Online is the first place people go to research and purchase the products and services they need. If you are a business owner, and you want to be wildly successful, then your products have to be easy to find. How can you do that? Through your website, of course.
If you still don’t have a website, then it’s high time that you start talking to someone to help you build one. If you already have a website, you have to make sure that it reflects your brand. If it doesn’t, or you aren’t sure, then you will need a little help to ensure it’s on track.
And where can you get the help you need for your website? A professional website designer is your best choice. Now, there are A LOT of designers out there, so how do you choose which one to work with?
By asking these questions, you’ll get a pretty good idea if a website designer is a good fit for your business:
- “Do you design websites full-time, or is this just a side job?” Why is it a problem to work with a part-timer, you might be wondering? From my experience, I’ve found that part-timers usually have other commitments that also demand their time. This can be a problem when you need them, and they’re not around to respond to your queries. On the other hand, having someone who is solely focused on designing websites means you will have more access to him, making it easier for you and the designer to communicate, especially when you need immediate assistance.
- “What do you need from me to get started?” Before starting the project, you have to make sure that your website designer has everything he needs to complete it. It’s important that you ask this at the start of the contract, so you’d have enough time to prepare everything. Such items include graphic files, like logos and website pegs.
- “Do you do the design work yourself?” If the designer has staff or sub-contractors who work on designs, it’s important that you have the ability contact the actual designer directly during the project. It’s much easier to communicate what you want this way!
- “Do you have experience in sales or marketing?” You might be wondering why you’re asking a website designer this question. Shouldn’t you be asking this to a salesperson? Well, I believe the best designers are people who can create a need, and sell, with their designs. Ultimately, he is creating something to sell your product or service, so he should be good at it. Hence, it’s a huge plus for me when a designer says he has experience in sales or marketing.
- “What packages do you offer?” It makes things much easier for you if you can find a designer who can provide you with a package for all your needs. Although there’s nothing wrong with having one person create your design, someone else to work on programming, and yet another company for website hosting, it is so much more effective when you only have to communicate with one person for everything you need.
- “Are your designs compatible in multiple browsers and across different platforms?” This is very important to know, because your website viewers are most likely using different browsers and platforms when they go to your website. Make sure that your website designer can create a design that will work well with all the browsers and platforms to ensure a good browsing experience.
- “Can we add design changes later on?” Websites are constantly evolving and, as a business, you need to keep up with these changes too. Every website needs a few updates now and then. Hire a website designer who understands this need, and can do it for you.
- “How long does it take you to turn over projects?” Work with a website designer who respects deadlines. Once all the content is supplied, the design process of a website should be done within two weeks.
- “How do you charge for projects?” This has to be made clear before anything else. Ask your website designer whether he charges per hour, or per project. To know if the pricing is worthwhile for your business, you need be sure that the amount of money you spend on the website can be earned back within three months. Otherwise, go for a budget design first, to test the waters. If you believe you’ll be able to gain the amount you spend with a rocking website, then by all means, get a rockstar website designer!
- “What additional services are included in your package?” Aside from the actual website design, some designers also offer logo creation as an additional service or a bonus. Make sure, however, that the logo designed for you has a graphic appeal that matches your message. A logo isn’t just an image—it’s YOU.
- “Will you teach me how to maintain my website?” So now you have a website, but what’s next? Most website designers provide maintenance training to help you keep your website up to date. They’ll also teach you how to use your website, so you know how to post new blogs or create new pages.
- “Will you provide photos for my website?” Eye-catching photos will make your website stand out from the rest. Great website designers can help you convey your message through the photos on your site. It’s best to ask if this is included in their packages, otherwise you might incur some expenses you weren’t expecting.
- “Who owns the design once the project is done?” You should always be the owner of your website and the design. You must also be able to change or add content whenever you need to, and not rely on the website designer to do these things for you. However, it should be noted too that designers can legally claim their designs as their copyrighted work. To prevent this from happening, negotiate these terms in advance so that YOU will own everything.
BONUS: Make sure that you get all files from your designer. In case something happens, you’ll have a copy of all the files used to create your website.
Here at BottomLine Marketing, we help businesses create their online presence by building beautifully designed websites. To learn more about what we do, visit our website here.