Your website is the face of your business. In the online world, you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression. Therefore, it's vital to have a site that appeals to your target customers and is in line with your brand by hiring the right website design service, who may also provide website maintenance services. Just as you would conduct an interview when searching for a new employee, you should interview a business website development company before signing on any dotted lines.
The Top Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Designer
Do you have a portfolio?
If the answer to this question is, "No," quickly conclude the interview. A good Web designer has his or her own website on which you can find samples of the professional's work. If the portfolio does not quite impress you, look for a different Web designer.
Can you give me references?
Again, if the answer is, "No," do not waste your time with this particular designer. While a web designer's site may include testimonials, it can be hard to know if they are real. A professional who is confident in his or her design abilities and website maintenance services should not have any qualms about giving you the names and contact information for five references.
How much do you charge?
If you have a marketing budget, this question will help you stay on track. Keep in mind that costs vary by designer, the number of pages you want for the site, the amount of time it takes to design the site and the number of people working on the project. This question will also help you learn if the web designer charges a flat fee or an hourly rate.
What services does your cost include?
This question helps you learn if you're getting the biggest bang for your buck. Services that a web designer may or may not include in the initial charge include:
Creating more than just the basic web pages
Website scalability (the ability to add extra web pages in the future)
Search engine optimization
Custom designs and / or templates
Creating custom elements
Domain name (Will they get a domain name for you or must you purchase one yourself?)
Adding a content management system
Do you provide the copy for the website? Some Web designers leave it up to you to provide the site's content, while others will do it for you (in house or by hiring a copywriter). Who owns the intellectual property rights to the website and its design once you finish? A good designer gives you the intellectual property rights to your web design, code source files, graphics and copy, and gives you this guarantee in writing.
What type of website maintenance services do you provide, and what is their cost?
If you do not feel comfortable using web editing software or the provided content management system, your web designer may provide maintenance services. Such services can include updating information on the site, maintaining the site's security, customer support (in case you have a question about the site), site optimization or adding photos.
What is your design and production process?
This question will give you a clue about your level of involvement during your site's creation. A clearly defined process is critical to making sure you get the product you desire.
The web designer that you hire is your partner in making sure that the impression your site's visitors leave with is positive. By asking key questions about the design and website maintenance services, you can learn more about what you can expect from the professional and if the services provided are a good fit for you.