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Choosing a Blog Designer

If you're thinking about hiring someone to work on your blog, these two factors are probably foremost in your mind:

1. Cost- What is your budget?
2. Design- What are you wanting your blog to look like?

These are the most important things to consider before choosing a designer. If you are like me, though, and hate to part with your money unless you are getting exactly what you pay for, you may want to do a little more research.

Questions to ask a potential blog designer (or look up in their FAQ/policy section)

1. Will I be able to easily make changes to my blog when you are finished? If I need to add extra blog components (custom sidebar titles, link in nav bar, sidebar photo, photo added to slideshow, etc.) or need to make changes to one at a later date, how much will it cost?

2. How long will my makeover take? When can you get started?

3. How much control will I have over the makeover process? Will I be able to view a test blog and approve the makeover before it is installed? Some blog designers ask that you fill out a design worksheet, then they do the work and present you with a finished product. Others have you fill out the design info and email back and forth with you to create the look you desire.

4. Do you give refunds? Most designers do not.

5. Do I have to display your button on my blog after my makeover? Linked credit to the designer of the blog as well as the creator of the images (design kit) used to create the new look must remain on the blog for as long as the images are used. Some blog designers will allow you to use their designs without credit for an extra fee.

6. Does the makeover price include design images? Some designers design their own images for use on their makeovers. Most designers work with digital scrapbooking kits (also called design kits) or istock/getty images to create their designs. Some designers are able to use design images on their customers' blogs at no extra charge, however, most designers are required to purchase a new design kit/images for each customer in order to stay on good terms with their digital designers. This cost will be tacked on to your order total.

I'm sure you will have more questions than the ones listed above. Ask them! :)

Helpful Hints
  • Choose someone that you feel comfortable with. You will be communicating with the designer a lot throughout the makeover process. Trust your instincts. If you get a bad feeling after your initial email with a potential designer, I would go with someone else. There are so many great designers out there. Why settle?
  • Choose a designer who is highly recommended by others. Most people are so excited about their makeover that they can't wait to share their experience with others. Doing a search for 'makeover' on their blog will most likely lead you to a post written about the blog designer that they used. If you can't find a post, just ask! I'll bet they would be more than happy to share their experience with you.
  • Do your research! Don't choose a designer because they are cheaper than others based on cost alone. There are several talented, new designers out there who offer cheaper prices because they are looking to build their portfolios. Designers who have a lot of experience tend to be more expensive. Their prices are higher because they are highly recommended by their customers and there is a demand for their services. Either way you choose to go, do not turn your blog over to anyone before doing a little comparison shopping!
  • Make sure that you completely understand the designer's terms/policy and like the work in their portfolio before making any type of payment. Most payments are nonrefundable.
Check out this super long list of blog designers (Blogger AND WordPress!) over at Beautiful Blog Designs. While you're there, read this very informative post about choosing a designer and the makeover process.

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