How do I hire a good freelance web designer?
April 4, 2005 10:52 AM   Subscribe

I'm in the market for some web design. In the short term, I need a good freelance person who's hip to XHTML, CSS, usability, etc, not a flash or photoshop-doc-cut-up-with-fireworks person. I'm having a hard time finding people like this via craigslist, monster, friends, etc. Is there a secret website where all the submitters to CSS Zen Garden go to look for freelance gigs? If you are an awesome designer, how would you be most likely to hear about my job?

(In the archives, I saw a lot of posts about finding jobs, but couldn't find any about finding freelancers.)
posted by jeb to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As a XHTML/CSS freelance designer, I have to say I have a hell of a time finding jobs online. I stick to real-life contacts for most of my work, which is why I only do design part-time now.

If you find a place that is full of fantastic designers and clients, I'd love to hear about it.
posted by Jairus at 11:07 AM on April 4, 2005

No Agencies Please seems to be quite useful in these situation type things. You may post for free.
posted by tommyc at 11:14 AM on April 4, 2005

There's coroflot, too, but it seems to be more geared towards visual designers than front-end coders.
posted by Hackworth at 11:45 AM on April 4, 2005

A part of what I do includes front- and back-end web design...

Like Jairus, almost all of my work comes from referrals from past clients. I'm too expensive to post to markets like eLance and the like, and too busy to really market myself...

My suggestion? Go to people you like/trust who have a web presence you like/admire, and ask them if they'd recommend their designer.

I don't trust marketplaces, though, as they're often a race-to-the-bottom on price — and you get what you pay for (to a large extent) when it comes to design.
posted by silusGROK at 11:51 AM on April 4, 2005

Several CSSZenGarden designers have reported getting clients because of their submission. So might as well skip the middleman. Browse the Garden, pick a few designers who float your boat, and give 'em a jingle. Not all will be freelancers, and not all freelancers will have current openings in their schedules, but the Garden certainly gives you lots of talented people to choose from.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:15 PM on April 4, 2005

You can try this site Get a freelancer .com. You can check past reviews of some of the designers work. I needed a few things done and that site worked out well for me. It seems like most of the programmers there are Indian/easteurope so if don't have much contact with non native speakers it might take some getting used too. Overall the people that I found there were good.
posted by onekat at 12:17 PM on April 4, 2005

As yet another designer I have to agree that it's all about who you know, not where you post. It'd be nice if there was a central clearing house for jobs, but there's nothing solid.
posted by Vaska at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2005

I too don't use services like eLance, and I get most of my business from past clients and word of mouth. Also, I belong to a couple of mailing lists for web people in specific areas, and they all have RFPs of one form or another on them pretty regularly.

It's mostly about identifying people with portfolios you like and offering them a chance to bid, so emailing a few people from the CSS Zen Garden sounds perfect for you. If it's not obvious where their portfolios are, check the top of the CSS file - it usually lists both the full name and URL of the designer.
posted by caitlinb at 1:37 PM on April 4, 2005

This doesn't exactly answer the question, but I'd highly recommend Dave Silvester of Rent-A-Monkey. (He's a friend, and he does great work, and is very concerned about standards-compliance)
posted by fake at 3:09 PM on April 4, 2005

Rent-A-Monkey are a small network of experts in the design and construction of bespoke websites that truly excel in every area.

OOoooh.. bespoke.
posted by delmoi at 4:00 PM on April 4, 2005

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