What should you ask your web designer? That’s an important question because your website will become one of, if not the most valuable asset for your business. That’s why it’s important for you to choose the right person to work with when making your investment.
I can’t tell you how many clients come to me after being burned one too many times from working with other Web Designers or Developers. At least once a week, like clockwork, I have a consult with a new client where the conversation quickly turns into a recount of the time and money lost from working with the wrong professional.
For me, it’s one of the best and worst things about my job as a Web Designer and Developer. Best, because I know I can fix their existing problems, help them to achieve their goals, and change their mind about the industry as a whole by teaching them how to trust again. Worst, because I can relate to that same aggravation, and understand their concerns and reasons for hesitancy.
I’ve been there before. As a business owner, I’ve walked in those shoes, too. There’s no doubt about it… it really sucks. Unfortunately for many people, this kind of thing happens all the time. Fortunately for you, so many have done the legwork in making those mistakes so you don’t have to.
Think about it like this. If you wouldn’t lease a new car or buy a new house without asking questions, you shouldn’t invest in a website without doing so either. Like any other investment or important life decision, it’s important to do your due diligence. After all, at the end of the day, the only one responsible for your business is you. So, here are the top 7 questions you should ask your Web Designer, especially before signing a contract.
1. Are we using a contract?
If the answer to this question isn’t “yes, of course,” run… and run fast. No matter how nice the person seems, or how trusting they sound, the honor system just doesn’t work in business. Not now, not ever. A contract, before you pay and before the Web Designer starts the work is 100% necessary. Not only does it protect both parties if things go south, but it’s necessary for structure, organization and holds everyone involved accountable.
A good contract should eliminate guesswork. It should outline everything clearly from the timeline to the cost, to what happens after you take ownership of the website. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification in your contract either. If there’s web jargon that you’re unfamiliar with or that you feel overcomplicates things, ask questions. You may even request that they reword it in layman’s terms. Understand what you are getting, expecting, and most importantly, what you are signing.
2. How long will it take to complete my website design and/or development?
You’re going to want to know how long your site will take from start to completion. Be sure you understand the timeline, if any milestone 3payments are required, and make sure the timeline is included in your contract. Does the timeline sound reasonable? Of course, this will depend entirely on the scope of the project. But just a hint… if a designer tells you it’ll take 24 hours, that’s a red flag. Similarly, if a designer tells you it’ll take over 10 months, that’s also a red flag.
3. What are my responsibilities?
Know what you need to do and what you are responsible for before, during, and after the site is designed and built. Do you need to secure web hosting? Is site maintenance included in the package you selected? Who is responsible for updating your site plugins? Make sure all of this is clearly outlined in your contract. (Do you see a theme here?)
4. What do you need from me before we start the project?
Most professionals will ask for a deposit before starting your project. Your Web Designer will also most likely request content from you before they begin working. They may need photos, product descriptions, branding colors, etc. You will need to be ready and able to provide those necessary components so the project can get underway and keep to the agreed-upon schedule. If you ask what is needed in advance, you can stay ahead of the game.
5. Will my site be responsive?
Responsive web design is an approach that makes websites adapt and respond to a variety of devices and screen sizes in order to optimize a user’s browsing experience. If a site is not responsive, it will look unprofessional, cause user hardship, and therefore deter customers or clients from your business. Your site must be responsive to be effective. I will say it again – this time louder for those in the back – make sure this is part of your contract.
Responsive web design helps optimize websites for mobile search, improving your site’s functionality, and design by scaling the content to users’ devices, which provides a consistent user experience across every device. Google has been implementing mobile-first indexing strategies. Mobile-first indexing bases ranking and indexing from the mobile version of a site, as opposed to the desktop version.
6. Does your web design include SEO?
The design of your website is important, but only if people can see it. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is how people will find you. Designers must design with SEO in mind, or else you’ll end up with a Ferrari with no engine… something that looks good, but doesn’t work. If you want to increase your site’s traffic and conversions, let’s set up a call.
7. What support do you offer following the delivery of the website?
As a Web Designer, I always appreciate it when a client asks questions and shows interest in their investment. By asking the 7 above, you should feel more confident in moving forward. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A true professional will welcome them and take the time to answer them. So good luck, do your due diligence… and did I mention you need a good contract?
Let’s wrap it up.
These questions to ask your web designer or agency are important, but this barely scratches the surface. Make sure you look at reviews, how long they have been in business, and don’t be shy to ask to speak to their previous clients. Something that a lot of people don’t talk about is chemistry. In any relationship, having chemistry is essential, and the same rules apply here! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!