement while both designing and developing your website to improve your SEO after launching. Learn more about how a web designer helps with SEO here.

Website Development FAQs

What’s the difference between a web designer and a web developer? And do I need both?

Generally speaking, a web designer designs the look of the website whereas a web developer builds (or develops) the design into a functioning website. Nowadays it’s fairly common for web designers to also be developers. However, most developers are not designers.

In my business, I provide both design and development. When hiring a web designer, you’ll want to be sure they also provide both services.

What is a domain?

Your domain name (URL) is the website address used to access your website. Think of this as a street address but for your website.

What should my website domain name be?

When choosing a domain name for your business it should match your business name. If that isn’t available, you could add a descriptor to your business name that relates to the services you provide.

You’ll also want to be sure to snag a “.com” domain suffix. While there are many additional domain suffixes surface most websites and website visitors automatically type .com at the end of every domain. It’s the most common, most recognizable, and most memorable for business websites.

What is a website host?

Your website host is where all the files that make your website look, feel, and function are stored. Think of this as your property lot but for your website.

What website host should I use?

For WordPress websites I recommend a reputable website hosting provider. Kinsta, WP Engine, and Siteground are all great options for WordPress hosting. (affiliate links)

Website Maintenance Services FAQs

Why is website maintenance important?

With proper maintenance, your site will be more secure, faster, run more smoothly, be covered in the case of an emergency, and be more SEO-friendly. When thinking of website maintenance I like to think of your website as your online home. Imagine moving into a beautiful new house and not performing a single maintenance task. You can imagine how that would turn out.

The good news is, maintaining a website takes a lot less time, money, and effort than maintaining a home. You can choose to either DIY your website maintenance or ask if your web designer if they provide this service.

I currently have a few levels of website care plans available to cover my clients’ website maintenance and more.

Do you provide ongoing website support?

Most web designers have some sort of ongoing support options for their clients. However, this depends on their business model.

Working with me, after launching your website, you’ll be invited to sign up for a website care plan that fits your needs and budget. I know the last thing you want is to have to constantly monitor, update, or even log into it. You want worry-free, expert support every day of the week. My WordPress website care plans are designed to help with ongoing maintenance, weekly updates, adding new images or text, and more. Simply pick a plan, smile, and leave the work to us.

Explore the available WordPress Website Care Plans.

Do you provide ongoing design support?

Similar to the question above, most web designers have some sort of ongoing design options for their clients. However, this depends on their business model.

For my clients looking for a one-time website update or refresh or other design-related support, I typically suggest a VIP Day. Whether you need a new portfolio page, a sales page for a new service or product, graphic design support or to reassess your website strategy, my VIP Days give you 1:1 attention + design solutions. 

For monthly design + strategy support, consider the Website Care Plan VIP tier which includes maintenance, upkeep, website edits, and 2 hours of support and/or strategy with me each month.

Learn more about my VIP Day service here.

Can I just update the website myself once it’s built?

This depends on the web designer, but typically yes! You should be able to.

If we work together, you’ll be provided with a WordPress Website Help Guide that will walk you through how to log in and use your new website. A custom website training video recording will also be provided that will walk you through simple tasks such as editing pages, swapping photos, adding blog posts, and more.

Following the launch of your website, you’ll receive a full 14-days of post-launch support as you become confident and comfortable with your new website. You’ll also be invited to a final Zoom call to answer any additional questions you may have.

When it comes to hiring a web designer, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

For each client, I provide support, education, and guidance to ensure their website project produces the results they want. I always tell them to not worry about “bugging me” — I’m here to help and support them in any way I can, and that means they can reach out and get help whenever they need it. No question is ever too small.

If you’ve gotten through this post and are interested in discussing a brand and website project for your business, I’d love to chat. Click here to book a call.

About Katie O'Brien

About Katie O'Brien

As a seasoned brand and website designer, Katie O'Brien brings simplicity to business growth and peace of mind to daily life. She specializes in clean and simple websites, working closely with interior designers to elevate their digital presence with poise and personality.

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