HOW TO HIRE THE RIGHT WEB DESIGNER – PART 1
Here are 45 questions to ask before hiring a web design company to help you with your interviewing preparations.
This initial consultation also gives them the chance to find out more information about the project and also to ask you any questions that may help them achieve your project goals. These questions may be related to your target audience and the objectives for the website so make sure you have all of this info in front of you.
With so many web design companies online to choose from these days, both online and local, it can be tough to sort through the good from the bad. Obviously they will need a good website themselves – if they don’t, then you should seriously be considering why you have chosen them to do YOUR website! You should think of your chosen web design company as your marketing partner as the work produced by them will play an integral role in your business achieving its goals.
Whether you are having a website designed from scratch or redesigning an existing one, the decision you make will dictate your online success.
Just like hiring a new employee, choosing a web design company takes time interviewing, reviewing performance results, viewing their online portfolio and also the testimonials.
1. What services do they offer?
As well as website design, many companies may offer a myriad of other beneficial services such as web development, hosting, graphic design, logo design, copywriting, e-commerce solutions and SEO. Although these services may seem related to web design, they are in fact a completely separate entity which requires a totally new skill set. Just because they offer this particular service, don’t assume that they are skilled in it. Many services like SEO take a lot of time and effort to really deliver on your money, so sometimes it is best to seek help from another specialised company for this. This also rings true for services such as graphic design and logo design. Take a minute to look through their portfolio – if there isn’t one to view then be wary. Take SEO for example. We offer an on page service and also, all of the back end programming for your needs to be successful. For your website to be top of google in a competitive field, we have a sister company who will take you on and work closely with us to achieve your goals.
2. Do you use pre-made templates or do you custom design all websites?
Do you need a strong individual brand, or are you happy for your website to look like a thousand others? Some people really aren’t too bothered about how unique their website is and are happy to use an online template that can be modified. Here at Dreamkatcha we try to steer away from this field and if you choose a template and wish for us to work on it, you probably won’t be saving much money. We prefer the freedom to create websites from scratch, using code that we know is light-weight, great for SEO (yes google is very picky about how professional your website code is now) and versatile enough to work on all machines, phones and browsers. Many templates are built with speed in mind and as a result will perform very badly for you in the long run – especially if the developer decides to stop updating it (which happens 80% of the time) as then you are now at the mercy of every school boy hacker on the planet.
3. How is their online web design portfolio looking?
Have a good look at the examples of websites that have been uploaded to their website. Check out the style, user interface and usability of the client’s websites and see if they measure up to the quality you are looking for. Also note their performance and style and see if this designer is on the same page as you. Ask questions about them and see why they were created the way they were. You may feel that a site was constructed too simply, but in actual fact this could be exactly what the client asked for.
4. Are there any case studies that show results that their web designs were provided for businesses?
It’s all very nice having a beautiful website online but is it working for you? After all the time, effort and money you have spent on this project – are you seeing a return for it? Ask for case studies that prove their websites are bankable and will deliver what you need to achieve your business goals. The case studies should show increased online sales, increased
Leads or have boosted the conversion rate in a specific time period.
5. What strategies will be implemented to achieve your online success?
Your website design company should know all the little tricks of the trade to put your best foot forward on launch day, from the minute your website is live on the internet, they should be able to explain their tried and tested methods such as prominent placement of your email and business phone number, an appealing graphic or slideshow on your homepage and calls to action that are prominently positioned to grab the visitors’ attention.
6. Will they analyse your current or previous website’s performance to gauge what needs to be implemented in the new one?
If your whole website doesn’t need an overhaul, then the remaining pages that ARE performing for you should remain in place and their keywords etc. should be analysed for the new pages.
7. How will you manage my project?
The typical process for a web design project usually consists of four key stages; concept and research, design, development and then a final testing and launch phase. When you begin your project it is a good idea to establish who will be your main contact throughout each stage. It is also wise to forge a timeline that you both can work to; this will make sure you will have the information required at each key stage.
8. Will you be analysing my target market, business needs and competitors?
Forward and previous analysis of all areas relating to your website will help your designer/developer to deliver on your project brief. This will include content structure, delivery and overall functionality.
9. How many people will be working on my website?
Will there just be one web designer taking care of the whole project or will there be many individuals involved? Some design companies employ various different staff for just one project. There could be a graphic designer, a copy writer, a developer and a programmer. Where this can sometimes have its benefits, it also opens up the doors to poor communication between you and the designer and even between each of them. This can lead to mistakes and also timelines being distorted and extended in many cases.
10. How qualified are the staff that are working on my project?
Requesting to see current and previous work of your designer (and any other staff involved in your project) is a great way to gauge how your project will materialise. Discuss what expertise they have in each field and request to see their updated portfolio to see how their previous projects measure up to your expectations.