What to Ask Before Hiring a Web Designer?
The process of getting a reliable web designer is challenging. With a simple search, there will be a large number of companies and individuals claiming that they can design and develop websites that will generate leads and help you outrank your competition, but how would you know that they can do it for real.
Whether you need a new business site or an old one redesigned, a web designer will play a critical role in your website’s success. So, it’s inevitable to find an individual or company that works as a concierge with you. This requires you to ask the right questions to make sure the web company aligns well with your business goals and ambitions.
They will talk about design technology and methods giving you multiple options for your web design. Your questions should play an important role in the team, design style, services, and the portfolio of the service provider.
To help you with web design, here are ten questions you should ask a potential web designer to get to know about their style and process. These questions will help you understand their abilities and design process so that you can have a design outcome you’re going to be happy with.
Which platform do you think is best for building a website?
Web designers use a particular tool for their craft, so you should know which platform they’re best in. Also, check out the one they recommend for your web design needs. For instance, they might say that they’re best at WordPress and they have made i9t their tool of choice
Also, they shouldn’t say yes to a client for whom they feel WordPress isn’t the best option to go with. This indicates their honesty and integrity when it comes to serving a customer. This is not to say that a designer cannot be an expert in using multiple platforms.
So, it’s important to ask what they’re skilled in. Besides, if your project requires the usage of other tools like email marketing, ask them if they’re familiar with these tools.
Do you work with custom code?
A web designer can 100% offer you a custom design, built using a template, or hybridization of both. One of the most important characteristics of your designer has to be the ability to bring your vision to life using a custom code to manipulate the functionality and design of your website.
Most likely, you might be looking for someone knowledgeable about CSS. However, some more complex projects might require knowledge of other languages too. If you’re paying for and expecting to receive a customized website, you should get one designed by a professional.
It's important to know how your site will be designed with your specific tech requirements addressed. A custom website designed as per your needs must ensure that the layout has been made ‘’hand-code’’ by an expert. So, make sure they are professionals at working with a custom code.
How do you ensure a usable experience on all devices?
If you’re going to build a website and design it to provide a dependable user experience to your audience, you must ensure that you’re getting a responsive web design. A responsive design is google-recommended and it’s the best practice to get a web design that is well optimized, friendly, and ideal for usage on all devices.
The website you get designed should respond for desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone with one code on the same URL. Mobile design is smaller than the desktop site. So, your website needs to be responsive on all screen sizes so that a great customer experience is ensured.
What Content Management System do you use?
With a content management system, you manage your website’s content. The most dependable CMS allows you to make updates to your websites over time. Ask your web developer if they can use an open-source CMS like WordPress or their own custom CMS.
It's important to be knowledgeable about the content system your designer is going to use when developing your website. Many people assume that the CMS website works the same on the backend. However, the backend design and functionality differ.
So, you should ask for a website demonstration to know how customized the CMS is going to be. You can post new content, update your site with new articles and landing pages with time. Consider asking some questions like:
Does it support e-commerce?
Which browsers will be compatible?
Can I upgrade my site myself?
Am I going to have access to all of the functionalities?
How do you optimize websites for Page Speed and Search Engines?
It’s important to have your website optimized for a great and smooth user experience for your visitors and targeted audience. Search Engine Optimization is critical for the performance of your website and should be included at the very beginning of your development project.
Ask the designer about the experience their SEO team has and how do they make their SEO strategies. SEO has changed a lot in the last few years. It's all about creating content that serves your visitors in a friendly manner. There are other practices or page speeds that are the most important to implement so that you rank well and the website is as speedy and responsive as you want it to be.
How long will this project take?
The turnaround time of website design providers can vary depending on the scale of your website. Different website projects have different timelines attached to them. If your website is time-sensitive, it's crucial to communicate this to the designer you’re going to hire.
Tell them about the specific dates so that both of you know that you’re on the right track. The timeline should be discussed before any design. Check to see if their turnaround time and timeline are best suited to your needs.
Communicate the deadline and stay in touch so that you both know and are capable to manage if there are any unexpected changes. Read the contract and terms before signing because some companies or individual designers might charge late fees if the projects exceed the deadline you both agreed on.
How many revision rounds will you include?
It is often observed that miscommunication occurs during the revision and approval process. You love your product and you need perfection. Therefore, your designer should be able to reach the desired standards for your website design. So, it’s important to know how many changes they allow while you’re approving the site. What if you don’t find the first version of your site?
You’ll want your designer to make the changes required. To ensure a smooth experience, you should know what your designer does to share drafts with you and receive your feedback. Some designers set a limit on the number of revision rounds. Whereas, others complete revisions on an hourly basis. Usually, we designers offer 2-3 rounds of revision. In case you find out that you need more than that, you can pay them the extra cost to get it done.
Can you offer a design that fits my budget?
Building a website usually costs more than you anticipate. So, get prepared and do your research to find out what’s the current rate for web design work. Secondly, it’s always important to communicate your budget before you get started. If you don’t know about your budget, they won't be able to prepare a site that is best suited to your budget requirements.
The ideal web designer will be honest about the services and features you can ask for within the given budget. You should get upfront pricing with no hidden costs. Ask your designer to highlight their previous projects so that you can understand the quality, features, and additional services you can afford with the budget you have mentioned. So, it's useful for your designer to know about your affordability for many reasons.
How do you manage site security and maintenance?
The security, hosting, and maintenance of your website are critical factors when it comes to the performance, functionality, and success of your website. Many companies choose to have their web company host their websites to avoid managing the process internally.
In that case, you should know that security measures are taken and what hosting environment is your agency of choice is providing. Along with the security, your web designer should ensure that maintenance and hosting are taken care of.
How will we communicate during the web design process?
It's important to know how close is your web designer willing to work with your team. Some designers prefer to communicate via email. Whereas, others rely on different project management software to stay connected with your team.
Some designers work independently, while others might have a team of designers, writers, and programmers that help them speed up the whole process to deliver your project on time. If your designer is getting additional support to work on your project, it will be good to know who they’re working with.
By asking these questions, you can avoid a lot of misunderstandings and pitfalls that are likely to cause failure in a web design project. So, take some time before getting into a project agreement and ask the right questions to build a profitable relationship with your designer.