Finding a web designer can be tricky and sometime long and frustrating. Asking the correct questions when choosing a web designer can help you find one that understands your view and can give you the website for you.
When it comes to your website, you want it to be the best you can be. It’s usually the first point of contact visitors have with your company, and you want their first impression to be a good one.
This is why asking the right questions to make sure you and your web designer are a good fit is essential.
1. Is all the work done in house or outsourced?
Does your web designer just do web design or do they offer Logo designs, Copywriting, custom fonts if so then some bits will most likely be outsourced as it is almost impossible for 1 designer to be skilled in all of these areas. If you are using an agency then they will most likely have different specialist for each part of the build.
If you ask your designer for a whole variety of things, not just the site design, it’s likely they’ll bring on help. Some designers know what they’re strengths and weaknesses are, and will outsource the stuff that’s just not their forte to trusted business partners, which is normal.
So be sure to ask if things are outsourced and who/where to so you can check out the people being outsourced to.
2.How long does one website project take from start to finish?
This will give you a time line of when you can expect your website to be finished. Also it means you can align schedules to you are both focusing on the project at the same time. Also if you need it done quickly and they dont have the availability you can move on or delay the project.
3. ASK YOUR DESIGNER IF THEY HAVE A PAST CLIENTS YOU CAN SPEAK WITH
Testimonials and reviews are generally pretty reliable, but if you want extra proof that your potential designer is above board, feel free to ask to speak with a past client.
Of course, the designer will give you the people they most enjoyed working with who they know will rave about them, so expect if they give you details of a past client, you’re likely going to hear great things.
Granted, if they don’t have anyone to put you in touch with or the person they do put you in touch with doesn’t give all that fabulous of an impression of their project, don’t wait a moment and instead move right along to your next designer prospect.
4. What services are provided?
Different designers offer a different range of packages and services. It is down to you to find out which package works right for your project. Do they consider SEO within their build? How far do they go with design? Do they build mobile first?
Make a list of the services you’d like included in your agreement and go through each one with your potential designer. If there are any features you absolutely need that they are unable to provide so you’re not wasting your time.
5.What is your expectation of my involvement?
Think about how much you’d like to be involved in the design process. Do you want a say in all decisions being made, or do you want to leave most of them to your designer? It’s also important to gauge what they expect from your involvement. If you aren’t sure then check before starting other wise this could impcat timings and or budgets.
6.Will I be able to make edits on my own?
This one can go both ways, some people will keep the designer on a retainer to make changes each month or to use a template and upload new posts each month, others want the site built and then make the changes on their own. If you want to make the changes yourself then make sure you know how.
7.What happens about maintenance after website is complete?
There’s no right or wrong answer here, different designers do things differently.
If you’re someone who really wants to have ownership over their site, and wants to update or make changes, go for a web design platform such as wordpress so it is easier to make the changes.
If you’d rather shoot off an email with edits/updates and wait a few days to have them polished up by someone else (and you have the budget to pay for that every time you need a site edit), then go for a designer that offers maintenance packages.
8.Will I own the website once it’s launched?
It’s necessary to find out if the domain name will be registered in your name and if the web designer requires website hosting on their servers. Also, keep this in mind if your web designer uses a custom CMS (Content managementsystem). In addition, ask if you’ll receive all source files, access to your hosting account, and back-end administration.
You’ll also want to determine if your business will be required to take out an ongoing maintenance contract to keep your site live, or if they plan on delivering the completed site after the launch date.
9. What do you charge for a project of this scope?
Every designer’s rates are different, so do your research beforehand to figure out the budget you want to set and what you’re willing to pay. Don’t opt for the cheapest developers you can find; you get what you pay for, and what you’ll end up with is a website you aren’t proud of. It’s better to spend extra on a job well done than to skimp and have to pay more down the road to make up for the lack of quality work.
2 red flags you should keep an eye out for
If you notice any of these, stop and think!
1. Upon agreeing to the project you are not asked to sign a contract
Contracts protect both you and your designer, so you for sure want to have one!
A contract between you and your designer should spell out what you’ll be paying, when you’ll be paying it, who owns what licenses, what the deliverables are, etc.
As you can imagine, this can help you out equally as much as it does your designer. If you were promised 2 rounds of revisions, and only got 1, you can have your contract to refer back to.
Pro tip: Sometimes for smaller bits of work for say a couple tweaks for a few hundred, designers won’t have you sign a contract just because its not worth the effort. If you’re putting down quite a thousand or more to work with them however, a contract should absolutely be expected.
2. THEY HAVE NO TESTIMONIALS OR REVIEWS
Not one person has said something good about your potential new designer? Not a good sign. Or, someone named Joe, who has no website link or photo or last name said something good? Also not a good sign.
Check out to see both that they have testimonials and reviews.