Communicate via phone. If you’re after the perfect theme for your blog, odds are that you’ll be hiring a custom theme designer. Unfortunately, footing the bill isn’t enough to get you that perfect dream. You need to be able to work well with the designer, or it’s all going to waste.

Getting the right information and goals to the designer is key to success. If the two of you aren’t on the same wavelength though, problems will arise. Fast. Who wants to fork out a good few hundred dollars and not get exactly what they needed in return?

Getting the Very Best Theme

  • Be honest about what you know. You are hiring this person, you do not need to impress them with your technical know-how. It helps if you know what you’re doing, but if you don’t, say so! I have no problem working with a less than savvy client, but when the client is letting on (or truly believes!) that they know more than they really do, there are always little bumps.
  • Examples mean more than words. Don’t try to describe the site you want, show the site you want! Quotes examples of color schemes you like, of backgrounds you like, and of everything else. Rarely will both you and the designer take the same meaning from words. Images are much clearer.
  • Respond quickly. Ordinarily you may not check your email all too often, and perhaps not at all on weekends, but if you know that your designer might be working on it at those times, you need to keep tabs. Why not set up a separate folder for only those emails, and check only that folder? If your designer gets held up because you took 3 days to send over the company logo, you can bet that their enthusiasm has been dampened.
  • Don’t shy away from anything. Leaving something unsaid is going to leave you regrets when the project is finished. If there is an aspect of the design that you’re unsure about, mention it. If all you do is add a “PS – Do the bullet points really have to look like that?” to your next email, it’s enough. It is better to get it out in the open. Of course, this also applies to questions from the designer, in particular; those about the cost. The last thing you want is for your designer to get the idea that you’re too afraid to part with your cash in the end.
  • Take their advice on board. There is a reason that you are hiring them. They can do more than just turn your pre-conceived images of your new blog into reality. Listen to their advice, and take it on board. Of course, you will always be able to have the final word in a decision, and don’t be afraid to tell the designer that a certain aspect simply has to be done as you have asked.

In the end, your personality will come into play a lot. As a designer, it is much more enjoyable (And thus productive!) working with a good-natured, friendly person who still retains a certain air of professionalism when needed (By that I mean prompt replies, payments on time etc. Not your grammar in emails and such!).

Get on the right side of your designer, and they’ll bend over backwards to get you the very best design possible. Take your time choosing a person that you feel you can work with, then just get stuck in! It might even be fun.

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