Getting a website developed to promote your business online is major process. With web designers everywhere from cheap backyard operators to high cost digital agencies it’s easy to get confused.
However it is critical that you ask designers you’re thinking of using to develop a website for you key questions so that you can get a feel for how they will treat your brand and the likely outcome of the project.
Here are a few key questions you might ask:
- Can I see examples of your website designs? Get the designer to show you some examples of the websites they have created that are in a similar price range to what you are budgeting for. It’s likely your new website will be similar in style to what they are proficient at creating. Also ensure that they show you recent work, not the one glory site they did years ago.
- Have your designs increased business for clients? While hiring a designer to achieve business results, it’s significant to work with someone who has helped their clients in terms of the results. Enquire about specific examples and ask if you can call those clients as referees to see how they found the whole process and experience in dealing with the web designer.
- What do you know about my business? Designing a website to get some positive results involves extensive planning and research. Before you hire someone for that, make sure plenty of time is spent by them to analyse your business, market and your competitors. Even better, just like a job interviewee should know something about the company they want to work for, a web designer should have already dissected your website and have a basic understand of what you do, who your target market is and your competitors. Or at worst they should be questions you are asked in the initial meeting.
- What will be the project’s turnaround time? The graphic components of most web sites should not require more than two or three weeks once the content is supplied. If you are clearly aware of your requirements and have the content prepared, the designer can work much faster for you. A whole web project barring any client based delays should be completed – depending on complexity – typically within 4-12 weeks.
- What do I need to supply you to get started? It’s important to be clear on what you need to provide and when during the project timeline. Some web designers won’t start without everything like content, images, logos etc being provided up front, others are a little more relaxed and require this info at a certain point down the project path.
- How can I make future changes to the website? It is incredibly important to make sure you are comfortable with the process for making future updates. If you are required to make a simple change to something like contact information, pricing etc. you need to know whether it’s possible to do it yourself or are you required to pay for it. Get to know whether they will provide you with a Content Management System to make changes yourself or not. The vast majority of websites are built with a Content Management System platform, make sure you get a demonstration of it before you commit.
- How can you help me achieve my business goals with the website? A website design should meet the goals that you have in mind. Ask your designer how their website will assist you in achieving the same.
- Do you offer any Internet marketing services? A web site and internet strategy should have one main purpose and that is to achieve business growth. If your designer offers search engines optimisation for your site and is planning to go through the submission process for you, make sure they’re willing to spend some time on the marketing end of your web site. And also ensure you are clear on what they will and won’t do. It’s a good idea to again ask for references of other clients who have used the designer for help with optimisation.
- How many people work in your company?
The big question. Are you after a one man band – a backyard operator? Or are you after the support of a design team? The answer is up to you and your requirements of course. A one man band will likely be charging a lot less, but you may get poor support in busy periods as they juggling projects or worse you’re left in the lurch when they’ve had enough of the hassle and go work for a web company. The bigger web design company of course will likely be charging more, but should have processes and procedures in place to ensure you’re always well supported. Regardless of who you go with, ask how long they have been in business.
- Who owns the site design when it’s done? In many cases a website designer is legally allowed to claim a design developed by them as their copyrighted work. Talk about the same beforehand as you are the one who must own all work.