So you may be looking at getting a new website or hiring a developer for your current site to help the business but you don’t want to get ripped off?
By interrogating them with the right questions you’ll have a better understanding of whether your “web designer” is right for you and whether you can work together to create a site that your business needs.
Is this your full-time job?
In my opinion, you’re either a professional or a dabbler. I’ve found that part-timers in this business have other commitments that demand their time, often at the worst possible times! Always work with full-time pros because they will be accessible when you need them and they live and breath design and can serve you the best possible results. It’s also a good idea to look for someone who has case studies about their “clients” or if they don’t publish any case studies, you can ask them directly. If they’re legit, they’ll happily provide examples and more.
What do I need to supply you with to get started?
You should ALWAYS need to provide resources to the designer such as graphics files like as logos, colours, examples of websites that you do and don’t like and more, if they do not ask for this and just get a general idea on the phone or email that is a massive no!
Do you actually do the design work?
Many people get really worked up about this. Yes or no, simple, if they are being shady more times than not they will be the middle man hiring a cheap designer while they take a percent of the profit. Just make sure you get the designers details eventually.
Do you have sales or marketing experience?
Think of your designer as one of your salespeople. Would you hire a salesperson that doesn’t know how to create a need? Would you pay a marketing director that doesn’t have a proven track record? The best designers are creative people who are able to sell things with their design concepts. Make sure you hire a sales and marketing expert to be your designer. Just saying…
What Security do you provide?
I would add site security as a priority. Where is the site hosted? What are the KPI’s employed by the hosting company? how do they manage and maintain the server infrastructure, I often spend most of my day fixing hacked sites that some designer didn’t advise on or bother to implement.
This one always gets some interesting answers ranging from “Oh yeah I do all that” to “The page itselfs does everything we need”. A website not designed for search, is purely a vanity project, so the designer must have SEO skills. I would ask for examples of past work and access to previous customers to talk to, to get 1st hand testimonials.
Do you offer the full website/Internet marketing package?
By the time your website is live to the world, you might have one company creating your design, another company offering programming services, and yet another providing the web site hosting. What a mess. People say there’s nothing wrong with this and it should be expected these days. Like hell should it? My company and many out there can do the full monty for a fraction of the price yet yielding double the results. Mister Metric offer the hosting, marketing, development and management as the full package.
Is your designs tested for multi-browser and cross-platform compatibility?
A designer should at the very least create their web sites so that the content and layout looks relatively the same on both Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Your site should also be legible on MAC computers as well as PC’s. Simply ask your designer if and how tests will be made to assure this consistency.
Can design changes be added later?
A web site should NEVER be considered “finished”. NEVER, JUST NEVER. They’re constantly evolving and you need to keep up with changing times and trends. If you’re open to comments you will routinely want to test, edit and change your website content. Make sure to hire a designer that knows this simple element for success, or just use Mister Metric….
What is your average turnaround time per project?
From what my team prove to me is that the graphic components of most web sites should not require more than two weeks once the content is supplied. It is often the client that is slow in providing content and making decisions resulting in delayed launches. If you know what you want and have the content prepared, the designer can work much faster for you. SIMPLICITY IS KEY.
Do you charge by the hour or by the project?
One of the most important parts to understand about design work. Whether a site costs you £100 or £100,000 to create is really not as important as you might think. I know, a shocker… The critical question is whether your site will make that money back for you in three months or less. If you’re not sure whether you have a product that has a high enough value or quality, and you’d like to be conservative, then test the waters with a discount design. But, if you are confident in your product and are planning on serious and aggressive marketing, don’t skimp on the design. Get it quoted as a complete project and know exactly what that includes. Hourly rates, when it comes to design, are to be expected if you want design alterations making in the future. long story short if you can see the money being made back what you spend doesn’t apply. Great ROI!
Will you create a logo for my site too?
Many website designers will offer logo creation as an additional service. Logos are becoming the key part of advertising your business. Their important on web sites as a branding issue. If you have a physical store, you could get by with a neon sign with plain letters. On a web site, however, the logo needs to have a graphic appeal that matches your message. It’s common to have a designer include logo creation as part of your initial project quote.
Do you offer maintenance training?
So you have a shiny new website but now what? Many companies provide maintenance training which teach you how to keep your website up to date. If they don’t they possible are not designing it, or don’t fully understand themselves.
Will you find/supply photos for my site?
Have you ever noticed that some web sites give the initial impression of “new company” whereas others give the impression “one person in a basement?” Often, what sets the two apart are photos. Designers are supposed to be more commonly using photos to convey messages of what the purpose of the site is, yet why would I see a page about telecoms and not see a single phone?! It doesn’t make sense because people are supposed to relate to pictures. If your designer will be using photos, it’s important that you know where the pictures will be coming from. An experienced designer will have a large stock of public domain photos so that there is no chance of copyright infringement. Some companies may ask you to supply your own photos so make sure you invest in a photographer to take professional photos of your products. Just make sure you get the point across simply of your company, please.
Who owns the site design when it’s done?
You should always own your web site design and be able to change or add content whenever you want to. Be aware that designers are legally able to claim their designs as their own copyrighted work. tossers. Negotiate these terms in advance and make sure that YOU will own all original artwork. If something should happen to your designer, you always want to have the originals.
So I feel I have covered everything we often have to deal with when we have a customer contact regarding advice on one of the issues their designer didn’t cover and in turn eventually caused them massive problems. Mister Metric pride ourselves on giving you a GREAT website and actually showing why it works so well with our proven results.
Let me know your thoughts. Chow!