A quick search for a web designer reveal plenty of options, each promising great things for your website and contract. This usually contrasts with the presence of so many bad websites online. You have to choose a web designer well.
Go through their advertised portfolio with a keen eye. Great ones show creativity, variety in style and have real websites designed for clients, not just practical work from design school. A look at their general style will tell you if they are the ones to work with. It is wise to visit their websites, just to see how good they really are. A great portfolio is a better determinant of the quality of website to expect, than all the academic and professional qualification and experience gathered.
You need to experience their customer service quality. They may be the best designers out there, but if they are not responsive to client requests when needed, it shall be futile. those who have strict timelines to stick to cannot afford to contract such website designers.
Look at the skills they have. In designing your website, they may need to possess certain skills. You are better off hiring a designer who is proficient in the skills you need to be applied, better then one who knows a little of everything. This can be easily ascertained from their portfolio.
The web designers timeline should match yours in the design project. These web design jobs cannot be done without a proper timeline in place. Designers who lack experience will quote short timelines. They fail to account for revisions or any other issue. Quoting a longer period allows for all those changes. Too long a timeline also means they have prioritized other things.
A great web designer is one who promises full service. This means they shall attend to all aspects of your website, from SEO, e-commerce, branding, platforms compatibility, and social media. They will need to ensure that all experts in the various sectors are consulted.
You need to go through their communications, to see what kind they will put on your website. It would be bad to have a website full of grammatical errors. It should also be easy to get what you are trying to say.
Their previous clients should be readily available to give references. Through them, you will know if working with the firm is a good idea.
Look also at their service rates. This should be in line with your budget. Cheap can turn out to be very expensive in the end. There should be a certain level of quality expected when you pay a certain amount for their services.