In the early stages of trying to find a web designer or digital marketing agency? Confused, annoyed, just want someone to actually return your call or email?
It is a common story.
And because there are so many nitwit web designers out there it is worth putting in some research. The wrong decision in a development company here can be costly in both opportunity cost (time), money and energy.
Badly educated, brat web designers using the wrong tools and horrible design.
The general industry perception of web designers is very poor and rightly so. Unreturned phone calls, broken promises, unexpected bills and blown out deadlines. There seems to be a certain cavalier attitude with web designers that they can almost get away with anything. Every day there is a new story of a trail of destruction.
In my experience you can never ask too many questions in life.
Specific to the website design process this is a good measure of how forthcoming and helpful your new web designer will be. If someone takes the time and effort to answer each one of your questions thoroughly it is a good sign they have your best intentions at heart. They will invest the time to educate you on the web design process to ensure you feel confident.
Below is a pretty comprehensive list 50 important questions you can ask of a web design company. You don’t have to ask every one of these questions but pick and choose what is relevant to your business. They will also trigger further ideas.
- Have you worked on other websites in my specific industry?
- Can I see examples of your previous work in a similar price range to my proposed project?
- Can you provide references and contact details of past clients so that I can speak with them direct?
- What is the framework or process that we will follow when building the website?
- Who is responsible for preparing the website content?
- Can you recommend a direct response copywriter who is experienced in writing results driven copy?
- How long will my website take to build?
- Do you include sourcing and purchasing images as part of your proposal or will this be an additional fee?
- Will you deliver a final packaged copy of the website to me for future reference?
- When can you start?
- What is the process if I am not happy with the first design that is presented?
- Do you have a dedicated graphic designer on staff who is an expert in user interface design and conversion optimisation?
- How many rounds of design changes are factored into your process?
- Will you keep working on the proposed design of my website until I am completely happy?
- What is the content management system you will use to build my website?
- Do you utilise templates or will the layout be designed and built from scratch?
- Where and by whom will my website be hosted (if you are providing website hosting)?
- Do you host our email and will you help me configure my email accounts?
- What is the website backup process to ensure I always have an up-to-date backup to roll back to?
- Will you keep WordPress and associated plugins up to date and secure as part of your hosting fee?
- Will you install Google Analytics?
- Via Google Analytics, will you help set up goal tracking?
- Will you set up regular Google Analytics reporting to be delivered to my inbox so that I can see the traffic to my website?
- What will you do to make my website search engine friendly?
- Who will be responsible for the onsite search engine optimisation of my website?
- Will you implement 301 redirects (capturing any old traffic from existing search engine listings or URLs) on my website when it is launched?
- Will you test my website in a variety of different devices, platforms and browsers?
- Can you integrate social media widgets into my website?
- Will my website be mobile friendly and look great on lots of different mobile devices?
- Will you ensure my website looks good on a retina display screen?
- Will all source files be provided including layered Photoshop files and all other working files?
- How will you ask for feedback during the site design process? (Do you have any online tools for providing real time feedback?)
- Will you test the load time on my website and ensure it loads in under three seconds?
- Can I collect money via my website through PayPal or via credit cards?
- Will you install an SSL certificate if accepting payments via the site?
- Can you describe your team and the different people we will be working with during the process?
- Will there be one central point of contact throughout the process?
- Do you have a physical office that I can come and visit you to meet face to face?
- Do you offer a money back guarantee on your work?
- What are the payment milestones for the project?
- Are there any other unexpected costs that I should be aware of?
- How much will the total project cost?
- Who owns the website after final invoice payment?
- How will we negotiate ‘project creep’?
- When I send you an email, how long will it take you to respond?
- Will you train me on how to use my new website?
- Will you provide training documentation for future reference?
- Can you help if I need changes to the website after it is launched?
- How do you charge for ongoing updates to the website?
- What happens if our working relationship doesn’t work out and I want to move?