Take time to conduct a simple phone interview or maybe even meet that designer in person. Ask questions that have been bothering you. If you don’t know what needs to be asked, here are some pointers for you:
Can you send me a list of your previous projects?
This does not include the projects that the company and other designers have done. This should be solely his project, the ones he alone handled. Don’t accept a screenshot or a mock-up of the website. Ask the designer about the web address of the sites, so you can see it’s live version. This will give you a good sense of the designer’s attention to details.
Who do I contact for revisions, etc?
Are you going to be directly contacting the designer or will there be another one, a mediator, between the client and the company’s designer? You need to know who to get in touch with just in case you’ve got a new idea or you want something revised and edited. At the same time, it would be nice to know how many rounds of revisions you are allowed to have. Edits and revisions are critical when it comes to a website. When can you make suggestions? During the development, the process? Or at the end of the project?
How much do you charge?
This is the most important question, of course. Some designers charge for the whole project while others do it per hour or per web page. How much you would have to pay depends on the complexities of the web design, how heavy the content is, and the additional work (fresh photos) they need to do.
That being said, you should also ask for the payment terms. Many web designers would ask for a deposit before they begin their work. The final payment will be due once the project is done or at any key stage in the development. Try to avoid companies that require you to pay the full price even before the project is done. This doesn’t allow for room for changes or issues that may crop up.