Preparing to launch a new website can be overwhelming – especially if you’re not especially savvy in the web development and graphic design departments. So, as you search for the perfect web design team, be sure to ask these crucial questions:
How do you work best?
Web design is often done 100% virtually. You’ll speak on the phone, exchange emails, but never actually sit down face-to-face. For that reason, it’s best to ask how your web designer works best. Email? Phone? Skype? Select a designer who works the way you work. You will avoid a lot of bumps in the road this way.
Can you meet my deadlines?
Be upfront about your deadlines. Make sure your designer can meet them. Cross-check their answers with their track history by contacting past clients. Set mini-deadlines along the way, as well, to assure progress is being made on your timetable. Examples include wire frames of your site design and samples of the graphics that you’ll be using. This not only helps meeting your deadlines, it guarantees that you’ll be happy with the final product!
What are your expectations of ME?
Hiring the web designer is only one part of the process. You need to develop a content strategy, prepare the copy, and more. Make sure, as you’re having your discussion about deadlines, that you know what you obligations are, as well. (And, remember, if you want your web designer to meet deadlines, you have to meet deadlines, too.)
Have you designed a website in my industry before?
It’s not a deal-breaker to have a designer who hasn’t designed for your industry before, but working with someone who knows your prospective user-base is beneficial. Take a close look, not only at the visuals of your designer’s portfolio, but the industries they’ve designed for. If they haven’t worked in your industry, ask about their research methods. How will they create a site that both fits within your industry and outshines your competition?
Do you provide on-going support?
Web design is tricky because the web is always changing. Occasionally, plugins stop functioning or things get buggy. If you need support, will your designer be available to provide it? If so, for how long? And at what cost?
There are, of course, many other questions that you should ask your prospective web designer, but – with these five in hand – you’ll be on your way to developing a healthy designer/designee relationship that will get you the website you want.