Working with a web designer is a two-way process. Before you start, decide out what you want from the designer – then you can find out if they can deliver it. To do this, you need to think about the website and what you want it to achieve.
Questions to ask yourself
Before you speak to a website designer or web design company, ask yourself some fairly simple – but important – questions:
- What do I want my website to do for the business?
- Do I need to make regular updates and changes?
- Will I sell products from the site?
- Do I want to get enquiries from new customers?
- What impression do I want to give about my business?
- Will the site have a download section for brochures, newsletters and so on?
- What’s my budget?
You’ll also need to decide how much of the work you can do yourself, and what the designer will have to provide.
When you have a shortlist of designers or design agencies, make sure you see samples of their work, and ask if you can talk to existing clients to get their feedback.
What to find out from the designer
Assuming you are happy with what you hear, you need to find out from the designer:
- whether they’ve built websites like the one you want, and whether you can see them – do they have a website gallery you can view?
- whether they use standard web templates or do bespoke web design
- what they’ll want you to provide – such as the website content
- whether they handle internet marketing and search engine optimisation
- whether they offer support for social media like Facebook and Twitter
- how long it’ll take to do the design and get the site live
- whether you’ll be able to edit the website content once the site is live and if not, what updates cost
- how they charge, and what’s included in the price
- whether there are any additional costs such as licence and hosting fees
- what the payment terms are
- who’ll own the intellectual property rights
- who’ll host the site, and what this costs
- whether they’ll provide a backup copy of the website
Other questions may come up, and one key thing you need to be very sure about is that the chemistry is right – you have to feel comfortable about working with them.