Last night, I had an amazing opportunity to talk with Hailey Rowe, an incredible Coach for Health Coaches about websites, hosting, SEO, balancing work/home life and so much more from my viewpoint as a 12-year successful website designer/business owner.
Out of everything we discussed, the one question that stuck out the most to me was, “What does someone need to ask a web designer before working with them… especially to prevent communication issues and/or getting taken advantage of?”
Unfortunately, many of our clients come to us frustrated because their last website designer didn’t deliver what was promised… or took several months longer than they guaranteed and the result was terrible. Some of these calls put me in a position of a “website design counselor” where I have to figure out what went wrong and how can I help to solve the problem (typically on a limited budget and with a time crunch).
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25 QUESTIONS TO ASK A WEBSITE DESIGNER BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM
To avoid being in this position, here is my list of questions that I highly recommend you ask your website designer BEFORE you hire them.
01. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SKILLS.
- Website designers can be AWESOME… but they can also be just website designers and not touch anything else that goes with having a website. So, if you’re like any number of my clients, then there’s several other things you may want to ask about:
- Who codes the website? Most website designers contract out the coding portion of the project. Be sure to know this BEFORE you commit to working with them. If the website coding is contractor out, be sure to ask about their relationship, the scheduling of the coding and the cost. Here at Anchored Design, we have our own in-house developers. This ensures that process is smooth, on time and within budget.
- Where will my site be coded? Will I have access to it before it goes live?
- How will the new website being designed impact my current website?
- Will you integrate other platforms like MailChimp, LeadPages, Dubsado, shopping carts?
- Can you design and set-up email automation funnels? RSS template so blog posts will auto-send to my email list?
- Do you provide strategy and design for landing pages/sales pages?
- How involved am I in the design process?
- Can you provide me with extra graphics that I can use for other marketing tools?
- Is copyrighting or editing included?
- What references can I talk to about your work?
- What is your website launching process?
- Are there on-going fees once my site launches?
- What is your rate for work outside of the project scope?
02. TELL ME WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE QUOTE.
- One of the biggest mistakes you can make is signing an agreement to do business with a website designer that doesn’t include everything you discussed. Be sure to spend the time to read through the document carefully to ensure you’re getting what you asked for.
- If you need your website transferred to another hosting company or need help with email set-ups or transfers, make sure these services that were discussed are included. A few things to look for:
- Does it include revisions? How many? How much time do you have to provide feedback once a design file is sent to you?
- Are there any licenses I need to purchase for fonts, themes, plugins or platforms in addition to the quote?
- Are you available by phone or email or both? Do we have regular follow up phone calls each week?
- Do I own the copyright to the website design once it’s done?
- How long do I have to keep your design credit in my footer?
- What is your refund policy?
- Is training included? If so, how do you provide training?
03. TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHES.
- Once your website launches, most designers expect you to be on your own. So, make sure you understand what happens after the website launches.
- How do I contact you for support?
- How much do you charge for on-going support/maintenance?
- What’s the typical turn around time once I submit a support request?
- Do you teach me how to back up my website and perform monthly maintenance operations?
- What kind of advice do you offer for plugin or functionality issues?
Yes, there is A LOT to think about when hiring a website designer… however, it is a big investment and you want to make sure that everything you need/want is included in the project proposal. If you’re not ready to fully invest – consider asking the designer if they will work with you on a phased approach. We offer this here at Anchored Design because I want to work with our clients long-term and provide them the best service (even if it takes a year to get the client where they want to be!).
Remember to keep it simple — you have a business to run and launching a massive website is not always the best advice. Be willing to start small or take a phased approach to your website and you’ll reap the benefits if you allow your website to grow alongside your business.