Working with a web designer is a little like working in the fog. Neither of you can see what the other sees. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about web design and most of them trace back to either miscommunication or misunderstanding about the job.
There are many questions you will need to ask your website designer including those about hosting, costs, payment structures, image ownership and more, but there are five questions that you should ask before you sign that contract.
1. What other sites have you done?
This is an important question because it will reveal a lot about the style the designer uses. Even though they are designing for a client, you will be able to see what the designer does well. Sometimes as you look through a portfolio you will notice that the designer does a lot of work in a particular niche – for example, baby products. If your site is about heavy machinery, you need to ask yourself if this is the right designer for you.
2. What do you know about my brand?
Most small businesses rely on their website to communicate their message to the market but putting the message into words can be very difficult. Without a clear idea of who you are, what you do and why you do it, your website designer is not likely to give you the site you want. What is your point of difference and how do they intend to show that in the design? If you aren’t clear on your brand personality, don’t make a move until you work it out.
3. How many revisions can you make?
The website design won’t immediately be perfect. There will be some tweaks to make before you are totally happy with the site so find out how many revisions are included in the price. Any changes you make after that will be at extra cost.
4. What system will the site be built in?
There are a few different CMS systems your designer might choose from. Which will your site use? Is it user friendly? If you’ve had experience with other systems and disliked them, make certain you aren’t going to end up with those again.
5. What parts will you be able to manage yourself and what will you need help with?
Not all CMS systems are as easy to use as WordPress. Some will require professional help if you want to make changes to the look or layout or possibly even the text. That means there will be an ongoing cost to you. Work out what you want to be able to manage for yourself and ask for a system to meet your needs.
Finding the answers to these questions will help clear the fog so you and your designer can head towards creating the site you hope for.