Looking for a web development company can be confusing due to the numerous options available. To make the decision easier, asking key questions can be beneficial. Before hiring a website design , take the time to find out what you need and ask questions to ensure that you are getting the best website for your small business needs while avoiding potential future problems.
What Questions to Ask A Web Developer:
1. What are the Platforms you Use to Build a Website?
One of the essential questions you should ask a prospective web developer is what platforms they use to create websites. There are numerous platforms available, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Some popular ones include WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and Drupal.
Knowing which platform your web developer uses can help you understand the capabilities of your website and ensure that it aligns with your business needs. Additionally, you may want to ask if the developer has experience working with the platform they plan to use and if they have any recommendations based on your specific project requirements.
2. What is Your Web Development Process?
Another crucial question to ask a web developer is about their web development process. Understanding their approach can help you determine if they will be able to deliver a website that meets your expectations. Some developers may have a systematic process in place, while others may be more flexible.
It is essential to ask about their project management techniques, such as how they handle changes in scope, timelines, and budgets. You should also inquire about their testing and quality assurance procedures to ensure the website works correctly across all devices and browsers.
3. Can You Provide Examples of Websites You Developed?
To gauge a web developer’s expertise, ask for examples of their previous work. This will give you an idea of their style, design capabilities, and website functionality. Take the time to look through their portfolio and ask questions about specific projects that caught your attention.
4. Can We Contact Your Clients?
The best way to get an honest opinion of a web developer’s work is by speaking with their previous clients. Ask your potential web developer if you can contact references or past customers to inquire about their experience working with them. A reputable web developer should be happy to provide references and contact information for previous clients they have worked with. You can use this opportunity to ask questions about the developer’s communication, professionalism, and overall experience.
5. What is Your Area of Expertise?
It is essential to understand that no one can be good at everything. This is the reason why it’s important to identify a professional’s area of specialty when looking for potential web developers. Trying to master all skills can result in being mediocre in every aspect. Therefore, working with a web developer with niche expertise is advisable.
Identifying the right web developer can help you achieve exactly what you are looking for within your website. It could be creating comprehensive e-commerce stores or niche boutiques. In hindsight, these professionals may also have experience working with specific industries or platforms, which gives them an edge in understanding different client project requirements and delivering high-quality solutions promptly. Collaboration with a specialist ensures you receive the best possible outcome based on their plentiful experience and expertise in your field.
Ask if they have experience building websites in your industry or niche. This can be beneficial as they will better understand your target audience, competition, and unique business needs.
6. How Many Websites has Your Company Built?
It is important to ensure that a developer with extensive experience is hired for website design and development. This is especially true if a custom website needs special attention. With years of experience, the developer can make sure the website functions properly, looks great and has all the features needed to meet your business goals.
It may be tempting to hire someone with no prior experience in web development as they may cost less, but this kind of gamble can have dire consequences for your business. A lack of knowledge on coding or UI/UX principles can lead to shoddy workmanship or worse, an unsafe website prone to malicious attacks. So when constructing a professional website from scratch, hire an experienced developer who can capably bring it all together.
7. What Type of Research is Done Before a Website Design?
At our agency, we understand the importance of research to strategize, design, and market your business successfully. This is why we employ what we call a “Power Plan” to ensure our clients have the best possible outcome. As part of this process, we take the time to research the current needs and trends in relation to your company’s industry and target customers. This helps us determine appropriate design solutions to better connect with your audience and provide them with an unforgettable customer experience.
We also work with a design team of experienced designers trained to understand exactly who your target customers are so that every element of their website is tailored specifically toward that audience. We know how essential it is to capture the attention and continue engaging prospects throughout their customer journey, from first introduction all the way through post-sale follow-ups. This kind of attention to detail, coupled with careful research, allows for successful branding and website design results that exceed industry standards.
8. How Will you Create an SEO-Friendly Site?
When making sure that your website is SEO-friendly, planning and foresight is key. Proactively incorporating the necessary (SEO) Search Engine Optimization) into your website’s design and architecture fundamentals is far more effective and cost-efficient. Many developers prioritize aesthetics over functionality, trying to make the most visually attractive site they can without proper consideration for Search Engine Optimization. They are only aware of its importance once it is too late.
However, considering this in advance can lead to a more comprehensive optimization outcome when building a website. Intentionally utilizing proper keyword densities and linking between related pages within the page structure improves user experience while helping search engine crawlers navigate more efficiently; deploying meta tags, creating clean HTML code, and adhering to Google’s lengthy list of do’s and don’ts are all essential components required for successful SEO implementation. Without incorporating those tactics from the very beginning of your web design process, the search engine optimization goals could be significantly hindered or completely missed in some cases. Therefore, taking into account these necessary steps from the initial stages of planning through completion will help ensure that your site meets all desired SEO objectives in an efficient manner.
9. Do you Create a Responsive Web Design?
With the ever-growing number of devices accessing the internet, it is more important than ever to create a website that can easily adapt to all screen sizes. Responsive web design ensures that websites are tailored to every device, making sure that layouts and content is automatically adjusted for optimal viewing no matter what type of device your audience uses. This is why when hiring a web developer, it is important to make sure that they are creating a responsive design.
