9 Important Questions to Ask Web Designers


Published: January 18, 2016 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
9 Important Questions to Ask Web Designers

We all know that making business decisions can be stressful.  This is especially true when selecting a new web designer.  You’re putting a piece of your business in their hands, so it’s important that you trust them.  Think of it as job interview.  Asking the right questions will not only help alleviate your anxiety, but will create a great working relationship with the web designer you select.

1. What does their track record look like?

You want to find out the specifics.  Ask to review current work, client testimonials, or a case study. You also want to know some performance data, it’s one thing to create a website.  It’s quite another to demonstrate converting visitors into customers. An example that a web designer might give you would be “leads generated by their website, increased sales by 10% over the last year.”  If they are unable to give you the specifics, ask some open ended questions to get more details.

2. What type of research do you conduct?

Be wary of web designers that start with a design and do little to no research.  Your website is the hub of all your digital marketing activities.  This is why market and keyword research is a critical first step in the website design process.  To convert visitors into customers, those customers first need to find you.  Websites built without this research produce a lower rate of qualified leads and at times do not even attract the right visitors.  On the other hand, search engine optimized websites, based around solid keyword research, can be the engine that attracts right audience and converts them into paying customers.

3. How much time do you spend planning?

Web designers should spend about 25% of time planning at the beginning of a project.  Proper planning will save you time and money.  Creating a site architecture, performing keyword research, and creating a content strategy should happen before anything is built online.

4. Can you provide a design and layout mock up?

Reviewing design mock ups will ensure that your brand, your vision, the web designers work, and your marketing goals align.  Again, this is another opportunity to make revisions before the website coding begins.

5. Are you using templates or custom build?

Not all websites are created the same.  Some web designers use a template program like Wordpress or Joomla.  While these are common throughout the web design industry, they do not provide the same flexibility and performance that custom websites do.  Custom websites can be build to any specifications and generally perform better on different platforms.

6. Are your websites mobile friendly?

All websites should be responsive and mobile friendly, as recommended by Google.  This means the pages will resize to fit any screen, on any device, and still look good and work properly.  Customers who can’t view your website on their smartphone, won’t bother.  If responsive design is not part of a web designers base price, stay away!

7. How can you help my website show up on search engine results?

As part of the planning phase, a good web designer will include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques in your content strategy and site architecture.  SEO is a standard used by web designers.  It means that your website is tailored around search terms that your customers use to find you. These search terms, or keywords, should be used consistently, both on and off-page to help Google understand what your website is about.  Google, then, uses this information to display search results to a user.  The better the keywords are, the more qualified your visitors will be.

8. What type of support do you include?

Most web designer will provide build-in support to get the website up and running.  However, once the site goes live, there may be costs involved to make changes.  Simply ask about support and/or maintenance fees before, during, and after the go live.

9. How do you calculate costs?

"Time is money” and this old adage rings true even for web designers.  Spending extra time planning and defining the requirements is critical.  All costs should be clarified before a project begins, so there are no surprises.

Gathering answers to these questions in advance will help you select a web designer that will help you achieve your marketing goals.  Your website is more than a poster for your company, it should be part of your marketing platform, generating leads, selling products, and enhancing your reputation.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
Separate sites for mobile and desktop is complicated. Responsive design is simple and more effective.

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