Your website is often the first touchpoint your customers have with your business. So, if you want to make a good first impression, you need to ensure your website design is the best it possibly can be. Believe it or not, a good website design can make a difference between losing your prospects forever and turning them into loyal customers!
Can you build your own website?
When you are ready to commit to the design and development of your website, you will have to choose between taking a DIY approach to website building or hiring professional services.
While there are many free website builders like Wix and Squarespace that can help you build a semi decent website quickly and without spending a small fortune, you may be severely restricted by functionality and customisation by going the DIY route.
Hiring a professional web development company, while being more costly, can help you avoid a lot of headaches down the line and save you money in the long term by getting it done right the first time. These guys have the expertise and experience to build a custom WordPress website tailored to your unique business needs creating a smooth user experience with efficient call to actions, optimised for speed and search engines using the best SEO practices for increased traffic and conversions making it a pleasurable experience for the user to visit your website.
Clearly, hiring professional web design services is the best way to go.
How to choose the right website designer?
We have established that engaging professional services is a smarter option than going at your website design yourself. The problem, however, is to choose the right website designer.
A simple Google search of “website design services near me” will connect you with thousands of service providers that are located nearby. How do you find the one that is right for you?
Here are 11 questions that will help you find the right website design and development service provider to work.
Q 1. What is the time frame for the project?
Never assume how long it will take for your website to be built. The web designer you are considering hiring should be able to give you an accurate time frame for your web design and development project — your job is to see if their timeline fits your needs. Of course, their answer would rely on their workload and the size/type of your website.
Q 2. What is the estimated cost of the project?
The website designer should be able to provide you with an estimate based on your custom website requirements. Make sure to ask about ongoing costs and also making sure there are no hidden surprises that could work out costly in the long term. What is their yearly renewal fee’s for website hosting? Is also worth asking as many people do not realise this is a yearly cost to be included. If their pricing is in line with your budget, there is no reason why you can’t move ahead.
Q 3. Will I own my domain and hosting account?
Ideally, you should be the owner of your domain and hosting account, though your website designer will set it up for you. However web hosting is often offered by the web design company so at least make sure you have full admin rights to be able to access everything needed should you ever need to move to another website hosting company.
If you own them, you would be the one controlling what happens with them and can save any headache further down the line as some web design agencies may be reluctant to release your website and domain without charging a release fee (something Fab Media doesn’t do). Make sure you ask the designer if your domain name and web hosting are registered in your name after your site goes live and you have full access to everything.
Q 4. Will my website be mobile-friendly?
Not only do most internet users use their smartphones to find local businesses, Google’s Mobile Index also makes having a mobile-friendly website design non-negotiable. Therefore, you have to ensure that your website is mobile-optimised to appeal to both your local audience and Google bots.
Q 5. Do you offer on-site photography and videography options?
The importance of images and videos on a website should not be underestimated. But who will be the one providing those? Will the designer? Make sure to ask them if they will be able to pull stock images or will you need to get professional photography and videos made for your site.
Check out our related blog: How to find a website design company near you?
Q 6. Do they offer content writing?
Your website content should be unique, engaging and relevant to your target audience. Wouldn’t it be better, if you could have your website designed and the content updated simultaneously? It is always a good idea to find a web designer who also provides content writing services.
Q 7. Will I be able to make minor edits on my own?
Once your site goes live, you would not want to call the designer every time your site needs a little shakeup, would you? You should be able to make simple edits on your own. Ask your designer about the same before you start the process.
Q 8. Do you offer training on Content Management System (CMS)?
You probably would not be familiar with the technical side of your website design, and isn’t that why you hire a professional in the first place anyway? Even then, if you need to create and organise content on your own site post-launch, you need to learn how to work around the CMS. So, ask your web designer if they offer CMS training lessons, workshops or video tutorials.
Fab Media offer half day training services along with video tutorials to show you around the backend of your website getting to know the basics of updating your website.
Q 9. Do you offer website maintenance?
Every website needs to be updated to keep up with the ever evolving tastes of the modern internet visitors. Your web designer should provide post-launch support/maintenance to keep your website in line with the changing trends.
Q 10. How will you boost website security?
All secure websites have an SSL certificate — that green “https” in the address bar. Yours should too (all the more if you are going for ecommerce website development) as this will ensure that your visitors’ information is protected. Ask your website designer if they have taken security measures while building your site.
Check out another related blog article : 9 tips, Maximising average orders on your ecommerce website
Q 11. How many revisions/edits are included
Every project should have check points keeping in constant contact with the client to make sure they are approving of the work carried out along the way, requesting changes while mid way through the project will create a smoother experience for the project for both client and web developer.
Usually 2-3 final revisions are included with most projects, however if there may be additional charges if lots more revisions are needed which weren’t included in the original brief.
So there you have it: 11 questions to ask a website designer during the selection process to get the best website for your unique business needs.