When you’re shopping for a web designer, asking questions about price, timeline, and past client experience makes sense. But be warned: web designers are so ready for those.
There’s another layer of questions worth asking a web designer before making a hiring decision. I call them the street-smart questions because unless you’ve had experience working with web designers, you might not know to ask. And yet, these are the questions that will give you the insights you need to determine if a prospective web designer is professional, passionate, and prepared to help you succeed online.
So you’re about to embark on your first web design project? Use our street smarts. Here are 5 questions to ask before hiring a web designer:
1. What’s your process?
There are some things we tend to avoid understanding, such as chicken nuggets and political economy. I wouldn’t recommend leaving your website design on that list.
Website design is an investment: you deserve to know exactly what you’re getting, when you’re getting it, and who’s involved along the way. A web designer worth working with will share these details with you up front.
Sniff out the winners from the losers by listening for mention of your business in the process. A great web designer will involve you from beginning to end to ensure the final product best conveys what you want your website to achieve.
2. Who owns the website upon completion?
If this seems like an obvious question, think again. Some web designers have a slippery way of stipulating that clients forfeit ownership of any original graphics or content created for their website project. This is usually a trap to keep them from taking their website to another designer for updates or changes.
So ask. And even when your web designer assures you the answer is all “YOU!” double-check your project contract to ensure it clearly states you own full rights to all graphics and content created for your company.
3. Will I be able to make edits to the website after it’s finished?
Do you want to call your web designer every time you need a new image added your showroom gallery? And then pay for it? Heck, no!
And you shouldn’t have to. Choose a web designer who offers a user-friendly content management system (CMS) that gives you the power to make changes to the website yourself. The magic word to listen for is “WordPress”.
A website built on WordPress is usually as easy to edit as a Microsoft Word document, so you won’t need too much tech savvy to get started. Nevertheless, if a web designer offers WordPress, ask for one-on-one tutorials and support – you should be gladly obliged.
4. What mobile-friendly solutions do you offer?
Today, as mobile devices make up over 50% of device traffic, your website needs to have excellent mobile functionality.
The most common affordable and mobile-friendly sites are built using responsive design. Web designers who stay current with the latest technology and design trends know this, and can provide a range of design features and functionality when building responsive sites.
5. Do you provide content services?
Ask this question even if you’re convinced you won’t need content services for your website. Here’s why:
- Web designers worth your time and money offer content services or options for acquiring content services because they understand the value of fresh, compelling content for engaging site visitors and improving search engine rankings.
- If you want to make it easier for visitors to find your website through Google search, original content could become your secret weapon.
- Should you require blog content, web page updates, or email newsletter material at some point down the road, it’s more convenient and oftentimes more affordable to have your web designer assist you.
It’s a digital jungle out there. Share your street smarts. What’s the most important question to ask before hiring a web designer?
Taylor, Jay. “3 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is the Best Option For Your Mobile SEO Strategy.” 12 March 2013. Searchenginewatch.com