It’s always a bit nerve wracking having a new website designed, and it can be difficult to know what to expect. So here are 7 questions you should be asking your web designer before they start.
1) Can you show me examples?
Your new web designer doesn’t have to have worked in your industry before, but it is helpful to know that if you’re a retail company, he or she has some retail design experience, and if you’re a B2B company, then he or she has experience in designing for this area.
Retail and corporate are two different areas, and when you add in magazine style websites, brochure style websites, blogging sites and more, you need to know that your designer has designed the kind of site you want in the past, no matter what industry you’re in.
2) Can I contact some of your past clients?
Testimonials on a website are great, but they only tell half a story – you want to know whether the designer was easy to work with, was the project finished on time, were there any hiccups (there usually are) and if so what were they, among other things. Don’t just look at a pretty new website and presume you’re speaking to the designer of your dreams, ask others about their experience before you sign on the dotted line.
3) Is my deadline unrealistic?
There will always be designers out there who will say yes to the most ridiculous deadline just to get the job. It always ends in bad feeling on either side.
Ask your web designer to help you to come up with a realistic deadline, and to be honest with you if what you’re asking for just isn’t going to happen.
4) Will I be able to update my site myself?
In this day and age, most designers will give you a site that you can update easily in the future, from adding new pages to updating content on the fly through a web browser. But it doesn’t hurt to ask – are they going to provide you with a CMS (content management system) so that you can change things on the site without ruining the look and feel, or are you going to have to go back to them afterwards every time you want something changed?
5) Will my site be SEO friendly?
Or more importantly; “Will I be able to change the title and meta tags of each and every page individually?”. This is vitally important when it comes to SEO, but many CMS do not offer this option, making it difficult to optimise the site in the future. In some cases this option does not come as standard and you will find yourself having to pay extra for it to be installed; better to know up front and make an informed decision than find out months down the line when you have no Google listings.
6) What will you do to maintain the Google listings I have already?
Often forgotten in a new website design, there are many things your designer can do to maintain the listings you already have, from 302 redirects, to keeping page names the same, and importantly copying over any meta info. Don’t lose your listings because you haven’t told your designer this is important.
7) What extras will I have to pay for?
Scope creep, domain name, hosting, plugins, modules and more could all add to the cost of your new website. Ask in advance if everything is covered, or will there be more costs in future? Don’t let yourself get a nasty surprise invoice once the project is finished.
You’ll obviously have your own questions you want to ask, but these are a few important ones, and ones that Milton Keynes web designers ADD Creative are happy to answer!