7 Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Web Designer
Are you thinking of hiring a web designer?
With so many people and companies calling themselves web designers these days, it can be a jungle out there.
Whether you need a brand new website built from scratch, or a complete redesign of your existing site, one thing is certain; you need the right web designer for the job.
But how do you choose?
I’d recommend getting in touch with a few different designers before making your final decision, and asking them the following essential questions:
1. Can I see previous examples of your work?
If you’re going to simply hire someone off-the-bat, without even seeing some of their previous examples, then you’re more trusting than most. Ask your chosen web designer about their experience, the type of companies they’ve worked for, and if they have a portfolio that you can look at.
Looking at previous examples of a web designers work might give you some idea of the scope they are capable of, and you might even get a couple of extra ideas for your own website!
You could even take it one step further and ask to speak to previous clients – this will tell you how smoothly the process went and whether there were any hidden charges or problems.
2. Are all my ideas possible?
You may have some brilliant ideas that you imagine are going to make your website amazing, but before you get too excited, I’d recommend sitting down with your designer and discussing them. This will help determine what is possible, and which features may cost you extra before any work begins.
If one or two of your features are particularly tricky then it’s best to know upfront. Your web designer may have a better solution.
3. How long will it take to complete?
Now, in an ideal world, everything always goes to plan and nothing is ever delayed. We know that’s not always the case, but your designer should still be able to provide you with a realistic timescale for when you can expect your website to be ready.
This may or may not include milestones along the way for your approval, as well as time to iron out any bugs once the site goes live.
4. How much will it cost?
You’re going to need to know how much the website is going to cost you from the get-go. If possible, ask how the price is worked out and whether you can have a fixed price quote.
Again, sometimes costs can run over if there are complications or the website is delayed for any reason, and these things are all mentioned in my recent blog post ‘How Much Should a Website Really Cost?‘.
5. Can you work around the content?
You won’t believe how many times I’ve had to go back and make changes just because the content didn’t fit the website I’d created for a client.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have as much of the research and content together as possible before work begins. This will a) take up less time and b) make it much easier for your designer to create a quality website that flows with the content.
Try to think of your website as a big jigsaw puzzle, with all your pieces having to fit together as effortlessly as possible. You should at least have a good idea of the content your website will have, or even better, have it already written – I promise your web designer will thank you for it!
6. Will my domain name and hosting account be registered to me?
This is so important. You must ensure your domain name and hosting account are registered in YOUR name, not the web designer’s or the web design company you’ve hired. In most cases, you should be able to purchase the domain name yourself before passing the details on to the designer.
As for hosting, ask your web designer for help setting up hosting via an external hosting service. They will probably be able to recommend one.
7. How can I make changes to my website in future?
Finally, you must be able to update your website on your own. Your web designer should provide you with a CMS (Content Management System) so that you can make changes on your own – check that they will definitely do this before agreeing to anything.
If they refuse and want you to pay them for any future changes, walk away immediately. Otherwise you’ll be forking out every time you want to make simple changes to your website – something you should be doing regularly anyway in the form of A/B tests to ensure your site is effective.
If you’re thinking of hiring a web designer, it’s important to ask the above essential questions before you make your final decision. Ask to see previous examples of their work, and ensure all your ideas are possible before agreeing to anything.
You should also have a good idea of the cost, how long it will take to complete, and whether your web designer is happy to work around the content you’ve planned out so that your customers have the best experience.
Remember, your domain name and hosting should be registered to your name, and at the end of the process you should have access to update your website whenever you like – free of charge!