Your website is the very first thing visitors see before doing business with you so you need to find a professional web designer who will design a website that reflects your business. The first impression visitors get of your site will either inspire them to contact you or click away to one of your competitor’s websites.
Top 12 questions to ask a web designer before building your website
You can either email these questions or call and get them answered over the phone. If you’re able to talk live you’ll quickly be able to get a feeling if this is the person or company you want to work with based upon their knowledge, attitude and friendliness.
1. How long have you been designing websites?
The longer a person has been in business the more experience he or she has has gained and will be very familiar with all the problems that may arise during the development of your site.
Ask if you can view their design portfolio. It will give you some idea of the types and quality of designs completed for previous clients. If they look amateurish and outdated contact another web design company.
2. Where can I read client testimonials?
Reading about the experiences previous client’s had with a designer will give you a good idea if you want to work with this person. If you’re still not sure ask if you can speak with one of their customers.
3. How long will it take to complete the design?
This largely depends on how complicated the design is. If it’s only 1 or 2 pages it could be completed within a few days however if it’s an e-commerce site that includes hundreds of products, setting up a shopping cart, payment gateway, calculating tax rates, shipping costs, prices, weight and color of each item, it will take much longer and cost more.
After discussing your website needs ask him or her to send you a preliminary proposal so you can review all the details involved in building your site and discuss any points that need clarification.
4. Do you offer web hosting?
Most web designers prefer to host the sites they design so they won’t have to waste time communicating with an outside company whose technical support may be unreachable, slow, inexperienced or lack the required features on the server for building and hosting your website.
Ask about the different hosting plans and what they will cost each month or year. Most plans will be based on the amount of space and bandwidth you need to host your website on their server.
5. Will I be able to update and/or maintain the site myself?
Updating and maintaining the website will save you a lot of time and money but ask the designer to show you all the steps involved so you won’t be left stranded after the site has been completed.
Changes in design or some of the more technical aspects of the site are best left to your designer so be specific when asking which parts you’ll be able to update yourself.
If you don’t want to bother with these tasks yourself ask what the rates are for him or her to update and maintain your website.
6. How much will it cost to design and build my site?
This will vary based on the complexity of your website. For example a 3 page informational site will cost much less than a 20 page e-commerce site that sells 100s of items, accepts online payments and requires shipping/tax calculations for items sold.
7. Will I own the site once it’s completed?
What if the company that built your site suddenly ceases to exist and you no longer can contact them? Make sure you receive a copy of all your files whether they send them in a zipped file or mail them to you on a CD. If your site includes a database, keep the details in a safe place (ie database name, username, password) as you will need this information when moving your site to a new server.
8. Do you offer marketing services?
Many website owners have the false belief their website will start attracting visitors after their website has been uploaded to the Web. This can be compared to erecting a sign in the desert…no one will see it and therefore it won’t attract any traffic.
Ask your designer if they offer marketing services. For instance a pay-per-click campaign will generate immediate traffic whereas a search engine optimization campaign will build a steady stream of traffic over time as your web pages achieve top rankings in the search engines.
9. What’s the process of designing and building my website?
Most web designers will provide several sample image designs for you to choose from before building your actual website. Make sure you are happy with the design you selected otherwise you’ll incur additional costs if you want it modified after completion.
Usually you’ll pay half the total cost of your site before he or she creates the sample designs with the rest paid upon completion.
Stay in communication with your web designer throughout the development process (ie contact them once a week) to make sure it will be completed on time.
10. Will my site be mobile friendly?
These days people are searching for products and services from anywhere at anytime using their computers, smart phones or tablets, therefore ask your designer if your site will display on all electronic devices.
11. What do you need from me to get started?
Being fully prepared saves time and frustration both for you and the designer you’re working with. Here’s a list to begin with but ask what else the designer needs to get started.
Domain address ie www.domain.com
Login info of domain name registrar
Web hosting (if hosted elsewhere)
Login info for web hosting control panel
Names of pages, navigation links
Addresses of Social media accounts ie Twitter, Facebook, Google+
Product variables ie color, weight, tax, price, shipping, etc
12. Can I meet with you?
If your web designer is local you may feel more comfortable meeting with him or her face to face instead of communicating by phone or email. Having an initial live meeting helps eliminate any misunderstandings about your project plus you’ll get a much clearer vision what’s involved in designing and building a new website.
View the Top 12 Questions To Ask A Web Designer Before Building Your Website on YouTube
Whether you want a custom designed website or need to maintain, market or host your current one I’ve got you covered. With over 12 years of experience I will turn your business ideas into reality and help you generate traffic that converts hungry visitors into buyers.
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