Responsive design is the only way to ensure the best user experience for your customers and will help provide a consistent look, feel, and message no matter how your website is viewed. This also helps improve SEO performance by eliminating duplicate content across multiple URLs, streamlining navigation, and keeping users engaged by providing an optimal experience regardless of the device being used.
10. What Types of Analytics Will Be Provided?
To measure the success of your website, it is important to have access to detailed analytics that can provide you with insights into how users are engaging with your site. Information about user behavior and website performance can help you understand what content resonates most with visitors and identify areas for improvement or potential opportunities. Many developers offer basic analytics tracking. However, it is important to clarify and confirm what type of data will be provided, as well as how often you can expect to receive reports. Having access to this kind of information can assist you in making more informed decisions about your website and improve overall performance.
11. What Will your Web Development Company Require from Me?
At the beginning of any project, it’s important to clearly define all necessary requirements and deliverables. Before you start a web development project with a designer, you should ask them exactly what they need from you to get the job done. This could be anything from written content and photography for the website to login information for social media accounts and more. Depending on your budget and the designer’s process, you might be created all visual and written content yourself or they might handle some of it themselves. For example, if your budget is lower, then chances are you will provide all the visual assets while they build the website itself. In contrast, if your budget is higher, they may take care of some or all of this content creation. Either way, having conversations upfront with your designer makes everything infinitely easier down the line!
12. What is Your Pricing Structure?
Before hiring a web developer, it is vital to understand their pricing structure. Ask for a breakdown of the costs of building your website, including additional expenses such as hosting fees or ongoing maintenance costs. What are the costs upfront, and what is the price for ongoing support? This will help you understand exactly what your financial commitment is and ensure that there are no hidden fees or surprises along the way.
Additionally, inquire about their payment schedule and if they require any deposits or retainers. Knowing this information upfront will help you plan accordingly and ensure your project is completed on time and within budget.
13. What Maintenance Services Do You Offer?
It is essential to ask a web developer about their maintenance and support services. Keeping a website up-to-date with the latest security patches, content updates, and feature enhancements is critical for any business website. Find out if they offer a maintenance plan or if they have an hourly rate for maintenance tasks.
14. What Content Management Systems (CMS) do You Use?
Content management systems (CMS) are powerful tools that allow you to easily create, manage and update content on your website. When hiring a web developer, it is important to ask what type of CMS they use, and if it is compatible with your existing website or the one they plan to develop. Many developers specialize in certain CMS platforms, such as WordPress or Drupal, so it is important to make sure they can work with your desired platform.
15. What Methods Do You Use for Testing?
Testing is an essential step in the web development process, and it’s important to be aware of how a designer tests their websites. Ask them what methods they use for testing, such as browser compatibility, mobile device testing, accessibility testing, and more. This will ensure that your website looks good and functions correctly across all devices and browsers.
16. Will the Site be Secure?
A secure website is paramount for customer safety and data protection. Keeping your website free from bugs, hackers, and spam requires taking some maintenance steps, such as regular updates to software and plugins and periodic backups. Additionally, it is recommended to obtain an SSL certificate to further ensure performance. It would be beneficial to research the best CMS platform incorporating all these security measures as part of its development process.
17. How Long Does the Entire Process Take?
Creating an excellent website can be an incredibly important decision for any business, so it is crucial to understand how long the process will take. It is not recommended to rush the web development firms’ process as this could lead to a website that fails to achieve its intended purpose. Generally speaking, a web development company can have a time frame ranging from one or two months up to a year. This all depends on your specific requirements and should be discussed with the development team of experts before signing anything.
It is also important to remember that your timeline will not only depend on the type and complexity of features you want but also the availability of resources and personnel involved in the project. For example, if delays are caused by hiring the correct people or resources, the timeline might differ from what was initially estimated. Additionally, testing will be required. Since issues cannot always be expected, a decent buffer of time should be left to handle unforeseen issues that may arise during the testing phase. The goal is to produce a project on time and within budget.
18. What Support Do You Offer After Launch?
It is crucial to understand what type of support your potential developer will provide after launching the website. Will they be available for site updates and maintenance, or do you need to hire a separate team for that? Can they answer any questions you may have about the website and its features? Knowing how much assistance you can expect from your web development agency is crucial for successful website maintenance.
19. Will I Own the Contents of the Website?
When launching a new website, it is important to recognize who owns the site and its contents after it goes live. Generally speaking, you shall retain ownership of the content you have uploaded but will not own the platform or template used. Additionally, if you have worked with a designer, they may have created graphics for your website, such as logos requiring ownership transfers after the final payment.
To ensure that the domain name and web hosting are registered in your name, it is critical first to solidify what type of service was chosen for launch – WordPress typically requires an ongoing contract. To remain protected down the line, all logo file formats should be retained, as well as royalties or copyrights where applicable. Once all remaining payments are complete, the site and any associated content should belong exclusively to its owner from that point forward.
Looking to start a new web design project? SiteWired would love to help with you. Since 1998, we have built websites for thousands of businesses. (We’ll start by answering these questions for you). Give us a call at 303.424.2522 or get started here.