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Hiring a Web Designer: Key Skills, Roles and Duties

Your company’s website serves as its sales and marketing platform and its portal to connect with potential customers. To ensure that your company has the best possible website, it’s important to make the right website hire. To find the right web designer, understanding the costs and requirements is essential.

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Where to start with hiring web designers

Before you start the hiring process, do the following:

  • Identify your website goals. To work effectively with a web designer, decide whether your website will be informational only or if it will sell products and services, too.
  • Know what type of website professional you need. Most website professionals fit into one of two groups: web designers are responsible for the look and functionality of the website, while web developers typically focus on complex coding for custom websites.
  • Ask for references. Leverage your network to find a web designer that other business owners in your area or professionals in your industry recommend.
  • Decide on a budget. Review your company’s budget to determine how much you can spend on website design, which will help you identify whether you should contract a web designer for a project or hire a staff member.

Essential web designer roles and responsibilities

Web designers typically handle the following tasks:

  • Talk with colleagues or clients to determine the requirements for a website
  • Develop mockups and perform tests to demonstrate and verify the website’s layout and navigation
  • Use templates, themes and computer languages like HTML to create the website
  • Collaborate with graphics and marketing colleagues to obtain images and videos for the website
  • Integrate other applications, such as analytics and payment programs, into the website for added functionality
  • Monitor website performance and provide updates or repairs as necessary

What to look for in a web designer

To find the right web designer for your organization, look for a candidate with these education qualifications, work experience and skills:


Most professionals in this field have at least an associate’s degree in web design, which requires two years of post-secondary study. However, many employers prefer to hire web designers who have a bachelor’s degree with a focus in computer science, computer programming or graphic design.


Entry-level web designers often have experience interning for local companies or volunteering for university organizations. Mid-career web designers generally have extensive experience providing design and development services for companies and working on independent projects. To gauge a potential website hire’s experience, ask to review their portfolio.


Successful web designers should have the following skills:

  • Attention to detail: Minor errors in website code can lead to large errors, so web designers must have excellent attention to detail.
  • Communication skills: To understand website requirements and convey needs to colleagues effectively, web designers need strong speaking, writing, listening and reading skills.
  • Computer literacy: Web designers need fluency in standard website programming languages like HTML and PHP, and many also need to know the basics of languages like XML, SQL and JavaScript. Most web designers also need experience with design programs like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
  • Creativity: To translate a company’s needs and ideas into a visual concept, web designers must be creative. They also have to monitor industry trends to keep their designs current.
  • Problem-solving skills: To resolve errors and improve website performance, web designers must know how to identify issues, consider options and implement solutions effectively.

Related:How to Find Good Employees

How to create a job description for a website hire

To write a web designer job description, follow these steps:

  1. Describe the role and responsibilities
  2. Mention design essentials
  3. List the requirements and skills
  4. State the timeline

1. Describe the role and responsibilities

First, discuss the basic responsibilities, including whether you need an entire website, a few website pages or a redesign of an existing website. Mention whether the candidate will work independently or if they will be responsible for managing a team of developers or designers.

2. Mention design essentials

Next, mention some of the essential aspects of the website, such as whether it includes eCommerce components, a payment portal or a membership site. Consider incorporating links to examples of websites that meet your requirements to help candidates understand your company’s needs.

3. List the requirements and skills

In your job description, include some keywords that reference the qualifications and skills the candidate should have. Include any required degrees or computer languages here.

4. State the timeline

Finally, state a reasonable timeline for the project. Work with your marketing and information technology (IT) teams to determine how long it should take the web designer to take the project from a concept to a completed project.

Related: How to Write a Job Description

Web designer FAQs

Take a look at the frequently asked questions below to make your web designer hiring process even smoother:

How much does web design cost?

According to Website Builder Expert, a custom website typically costs anywhere from $5,000 to more than $10,000. If your website only requires template customization, you can expect to pay between $100 and $1,000.

How much does it cost to hire a web designer?

If you plan to hire a web designer, you can expect to pay an average of $3,117 per month, or about $37,000 per year. Employers typically provide standard benefits like health insurance and a health savings account. Many employers also offer additional perks like food, gym memberships, store discounts and flexible schedule options.

What kind of work environment do web designers need?

All web designers use computers to work, and some have multiple monitors to do their jobs more effectively. Many web designers work in office settings, which often have open layouts that allow for collaboration. Others work from home where they may have home offices or designated workspaces. Still, others do their jobs in coworking spaces where they have temporary desks.

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