Important Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Website Designer

Local Business Website Design

Your website will represent your business online and should have a look and feel similar to your local business – professional and welcoming. When it comes time to choose a web designer, you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen an individual or group who not only understands your needs but has the technical know-how to turn your vision into a reality.

Start by narrowing your search down to several web designers, at least two or three. Then you can undertake a direct interview with each one making very sure they match the qualifications you require. Their responses will tell you quite a bit about their abilities.

May I see your portfolio?

This should be your first request. The first thing you’re looking for is a track record of actually completing projects. The next thing you are looking to find out is, ‘can this web designer creates sites that I think are visually appealing as well as effective?’ Don’t accept pictures or screen-shots, make sure you are able to visit at least one or two websites he completed himself.

Will I Own My Own Website Domain?

Some site designers may want to keep the rights to all the content of your site including even the domain name. You are paying for the website, so you should have access to all of the hosting accounts and you should have a backup copy of the website on file. You’ll want to make sure you have the information necessary to move to another designer if you should choose to do so in the future.

What browsers will my website support?

Some sites may look very different in certain browsers. A site may look really great in Internet Explorer but may not look quite right in FireFox, Safari or Opera.. So you need to verify that your site will look good across all the major browsers.

How Easy Will it be to Make Site Updates in the future?

Creating the initial website is one thing. Updating the site at a later date, is another. Make sure you know if you will be able to make simple text updates yourself or if you will have to ask him every time new material needs to be added. If you are able to make your own edits, will you have to learn a difficult web application? Make sure you’re getting a modern built-in editing program, similar to WordPress if possible.

What is the time-frame for delivery of our new Local Business Website Design and how much will the site cost?

Once you’ve explained your requirements, the designer should be able to provide you with a detailed scope of work and an estimate of the budget. Clarify whether or not the developer is charging a flat rate for the project or if he has an hourly rate. 

What questions do you have for me?

Ask the developer if he has any questions for you. He should definitely ask you about your goals for the business in general, how you want the website to look and feel, and what you’d consider a successful site. The more he asks, the greater your odds of getting a site you really like. Don’t rush to choose the first web developer you speak to. You should talk with at least a couple of strong candidates and select the individual you make a strong connection with. The end result will be a direct reflection of your communications.

Is Search Engine Optimization or Is Search Engine Optimization Marketing Included in our Local Business Website Design?

The truth is, most web designers are not qualified to optimize your new site for the search engines. Many small business owners assume that their new site will magically get lots of targeted visitors: this is a very poor assumption.As this is crucial to your business, it’s important that you discuss the topic of SEO to see if they will perform basic SEO strategies to your new website or if they can refer you to a qualified SEO Consultant.

See our other Blog posts for more information on Local Business Website Design.

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