What Questions Client Should Ask – When Hiring a Web Developer
November 23, 2016
Your online business footprint might be a simple page to direct consumers to your business and make contact easier, or you might be offering complex services – like an eCommerce store – online; either way, an online presence is important and with the current state of affairs, it’s extremely important to have a refined and professional web presence that’s easily accessible across multiple devices.
The details, especially for people who aren’t familiar with the web design arena, can become quite overwhelming. Consequently, it becomes important for businesses to enlist the assistance of professionals who offer website designing services. Of course, a million options exist and you could publish your own website by using web design software from your host, or perhaps a more advanced package like Dreamweaver.
In the event you opt for working with professionals, read on.
Why Seek a Professional?
Going the DIY route will get you a website, but it might not get the results a skilled designer can provide. It might not even have the functions and applications you wanted on your website. A web design is not just about appearance, but also about the whole set of underlying code and technology working in tandem, optimized for best performance. Professionals are able to navigate changes in technologies with greater ease than the rest of us mortals not familiar with the industry. Trust us, it’s worth the investment to pay an agency or a professional to make things work for you just the way you need them.
Another option might be to get a freelancer to build your website, which may work out to be a better option, financially speaking, but it’s a double-edged sword. While you may cut down on your overheads, it’s quite possible that the freelancer won’t have access to the same resources as an digital marketing agency might.
Below is a list of questions we recommend asking the agency or the designer you decide to team up with.
May I have a Look at Your Portfolio?
At first glance, this question might not look directly related to your website design, but indeed it has important implications. Having a look at previous work of the web designer will give you an insight into the capabilities of the designer. Seeing websites in the web design portfolio that look like mutated clones of each other should be a red flag. A good web designer will have variety to show in terms of design and appearance. They will also help you decide if the designer’s creative thought and skills would match your own vision of the website. You will also be able to see if the designer’s work has helped the business of their previous client.
How Much Do You Charge for Web Design?
Money is an important consideration, for website owner, and web designer. You don’t want to burn a hole through your wallet, and the designer doesn’t want to subsist on peanuts. Having the money matters sorted out will help you get faster to the work stage.
Keep in mind though; this is not just about numbers you like. Things ask web designer about the services your money would buy. There are several costs to consider, like the designer’s cost, web hosting fees, and domain name registration to start with the basics. It might also cover more services like templates, maintenance, access to newsletter subscriptions, SEO Services, website designing packages and the like.
Use web design cost calculator to get an estimated figure.
An exceptionally good price in India should also be a red flag. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Your designer might end up cutting corners to lower costs or skip a few features that are essential for your success; neither of these is what you want for your website.
Be sure about the service you are paying for, checkout their website designing packages and ensure your web designer’s charges entail. This will reduce the possibility of a surprise charge or cost showing up later, and will let work on your website continue unobstructed.
Will We Have a Contract?
A huge chunk of the web design business works without any explicit legal document or text binding the designer and website owner. Mostly, this arrangement works just fine. Yet, there is no dearth of clients claiming that the website designer did not provide the promised web design services. On the other end of the spectrum, several web designing companies or designers complain of clients stiffing them up on payments and making unreasonable demands.
Having a contract will help drastically reduce problems like these because having services and their cost on paper will discourage any shifty behavior and make things run smoother. In conjunction with what we said previously, make sure you know exactly what you are paying for, and this document will make sure you know exactly that. It has similar benefits for the web designer, because they can be very clear on the services they will offer to the client.
How Much Time is Generally Spent in Planning and Researching?
The designer needs to research your business and plan things out before starting with a suitable design for your website. A good web and graphic designer takes into account your business, the target demographic, and the ways a visitor will interact with your website. All of this requires some research, and shows willingness on the part of the designer to understand the objectives that the design must achieve.
The designer might also want to analyze the traffic of your current website to gain insights and create a design suited for your visitors.
What About Market and Competition Research?
Let’s not ever forget that your website is build for your clients. Your average visitor needs to be able to navigate through the website easily and reach the desired information. The target demographic, viz. your customers and website visitors should like the website.
In the same vein, your designer should know what your competition is doing. This research will help your website stay a notch above the competition or at least keep you on your toes so your customers can be assured of a quality service.
The purpose of the website is to help you achieve your business goals. How the designer intends to achieve this end should be of interest to you.
Do You Create a Wireframe for the Design?
Most designers will create a wireframe for their design. Like a blueprint, this wireframe helps in execution of the coding process, and knowing exactly what element or object goes where. For you, the client, it is an opportunity to see the direction the design is going. If you have some comments on the design or need some changes, they much easier to apply at the wireframe stage, as compared to when the design is in the coding phase.
Seeing the wireframe, or better, a mockup, you will be able to see how exactly your website will look, feel, and function.
Will the Code be Up to Industry Standards and Validated?
All said and done, a website exists basically because of the underlying code and if you want a top website, you need this code to be up to industry standards and validated. A clean code keeps your website easy to maintain, and in most cases, has a marked effect on the user experience. It will make adding future updates easier, and should you choose to have a different web designer in the future, they will be able to understand the code in a shorter time, without much effort.
Do You Offer Cross-Platform and System Compatibility?
Smartphones, tablets, and the prolific variety of computers in the market have an extensive diversity of screen sizes. The website must work consistently across these platforms and devices. For example, you would want your website to be optimized for mobile when someone visits it through mobile, and optimized for desktop when the website is visited through a home computer.
Similarly, the website should display correctly when viewed through the wide variety of internet browsers available today.
More Things to Consider
Without a doubt, your website is an extension of your business and in the case of eCommerce websites or small business, it’s the financial cornerstone of your survival, making a strong structure, cross-platform ability and ease of use absolute imperatives. Affordable web designers provide attractive options, and can often deliver an exceptional design at a great value. Do not be simply tied down by the cost, however. Research and see if the website designer is capable of providing the things with your business website needs. Questions to ask before hiring web designer, and see if their answers satisfy you.
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