Should You Hire a Web Designer as an Employee or Independent Contractor?

employee or contractor

When hiring someone for their services, it’s essential to know if the worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Whether or not you pay or withhold income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare taxes depends on the kind of worker you’ve hired. However, the legal definitions of what makes a worker an employee or an independent contractor are oftentimes difficult to discern.

Choosing a Web Host

Whether you end up hiring an in-house employee or going independent, you will likely need to purchase the domain name and web hosting yourself. For most businesses, you don’t need anything beyond a basic web hosting plan. If you’re just getting set up now this is a great time to get a deal. There are plenty of coupon codes out there (check out promotional codes for some really good offers) for both new hosting plans and for people looking to upgrade or renew their hosting, but if you are setting up a new account that is typically when you can get the most savings as most web hosts offer really attractive prices for new contracts to attract customers.

godaddy promo codes

Employee or Contractor?

If you’ve incorrectly labeled an employee as an independent contractor, you may be faced with reimbursing the worker for overtime and minimum wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, paying income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare, and providing health insurance and retirement benefits.

However, if the worker is an independent contractor, you do not have to withhold or pay any taxes. Payers must instead fill out Form 1099, supplying a copy to the contractor as well, to report payments over $600 a year.

Generally, you can determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor by the control and method of their service.


The work of an employee is overseen by another person, and their actions may be controlled by a company. Financial aspects such as payment methods, expenses, and supply costs are not under an employee’s control. The presence of benefits such as health insurance, retirement pension, and paid vacation indicate that the worker is an employee.

The relationship between a worker and a boss can reveal whether or not the worker is an employee. For example, an employee typically only works for a single employer and does not extend his services to multiple companies. An employee receives specific training in order to do his job, while an independent contractor is already adept at their field of expertise.

Independent Contractors

An independent contractor is someone who isn’t overseen or attached to a single company or employer. The worker will have multiple clients and may even hire employees or subcontractors.

Independent contractors can be identified by the manner in which they operate. If the worker uses a business name, manages the work and supplies, or uses a personal website to advertise the service, then he or she is an independent contractor.

There isn’t any one trait that determines a person as an employee or independent contractor. In order to determine the worker’s type, the worker must be examined on a whole, from his or her work, method, and operation.

So, Which do You Need in a Web Designer?

For most small businesses, they typically just need help getting a basic website set up and then they can manage updates every now and again on their own. In that case, a contractor would suit your needs just fine. If you anticipate needing to update the website frequently, it’s a fairly complicated set up that will need ongoing support, or you just don’t have the time to deal with it yourself then you may want a regular employee.

The Basics of Blogging – Part Four

how to create a menu in wordpress

This post is in the final instalment in our four-post series on the Basics of Blogging. In the first three posts, we have covered some important topics, including how to choose a web hosting company, how to add a domain name to that web host, and how to install WordPress. Please feel free to check out any of those previous posts if you need help on those topics.

If you have followed along with us to this point so far, congratulations! You already have a site live on the web, although it probably isn’t much to look at just yet. Fortunately, in this post, we are going to help you go from a plain WordPress installation to a great looking site which you can begin to fill with informative, entertaining content. Building a website is plenty of work, but there are many potential rewards down the line once you see your vision come to life.

Choosing a Theme

Picking a ‘theme’ for your site is one of the most-important steps of the entire process. What is a theme? Basically, you can think of a WordPress theme as a template for your site which is going to serve as the framework you can use to add content, media, links, ads, and much more. Everything you do on the site will be done within the context of your chosen theme, and there are thousands and thousands of options to choose from.

Themes come in the form of both free and premium, and you can search out themes from any number of different sources. A quick google search for the phrase ‘WordPress themes’ is going to return a shocking number of results – in fact, you will find too many to ever sort through. To avoid overwhelming yourself with options, you may want to shop on a site which is dedicated to the sale of WordPress themes, such as ThemeForest.

Do you need to pay for a premium theme in order to build a quality site? No – but it will make your life quite a bit easier. As you would expect, premium themes tend to be of a much higher quality than free themes, and they are easier to use in most cases as well. If you have a modest amount of money to invest in your site (usually less than $100), buying a premium theme from a respected developer is a smart choice.

Here’s where you can search for free WordPress themes:

Setting Up Menus

how to create a menu in wordpress

A completed menu helps your website visitors navigate your website.

Once you have chosen a theme and you have installed that theme on your site, one of the first things you will want to do is to create a menu or two. Creating menus is easy in WordPress, and it is a powerful way to shape your site into something that matches your vision. To build your first menu, follow the simple steps below –

While logged in to WordPress, click on ‘Appearance’ in the left side bar, and then select ‘Menus’ from the drop down menu
On the next screen, you will see a box labeled ‘Menu Name’. Enter a name for your first menu in that box, and click on the button that reads ‘Create Menu’.
With the menu created, use the box on the left side of the screen to pick the pages which you would like included in the menu. When you have selected all desired pages, click ‘Add to Menu’. If you are happy with your choices, click ‘Save Menu’ and you will be finished.

Most likely, your theme is going to include at least one or two designated spots for menus to be used. Often, there is a menu somewhere in both the header and footer, if not a sidebar as well. Now that you know how to create a menu, you can customize these parts of your site to suit your needs.

Front Page Decisions

The front page of your website is like the front door to your home – it should be inviting and welcoming, rather than off-putting. One big decision you need to keep in mind when developing your site is the appearance you wish to have on your front page. Do you want that page to be static, or would you like it to be a feed of your latest blog posts? There is no right or wrong answer on this point, so think about the purpose of your site and which choice makes the most sense. To make this selection within WordPress, click on ‘Settings’ in the left sidebar, then ‘Reading’. On the Reading Settings screen, you will be able to toggle between ‘Your Latest Posts’ and ‘ A Static Page’ for your front page display options.

The most-important thing to remember when working in WordPress is that help is always available. If you get stuck on a particular issue while building your site, a quick search for the topic and hand will likely reveal the solution in short order. Good luck, and we hope you have enjoyed our Basics of Blogging series!