Hiring a web designer can be quite a job. You probably have a load of questions in your head before you decide on who to hire for your next website project.
We’re here to help, outlining 12 of the best and decisive questions you should be asking a web developer before you hire them.
This is likely to be the first question asked but is often missed.
Finding out how long the web developer has been in business, which CMS (content management systems) they use (e.g., WordPress, Drupal, Wix), and if they have worked on websites in a similar market to yours are all essential questions.
These questions will help you establish whether a particular web developer is a good fit for you and your business.
Ask how contact is made and continued. The web designer should also ask how best to contact you and the best days and times.
At Elev8 Web Design, we use email, phone, and zoom to communicate with our clients and keep them up to date with their design and process.
Additional or complimentary services
What other services does your web designer offer?
It’s good to know if your web designer offers additional services, such as website maintenance, hosting services, and SEO. They may also offer copywriting services.
You might not need these services straight away, but it’s good to know for the future.
In-house or outsourced?
Is the work for the website design and development all completed in-house or, is some of the work outsourced?
Some designers will outsource developer work and other components to focus on the design elements of the website. Therefore, it’s essential to know who is completing the various aspects of your website.
Which CMS do they use?
It’s good to know which CMS they are using for the design and development of your website.
The CMS used can affect future developments of your website and how easy it is to manage yourself (if that’s what you intend to do).
If a designer uses WordPress, ask them which theme they are using and any additional yearly subscription costs for updates and improvements.
Good web hosting can be the difference between a slow website, harming user experience, and a fast website that enhances user experience.
Hosting isn’t usually included in the design and development costs of a website. It’s a good idea to ask your web developer for recommendations, making sure you know any costs after the first year.
Some designers will also offer web hosting alongside maintenance services.
At Elev8 Web Design, we use and recommend SiteGround for all our websites.
Bespoke or template
Most designers now have access to templates for web design and development. Where as others will create bespoke designs based on branding.
We recommend you find out their processes and how they design the website.
You would expect a bespoke website to be more expensive than a template website as the designer/developer will spend more time on the overall design based on the branding.
Check out our off-the-shelf and bespoke packages here.
The build process
It’s a good idea to understand the build process for the website, and the designer should provide you with details on their processes and what to expect at every stage.
You can see in the image below how our process works for the majority of our clients.
This question needs to be asked and agreed upon before the start of the web design project.
As a client, you need to understand the turnaround time for the project and the expected completion date. Your developer should also provide you with updates for fundamental elements of the process (e.g., initial design, development completion, etc.).
Price & Additional costs
The big one. How much will it cost you?
Your designer or developer should provide you with a quote for the work to be completed and what’s included (e.g., design, number of pages, basic SEO, other costs.)
It’s also prudent to know the ongoing costs for the website after completion, including:
- Website maintenance
- Theme or other yearly costs (e.g., booking apps)
- Website hosting
- Domain name renewals
SEO, Security & Backups
It’s good to know if these fundamentals have been set up and the options going forward.
At Elev8 Web Design, we will set up all these fundamentals, completing basic SEO, website security, and backup facilities on our client’s websites.
After completion, we offer a range of services for the ongoing maintenance of the website.
Expectations of involvement
What will your design or developer expect from you?
The role of the designer/developer is exactly that, to design and develop your website. Some web design agencies might offer a complete package that could include logo design, branding, images, and website copy.
It’s likely that in most circumstances, the web designer/developer would expect you to provide a logo, branding, etc.
Alternatively, they could recommend organisations or freelances that do provide these services.