Your website is a crucial tool for marketing your business online. It’s a way to let potential clients know about your company and what it has to offer in the way of products and services. A well-designed site draws in visitors, possibly leading to new business. There are no short cuts when it comes to building a great site.
If you’re getting ready to build a new site or upgrade an existing one, then you’ll need to hire the services of a web designer. Looking for a web designer is like searching for any other service provider. You’ll want to find the best person for the job, ensure their work matches your taste, and more. So, to help you with this process, we’ve put together a few questions to ask potential web designers and developers, to help you focus on the right people to build or upgrade your site.
1). Ask to see their portfolio:
we all have different tastes when it comes to styles and colours, which will also vary by industry. However, when it comes to finding the right web designer for your site, you’ll want to make sure that their taste matches yours. Hiring someone with different tastes gets the project off track from the very beginning. You’ll have a hard time working together.
To avoid problems, ask to review the web designer’s portfolio. As you’re browsing, look at their work and envision this style on your own site. Does their work match your company’s branding and style? If not, then keep searching for a web designer who has similar tastes and will be a better fit.
2). Ask to review live sites:
be sure to ask to review the live sites the designer’s worked on. Screenshots don’t tell the entire story. Visiting a live site gives you the opportunity to use the site as a visitor, and see how the site actually performs. If the live sites underwhelm you, then it’s best to keep searching for the another web designer.
3). What other services do they perform:
building a beautiful site is key, but so is having a knowledge of SEO and other marketing tactics. Make sure the designer you choose has a knowledge of online marketing tactics and understands how to build a site to bring in visitors.
4). Do they specialise in a specific industry:
designers who have knowledge of your industry are a huge advantage. They’ll already understand what your type of business needs in a website and will be able to accommodate unique and special requirements your site may need.
5). Do they perform all the work, or will some or all of work be outsourced:
these days, much work is outsourced, even in the web design industry. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this; however, having work done by third parties can quickly increase the expense and time it takes to develop the site.
Problems can also arise when it comes to quality of custom pieces, such as logos, copywriting and web designs. Just be sure to ask if all or parts of the project will be outsourced. You have the right to know where outsourcing designers are located and who will be working on your project.
6). Is the design made from scratch or do they use pre-made templates:
some web developers use pre-made templates to build sites, while others will create a completely new design each time. Templates are usually very cheap, while designing from scratch can be more expensive. However, it’s best to find a designer who can build your site from scratch, ensuring it’s unique to your company. This may be the more expensive option, but you’ll have a fabulous site like no other.
7). Will a project manager be assigned to the project:
this may not be an obvious question; however, it’s especially important to ask, as you may find there will be many people working on the project. Having a project manager to keep things moving in the right direction and on time can help meet your deadline and ensure the project stays on track as far as style and more. They’re also the person who keeps you up to date on the project’s status.
8). How many site revisions are allowed:
not everything goes according to plan. Revisions are a great way to let you correct and edit certain aspects of the design that may not meet the company’s needs. It’s a good idea to learn how many revisions you’re allowed, if you’re allowed to make edits at specific points during the project, or at the end of the project.
9). What’s the average turnaround time for a web development project:
delays can happen; however, a web designer should be able to give you a timeline for your project. Then you’ll know if the timeframe meets your needs; if not, then you may have to adjust the project’s timeline accordingly. If there’s a huge mismatch between the project’s timeline and what the designer can do, then move onto the next website designer.
10). What are the payment terms:
it’s common for web designers to ask for a deposit before the work begins. They may ask for ½ now and then the final payment when the project is done. Some designers may request partial payments at specific points during the work. It’s best to avoid designers who ask for full payment upfront, as you could be stuck with a project that’s full of mistakes, with no possibility of revisions once the work’s completed.
11). What do they need from you:
always ask what the web developer needs from you before the project begins. This helps avoid delays over content, images, and more. A good web designer should be able to give you a list of what’s needed before they start the project.
12). Will the site work across multiple browsers and devices:
look for a web designer who understands the importance of creating a site that works on most devices and across multiple platforms. Site visitors these days may use any number of devices to access the web. Not only that, but many browsers are available, too. You want your site to look its best on all browsers and devices. So, be sure to ask if the designer tests the site to make sure it stays consistent no matter the device or browser used.
13). Ask the designer if you’ll receive the original files:
you’ll want to make sure to receive all the original files for graphics and other design elements used in the project. These base files will make it easier and faster to make future changes. If the designer says they keep the original files, then move on to find another designer.
14). Is there support after the project’s completed or do you offer maintenance training:
when your site is live, it’s great if the designer will be around to help with keep it running smoothly, fix bugs, site crashes, etc. Who has a better understanding of the site, other than the one who built it? If they don’t offer support once the site’s completed, ask if they provide training so you can maintain the site yourself.
15). Does the company own the site design when it’s done?
You should have the rights to your site’s design, with the ability to make changes at any time. Web designers can legally claim the copyright to their own designs. It’s a good idea to check this out ahead of time and make sure you will own the rights to all of the original design aspects. It may be necessary to negotiate certain terms to ensure you own the rights to your site’s design.
Searching for a website designer or developer is like hiring any other service provider. You’re looking for a partner who understands your needs, one who can meet your budget, and ensure you have a quality site when the project’s completed. Asking the questions outlined in this post can help you find the best designer for your website project.