You will have plenty of options when looking for a web designer to develop your business website, and you will find that the fees that web designers charge can vary significantly.
So, how do you tell one web designer apart from another?
What skills and experience should you be looking for that will take your business website to the next level?
Here are ten crucial questions to ask a web designer before giving them the go-ahead to design your business website.
Table of Contents
- What Experience Do You Have?
- What Industry-Specific Experience Do You Have?
- How Many People in Your Team?
- How Much Input Will You Need from Me?
- What Platform Will You Use?
- What is Included in the Scope of the Project?
- What is the Timescale?
- Will I Be Provided with Backups of All Materials?
- Do You Provide Ongoing Support?
- How much and What Are Your Payment Terms?
What Experience Do You Have?
You may find a top-rate web designer with only a year or two’s experience. Even so, it would be best to play it safe and look for a developer with at least five years’ experience.
Also, ask the company or individual for examples of sites they have developed in the past.
Ask for customer references as well. You will want to know that the experience is backed up with a track record of satisfied customers.
What Industry-Specific Experience Do You Have?
A web designer does not need to have specific experience of your type of product or service.
However, some experience of working in your sector will be advantageous.
In some cases, you will have specific functional needs, such as ecommerce. If that is the case, it would be advisable to seek a developer with experience in developing sites with that functionality.
A good web designer will be able to turn their hand to almost any type of website. However, you do not want to be paying for their time on a learning curve.
How Many People in Your Team?
Company size isn’t everything when it comes to web designers.
However, it would be wise to ensure that the web design company you choose has the necessary resources to deliver your website on time.
For a small business website where timing isn’t critical, a one-person company or freelancer might be appropriate.
However, if you are developing an extensive website and the launch date is vital, it would be advisable to go with a larger agency with backup resources.
How Much Input Will You Need from Me?
Asking how much input will be needed from you will help you find out how closely a web designer works with their clients.
If the answer is that only minimal information from you will be required, then that’s a red flag.
The best web designers work closely with their customers.
They will work with you as a team to gain a thorough understanding of your requirements.
And they will expect feedback from you as the development project progresses.
What Platform Will You Use?
There are lots of different web development platforms a web designer could use.
But suppose your chosen developer develops your site on a relatively obscure platform. In that case, you may have issues with support in the future. Ideally, you want to use a platform that is widely used.
It will also help if the chosen development platform will make it easy for you to make minor amendments to your site and add new content.
You don’t want to find that you are 100% tied into a supplier because of the platform they use.
What is Included in the Scope of the Project?
You must agree to a list of deliverables before you hire a web designer.
So, you will need to ask what is included in the price a web developer is quoting.
Does the price include content, for example?
How many web pages are included in the quote? And does the project scope allow for feedback and revisions?
What is the Timescale?
You will also need to ask a web designer for an estimated timeline.
If your website must be launched within a critical timescale, you must communicate this with the designer.
Ask, too, for a list of milestones and the expected delivery date of those events.
Agreed milestones will allow you to monitor the progress of the project.
But remember, even the best web designer cannot stick to an agreed timetable if you fail to provide feedback and answer questions in a timely fashion.
So, you will need to factor in your time constraints in the development plan for your website.
Will I Be Provided with Backups of All Materials?
Make sure that you will be given backups up of all material used in your site’s development.
You will also need copies of any relevant source code and full access to the web hosting account and content management system.
You may never need or want to use these resources.
Even so, it would be advisable to cover yourself for the eventuality of a dispute with your web designer or the company going out of business.
Do You Provide Ongoing Support?
You will also likely need ongoing support for your website.
So, ask a prospective web designer what support they will provide in the short-term and long-term.
Initial support and bug fixing should be included in the cost of the development project.
Once the site has bedded down, though, you will also need to know what the scope and price of ongoing support will be.
How much and What Are Your Payment Terms?
Finally, you will need to get a firm quote for the development of your website.
And you will need to know what the payment terms are.
Payment is likely to become due when certain milestones are achieved. You can also expect to be asked for an initial down payment.
It is a good idea to ask for a small amount of the fee to be held back after the site has gone live.
A final, post-live payment will give you some leverage should any problems arise with the site post-launch.
The above are the broad questions to ask a web designer.
Depending on the type of site that you need, there may also be other, more in-depth questions that you may need to ask.
But to sum up, you need to be sure that a web design company has the experience and the resources to complete your site on time.
You also need to understand the scope of the services that you are being offered.