If you are looking to have the perfect website designed for you, you may have gone from website to website looking at the different services provided. You may have even stopped at one of the do it yourself websites.
While the do it yourself websites have gotten better and better over time, they can only offer so much. Web design firms and independent designers have experience with all of the different aspects of creating your website, from designing the layout to designing the images on the page. They also either has experience in content creation or someone who specializes in that area. For those reasons you should hire a web designer.
How do you select one of those web designers though? There are so many of them out there. Well you need to make sure you ask them the right questions. These seven questions will help you pick the right web designer.
Can I see your portfolio?
This first question may seem quite obvious but you would be surprised by how many people just go straight into trying to plan with a web designer and ask for the portfolio later. The first thing you should do is either look on their website for a portfolio or ask the web designer. This way you can ensure that the designer has the experience you need. Another benefit is to see if the designer will do work in the style that you want.
A portfolio should include at the minimum 3 different examples of projects that the web designer has completed. If the web designer is extremely customer oriented they will send you a portfolio custom tailored to the kind of project you are looking for.
Do you have customer testimonials or reviews I can read?
Most people who work online have reviews somewhere, whether it be on their own website, Linkedin, or a third party review website (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.). Reviews can tell you many different things about a designer. If a company has a lot of great reviews but also has a few negative reviews that probably isn’t a bad sign. However if the company has more than ¼ of the reviews as negative it may be time to look at another company.
What is the web designer’s experience?
Web designers who have more experience tend to create better websites but this isn’t always true. You need to do your best to analyze the previous questions versus the designer’s experience. A web designer should preferably have experience in designing sites for your industry. The same goes for education. A web designer with a higher education in web design tends to be better but with today being the information age this isn’t always true.
How do you charge for websites?/What comes with what price?
It is a wise idea to go over what you expect in your website pretty close to the beginning of your conversation with a web designer. This is important for two reasons. One, you want to make sure the web designer is capable of completing every part of the website you want. It probably isn’t a good idea to hire a web designer who can’t give you everything you want; it’s your website after all.
Second, you need to know up front what you website is going to cost. Most of us are working on a budget and can’t afford to dole out unlimited amounts of money. If your web designer can offer you all of the features you would like but are charging too much you can let them know you will get back to them. Most business people know that they are competing with other businesses out there and actually expect you to go around getting quotes. A company should want your business.
How does the company help putting your website on the internet?
At the point in which you go online to look for a web designer you typically know what you want your domain name (yourawesomebusiness.com) to be but you don’t have it yet. If you don’t have your domain name yet that also typically means you don’t have your own domain.
You should ask your web designer whether they assist with setting up your domain or not. If they do assist you, you need to ask how much it will cost per year and what the setup fee will be.
If they do not provide you with a web host you should ask them what they would recommend. If they do not have a recommendation, or if you want to shop around, look at more than just the price. You want to look at customer reviews and services offered. Some webhosts offer very cheap plans but they come with a major price, reduced services or power. The last thing you want is a slow website, no one likes those.
How can I edit my website after the service is complete?
After your website is complete it is important that you be able to update your website. You should consult with your web designer to ensure that it will be easy to edit your website once they have created it. The easiest website to edit is one based on a system like WordPress. This is known as a content management system.
What is the timeline?
Another big question is: “what is the timeline?” Why is this at the end of the list of questions if it is big? For a web designer to truly create a timeline for your website they need to know what you want on your website. A web designer can make a couple of pages in a day or two but to create a detailed content management system for twenty pages might take a week or more, depending on the level of detail needed on each page.
So remember, if you are looking for a web designer, ensure that you ask them at the minimum the above questions. It is always good to ask more questions if you have them though and any web designer worthy of your business will happily answer them.