Building a website is a huge step for your business. And as such, you must find and partner with someone who delivers a successful website and makes the site build process a smooth, happy experience. Selecting the right web design team can be a challenge, especially as a quick search can provide many options to choose from. However, knowing the right questions you should ask your web designer will make the selection process easier.
In my work as a website designer, I meet clients with zero knowledge of website design. Some of them do not even know the right questions to ask. All they know is that they want a website for their business, and they want it fast. While I take my time to enlighten each client about my entire site build process and set clear expectations, I can’t say the same for other website designers.
To help you set the ball rolling in the right direction, I’ve rounded up the most important questions you should ask potential web designers or agencies as you interview them. Asking these questions and understanding the answers you receive will guide you in selecting the best person with whom to entrust your most valued business asset. Yes! That is what your business website is — your most valued business asset.
So, let’s get into it.
11 important questions you should ask your website designer
What is your site build process?
In my experience, this is the most critical question you should ask. The reason is, the answer you receive will tell if you’re talking to an experienced professional or a rookie designer.
A professional web designer with substantial experience will have a trusted process he follows to deliver websites that perform well and help clients smash their marketing goals. He will also be eager to let you know his process and carry you along every step of the way. The typical web design project goes through the research stage, strategy development, design/implementation, testing/QA and launch.
Here at SSGC, we follow a comprehensive, well-documented website design process aligned to your goal. We also keep you updated at every phase and work smart to meet your launch date.
What kind of research will you do on my business?
The web designer who knows what he’s about will thoroughly research your business, industry, ideal client, and competitors before creating anything.
Because your website must satisfy the needs of your target audience while still representing your brand, research is a crucial part of the entire site build process.
Proper research will provide insight into the needs of your target audience, the best way to solve their needs and how they’ll interact with your website.
What CMS do you use?
If you’re using a web developer who codes websites from scratch, your web designer will use a content management system (CMS). A content management system is software that allows you to create websites and manage content without coding. You need to know the CMS your web designer will be using to design your website, especially if you intend to make changes to it post-launch.
Ask if the CMS is easy to use and manage. Is it scalable? Does it support e-commerce should you decide to add an online store? Does it have the functionality your business needs to grow and meet the evolving needs of customers?
You need to make sure you get answers to these questions and understand the responses you receive.
At SSGC Online, we use WordPress to build unique websites for our clients. Because WordPress is super easy to use, scalable and highly innovative, it powers 42% of all websites on the internet.
What information do I need to provide?
You need to make sure you furnish your web designer with sufficient information to prevent unnecessary delays. So, before the project starts, ask for a questionnaire or list of the things he needs.
Passwords, images, content, brand colours, logo, etc., are some of the info he’ll need from the get-go. If you’ll write the content yourself or hire a content writer, you want to make sure it’s ready beforehand because content leads design.
Also, ask if he’ll use stock images so you can purchase them or provide professional photographs where necessary.
How long will it take to complete the website?
If you have a launch date in mind, you need to check if your web designer has the availability to focus on your project and meet your timeline. So, before the project begins, ask how long it would take for him to complete the website. If it doesn’t meet your needs, consider looking somewhere else to avoid any problems. It’s always advisable to allow some extra time for unexpected events. But you want to make sure you hire someone who meets deadlines.
How many rounds of revisions will I get?
This is one question you shouldn’t gloss over because things can quickly go south from here if you fail to establish clear terms. Most web designers and agencies offer a limited number of free revisions. After that, they’ll usually charge an hourly rate for additional changes. You want to make sure you are all clear on this, and it’s included in your contract. Because if you don’t like something, then you’re definitely requesting a change/modification.
What kind of support do you provide post-launch?
After the project is complete, chances are you’ll want to add more content, edit existing ones or even add more pages in the future. So, ask your web designer if he offers maintenance after the design is complete. Or, if you prefer to make changes yourself, ask him to provide some guidance or training. Some agencies offer training videos, pdfs/ manuals or one on one training for clients. Remember that the CMS your web designer uses will determine if you can manage the website yourself after it is live.
Will my website be search engine optimised?
A high performing website is one that is optimised to rank on search engines. Every professional web designer should integrate SEO strategies to ensure that your business is positioned for success. Go ahead and ask your potential web designer if he follows Google’s SEO best practices. Keyword research, image optimisation and alt tags, user experience optimisation, site speed etc., are SEO best practices he shouldn’t ignore.
Will you optimise my website for mobile?
Since 2016, Google has been using the mobile version of websites for indexing and ranking. This means that if your website is not optimised for mobile devices, it will not be indexed on Google, neither will it rank. A website that is optimised for mobile devices is responsive. And a responsive website means a website that displays properly on any screen size. It’s essential that your web designer optimises your website for mobile devices, including desktop and tablet.
Will you design the website in-house or outsource?
It’s not new news that some web design agencies do not build websites themselves. They outsource to independent freelancers or other agencies. So, always remember to ask your web designer if he’ll handle your project himself. If he is outsourcing it, you want to make sure you know who he’s outsourcing to and if they have the expertise to meet your expectations.
Can you provide a portfolio I can look at?
Looking at your prospect’s portfolio will give you an idea of his design style. So, do not hesitate to ask for samples if they are not already displayed on his website. As you look through his portfolio, ask yourself; is his design style in line with my needs and expectations? Are his websites modern, responsive and fast? etc.
Check his testimonials, speak to his previous clients if you can. Please do your due diligence before you entrust something as important as your business website into his hands.
Building a business website is an investment. One which can deliver a high amount of ROI if done right and utilised brilliantly. But choosing the right web designer to partner with is the first step you have to take. If you ask all these questions, you will be able to filter through the many prospects you find and locate the best web designer or agency to handle your business website needs.
At SSGC Online…..
We design state of the art websites that increase business performance and conversion rate. As a customer-facing web design agency, we adopt a custom approach to every project. We work with you to develop a strategy that aligns with the needs of your customers and marketing goals.
If you’re ready to kickstart your business website design process and would like to know how we can help you achieve success online, please drop us a line here. We want to work with you!