Top 10 Questions to ask your Potential Website Designer
Designing your new business website can be a big deal. If you’ve decided to hire someone to do it for you, you want to find the right person to work with. Finding the right website designer can make the process a dream come true, whereas working with the wrong one could be a nightmare!
To help you find the right designer, make sure you ask any potential designers plenty of questions. This list is a great starting point so you can find the right fit for you and enjoy the website design process so much more!
10 Questions to ask your potential Website Designer
“Can I see your portfolio?”
Most website designers will have their portfolio online for you to be able to see, but if you can’t find it, make sure you ask!
Your website designers portfolio will likely be hold a selection of the websites they are most proud of, which will indicate the types of websites they want to keep making. It will also give you a great idea of their style and if they are already familiar with your industry.
You want to make sure you love the style of work that your website designer does. Most designers can adapt to other styles if they need to, but it will be an easier and more enjoyable process for you both if you choose a designer that has a similar style to you from the start.
Testimonials or reviews are often included as part of a portfolio, but if you can’t find them, you can always ask for them, or ask to speak with a past client so you can be confident in your decision of who to hire. Just keep in mind if you speak to a past client, it will likely be someone they loved working with, so it may be a little biased!
“What is your process?”
If your website designer has a clear process, then you will feel more confident that they can meet your needs, deliver what has been promised on time and guide you through the website design process.
When your potential designer can speak about their process confidently, then they’ve likely been designing for awhile and know their stuff, so they will be able to give you great results.
Part of a website design process should include getting to know you and your business. If your website designer doesn’t find this out, they likely won’t be able to bring your vision to life or create a website the fits with your business, so you want to make sure you find out how they will get to know you.
“When can you get started and when will the website launch?”
You will likely have a date in mind that you would like to launch your website, so you want to find out if your timeline will fit with your website designers. If you’re potential designer doesn’t have availability for your dates, you may need to choose someone else or choose to wait longer.
When you are looking for a designer, try to plan ahead when you book, since a good designer will potentially book out in advance or have a wait time. This will also give you plenty of time to prepare your content (photos and website text) beforehand to ensure your project runs on time.
Your potential designer should be able to give you a clear timeline on how long the project will take, what milestones and check ins are involved throughout and when your client “homework” is due so that you can be confident they can keep the project on track.
“Do you offer ongoing maintenance?”
Since your business will grow and change over time, ongoing maintenance is unavoidable – at some point, you will need to make updates to your website.
Before you chat with your potential designer, you will likely have an idea of whether you want to be able to make the future changes yourself or if you would rather someone else that is familiar with your website take care of them for you.
If you want to be able to make changes yourself, going for a website platform like Squarespace is a great option since it’s easy to update and maintain your website over time. You also want to find a designer that will teach you how to use your new website, so check if they offer a lesson and how it would be presented (such as a live lesson, training videos or some other method).
For those who want to just send off a list of updates and have it taken care of, you want to look for a designer that offers maintenance options. Some questions to ask would be how long they take to make updates once they are sent through and how they will charge you for it, so that you can factor these ongoing costs into your website project.
“How do you handle revisions?”
Even if your website designer understands you, your business and the look you are going for perfectly, some edits will be needed so you end up with a website you completely love!
You will need to understand how the revision process works so you can make the most of it and ensure all edits are completed. It’s fairly common to see 2 rounds of revisions included, but some designers will only offer one round, or will give unlimited edits in a certain timeframe, or may charge you past a certain amount of edits, so make sure you’re comfortable with the designers’ revision process.
“Do you have a contract?”
Having a contract in place will help protect both of you throughout the design process. It should outline what you would need to pay and when, what is included in the package, how edits are handled, and any other important details.
If they don’t have a contract, it may be a sign they aren’t experienced, which could lead to some bumps throughout the process, or may indicate they are not professional to deal with.
“What do you need from me?”
You should know your part of the website design process from the start, so you know what is expected from you to keep your project on track.
When and how you need to provide your website content, how to communicate feedback and edits, when you need to be available for calls – this should all be discussed very early on.
Communication is super important during a big project such as creating a website, so you need to be clear on how you will communicate and when as soon as possible!
“How much will I need to pay and what will I receive in return?”
It is best not to make any assumptions here, since this could lead to unexpected costs or missing out on features your website needs! If this is not clearly stated on the designers’ website, you want to make sure you ask.
Any proposal you receive should include a list of the deliverables you will get, along with any additional costs for elements you may want to add to the package. You should also know upfront what amounts need to be paid by which date.
Pricing can vary a lot for a website design project based on the designers experience, the size of the website, what functionality or additional features it needs, whether SEO is included, etc, which can lead to a project unexpectedly costing you a lot more than you budgeted for!
“Do you use custom code?”
Having a designer who can add some code to your website can come in handy if you want a website that is completely your own, and not all designers will offer this, so make sure you check first.
If you may want to include custom code on your website, you want to find out if they will show you how it works, or give support if it stops working. If you don’t want to have custom code or your designer doesn’t give this option, you may want to check any features you have your heart set on are possible on your website platform.
“What is your handover process?”
One big thing you will likely want to know is what rate of projects end up being finished by their scheduled date. This is especially important if you don’t want your project to run over time!
You should also confirm that you will receive any files used to design your website. This could be colored blocks, custom illustrations, fonts, etc, or if you are also having branding or graphic design items completed, you should also receive all of the original Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign files. Even if you don’t use these programs, having these files will allow you to make changing in the future if you ever need another designer to do it.
Another part of the handover process you want to confirm is whether you have a support period for questions after the design process. You don’t want to have a question or issue a week after handover and have no one that can help you!
Now you know the types of questions you should ask a potential website designer to see if they are the right fit to bring your dream website to life. You may have other questions based on your specific website needs, but these questions will give you a great starting point to build on.
If you are looking for a designer, I’d love to help you bring your website dreams to life! You can find out all of the details about how we can work together, and can book a free consultation call over here.
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