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10 Questions to Ask Your Web Designer Before You Hire Them
Hiring a web designer is a serious business decision. Your website is your first impression and you get about 30 seconds to make it.
However, a good website is so much more than pleasing design.
It also needs:
- A clear direct message
- Mobile-friendly design
- Good accessibility
- To protect privacy
- To be secure
- Constant updates and maintenance
The consequences of not having a good web development partnership can cost you time, money, and even put you at risk of a lawsuit.
Business experience is just as important as web design skills. Having seasoned professionals guide you through the process can give you peace-of-mind.
Here are 10 questions to ask a web design company before you hire them.
- How much experience do you have? How long have they been in business? What kinds of clients do they have? It is ok to ask for references or to see a portfolio.
- What does your process look like? A typical process will usually involve a detailed meeting to create a plan, a wireframe or mock ups, a few rounds of feedback, building and launching the site. Make sure you understand the process and are comfortable with all the stages.
- How long will the project take? Designing a site has many moving parts — content, design, images, integrations, email forms. It takes time to get all the pieces together. 4 – 6 weeks is a reasonable timeframe but it depends on what you and your designer have planned. If you want something faster, it often means you will have to deliver content, images, logos on time and in the form your designer needs.
- What platform will you build my site in? There are so many website platforms out there. Be sure your web designer has a good reason for the platform they have chosen for you. Some may be too simple for your needs, some too complex. It’s a good sign if they work in multiple platforms and know which ones are best suited for different kinds of projects.
- Can I edit content or do I need to work through you? We get so focused on launching a site that we forget it needs routine maintenance. How does your designer handle content changes? Can you do them yourself or do you have to submit changes every time you see a typo?
- How will I keep my site up-to-date? Website platforms constantly update. In the last month, we have updated the code-base for our site several times. You can’t skip these kinds of updates because many of them are related to security. Who will make sure your site stays up-to-date and how much will that cost?
- Will the site be mobile-friendly? Sites need to be usable on a cellphone. Knowing your web design company will obsess about how your site looks on various devices will give you confidence. There is nothing worse than finding out your beautiful site doesn’t work on a mobile device, especially if you paid handsomely for it.
- Who is responsible for content and images? Defining everyone’s roles on the project is a must. Who is writing content and will it be optimized for the web? Who will be providing images? Bad images can make a good site look sloppy. Knowing what you are responsible for and what your web designer is responsible for will help those “difficult” conversations later if problems start to arise.
- How will they make sure the site is secure? Security should be one of your biggest concerns. It is critical to find out how they plan to secure the site and confirm that it is backed up in case it ever needs to be restored. Ask how often it is backed up and how long it takes to restore.
- What experience do you have with privacy and accessibility laws? If you have spent anytime on our site, you know we are passionate about privacy and accessibility. We have helped clients through legal issues related to accessibility. Make sure your designer knows what GDPR, WCAG, and other regulations are.