Once you’ve developed a plan for the purpose of your website, now it’s time to start contacting potential designers to build your site.
Asking a potential designer questions is key to see if they can help accomplish your website goals.
- Can they help with SEO?
- Can you help my small business draw leads?
- Can you help my IT business be more “searchable” on Google?
Some web designers will just make you a pretty landing page, where you might as well throw money directly into the garbage since it’ll give you the same return on investment.
So here are some commonly asked questions to ask during your interview with a web designer and web development firm.
1) What have they done for their current customers?
It’s good to know if they’ve worked for others in your industry. This will be a good indicator to see what they are providing their other customers with, and what they could do for you.
2) What sets them apart from other web designers?
Ask them what makes them a good fit for you? Not everyone is the right fit for your company and vice versa.
Don’t ask this question right off the bat, let them get to know you and your goals a bit, and see if they can show how they can help your goals.
If they don’t care about your growth or goals, find another developer. When you go to talk to a web developer it should not feel like a sales pitch. A good company will ask you a bunch of questions to try and determine if your project is a good fit for their services.
3) What other services are provided?
This will help you understand what services you’re business will be responsible. Some design companies provide copywriting services as a part of the web design process or a separate package.
Make sure you get a full understanding of what you’re paying for outside of a new website.
4) What do I need to do?
From a designers angle, nothing is more frustrating than having a client not have any content prepared for you.
Is your web designer really responsible for writing all of the text on the pages? Or your About Us page? Chances are they probably aren’t. Not asking what content you’re responsible for will slow up production later, and delay finishing your website on time.
This is a good question to ask early on and bring up examples, see if they really knows what’s required to build a website, but also show your intent to make your goals a reality.
5) Will training be offered/included?
Chances are no matter who you pick to design your website, there will be some work that you’ll have to do yourself on the website.
Asking what sort of training they can give you (and if it’s included in the price) will help you down the road. Some of the problems will be easy, and you may not need to call your designer to fix it. Or if you wish to change some images, these could be done with training.
6) What happens if the site breaks, is hacked, or malfunctions?
Will your relationship with this business continue after the website is built? Will they be there in a few years if your site has a major malfunction? Are they invested in maintaining a long relationship with you?
Asking what that supports includes is also important. Don’t assume support is them changing the color scheme whenever you want.
If you start having too many calls to change “minor” cosmetic changes, they’ll have to bill you, and you don’t want that.
7) Is any business or industry research done before designing?
Sometimes web designers will research common tropes in your industry for websites. Knowing that they’re trying to make a website that reflects the tone your company wants is important.
You wouldn’t want a daycare website to look like a law firm site (although, maybe somebody wants that).
Look at some of the sites they’ve built for another client in your industry, and ask how they will make a website to compliment your company.
8) Is it mobile compatible or responsive?
This separates the casual web designers from the serious ones. A large percentage of visitors who come to your website will view it from a mobile device.
Websites that are not compatible with mobile devices will not be read as those that are. Making sure your website is mobile friendly will give you an edge over other websites that are not.
9) Who owns the site/domain name/hosting?
Ideally you’ll want to have the site be under your own personal business name. Some web designers will register the domain name with their company’s name instead of your company’s name.
That could potentially give help their business be found by the search engines, but not yourself. Figure out how this process works if domain and hosting is included in your plan.
It could lead to serious problems if the design company shuts down in a few years, you’ll lose your website completely.
Ask to see if they offer domain hosting under companies own name or their own.
10) Do you have a contract?
Contracts and building websites offer some form of protection. Read them carefully and understand exactly what both parties are agreeing to provide.
It guarantees they’ll provide you a website you want, and also protects designers from working unbilled hours.
11) How do you build your websites?
Understanding what the basis of how your developer will build your website is important. Will it be easy for search engines to read?
Good web designers are more than artistic programmers, they understand what elements it takes to turn a website into a return on investment.
Ready to take the plunge and talk to a web designer?
If you’d like to learn more about what steps to take with your own website, or would like a free consultation, contact us here .