Important questions to ask a web designer
First and most importantly, when talking to a potential web designer, take special note about how much they want to know & understand about your business. This is a good first indicator of what type of partner they will be in the project.
If they try to close the sale too hard and fast without trying to understand your business, the chances are they will offer very little value to your business. Only a designer that wants to know and understand you, your business and ethos will be able to represent your true business values through a web site.
Ask your web designers for a structured process on how they develop a site, clearly detailing every design phase. It will show you how organized they are. Here they should be giving you opportunity for input every step along the way, otherwise how could they build the site to be an accurate representation of your vision for your company web site?
Do they know and understand SEO? SEO is the art to having your site rank well in the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Your site should be designed with the search engines in mind, so that you can be found online for your products and services.
Do they know and understand SEM/SMM? Search Engine Marketing, such as Google Adwords can really help your website perform quickly. But beware if it is not done correctly the costs can quickly get out of hand. Likewise Social Media Marketing is an art of its own, after all who does not have a Facebook or Twitter account these days?
Another important factor is how you will be expected to pay for the services. Never accept a ‘payment up front’ arrangement. Instead look for a deal where you pay no more than 50% now, then 50% after satisfactory delivery of the website. Here at Hypermedia Design we ask for 30% at the start of the project, 30% midway through the project and 40% payable 14 days after the website has been launched. This gives you every opportunity to spot mistakes in functionality before you pay the full sum.
It is important that you can agree with your web designer that you don’t have to pay on the day of completion, but that you get plenty of time (a minimum of 14 days) to ‘play’ with the live site to find if there are any glitches. This makes the web designer you choose more accountable.
Ask about the ongoing maintainance of your site. The more dynamic your site is, the more it will need security updates, in order to make sure that nobody can hack your site. What are their terms, how much will you be charged on a recurring basis? Ask them if they offer technology that helps you edit your site yourself. You don’t want to have to call your web designer each time you need to update text on your website or each time you want to add an image. You should be offered a simple way to update your website yourself.
Make sure that any contract states that you own the copyright of the design and content of the site and that you own the domain name.
Tell your web designer what your deadlines are and ask what sort of compensation they offer if they do not meet the deadlines.
Your website is a crucial part of your business. If you pay attention to the above tips you will engage a web designer who will be able to meet your needs and help turn your website into a valuable marketing tool for your business.
If you’d like to discuss your website design project, please contact us, after all its very cheap to talk all advice is free.