You may find designers talking about building websites, design technology, flow, methodology, multiple options of your website design, huge proposals that contain loads of complicated information and everything else in-between when all you really want is to cut through all the complicated stuff and get a great website that is easy for you and your customers to use and most of all, a website that will bring you new business and sales.
As a good website can bring you more business and a poor one can drive away prospective customers.
Since this decision is foundational to your business success, selecting the right website designer is essential. Utilize this agenda to limit your web designer decision to ensure that you get a decent, functional, useful, website design that meets or surpasses your desires.
Basically if you want to create and build a new website from zero to full working site, then you need 3 basic things as shown below:-
- Web Hosting Service and domain name registration.
A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called co-location, also known as Housing in Latin America or France. more
A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name identifies a network domain, or it represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a website, or the website itself or any other service communicated via the Internet. In 2017, 330.6 million domain names had been registered. more
- Websites Developer and Designer
Among web professionals, “web development” usually refers to the main non-design aspects of building websites: writing markup and coding. Web development may use content management systems (CMS) to make content changes easier and available with basic technical skills.
The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing markup. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating markup then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines. more
“Not all developers are designer – and vice versa”
- Website manager and content writer
A Website content writer or web content writer is a person who specializes in providing relevant content for websites. Every website has a specific target audience and requires the most relevant content to attract business. Content should contain keywords (specific business-related terms, which internet users might use in order to search for services or products) aimed towards improving a website’s SEO. Generally, a website content writer who has got this knowledge of SEO is also referred to as an SEO Content Writer. more
Why ask questions?
Asking questions improves your learning, develops your understanding and puts you on the right path and more importantly, avoids you from falling into the complexities that confuse commercial development.
If you ask the right questions. The questions can help you to better understand whether the designer will be able to meet your needs and work with your vision; what’s more, the questions will help you to decide if you are getting more than just a good price – this is an important factor to take into account, as it’s better to pay more upfront for a website you will love rather than budgeting lower for a website that is a bit hit-and-miss, as it will end up costing far more in the long-run with multiple adjustments and fixes further down the line. The costs really will add up.
Here are 13 questions to ask your website designer for.
- How much experience do you have in web design?
One of the most important questions to ask the website designer. Previous experience serves as an indicator of whether the website designer will be a valuable asset and a good fit for your requirements.
- What kinds of websites have you designed?
Once upon a time there were text-only websites which were used by government agencies and public institutions for information purposes only. Since the expansion of the World Wide Web, all kinds of websites have popped up on the scene. In fact, there are so many types of websites nowadays. This web design question can make it apparent if you run the risk of a design mismatch.
- Can you show me your portfolio?
A portfolio website allows creative professionals a place for showcasing their best work. This is perfect for filmmakers, designers, writers, furniture builders, artists… etc. You can get a general sense of a designer’s style by viewing past projects. This will help you see if the designer can get the job done as you want.
- Who will own my domain name and where will my site be hosted?
The best options are that you be the owner of your domain and let your site be hosted on the internet other than any other package your designer may offer you.
- Will my site be mobile responsive and cross-browser compatible?
Online users have their favorite browsers. Firefox, Chrome, safari and Internet Explorer are popular browsers and a cross browser compatible website supports them all. Also, thy visit websites from a range of devices; desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. A mobile responsive website is suitable for viewers from all devices. Your website must be mobile responsive and cross-browser compatible without compromising its features and functionalities.
- How long does my website design take?
There is no right answer to this, each project is different but ask how long sites typically take to complete. Are there any incentives if it is completed early or any penalties for missed deadlines? Likewise, ask how long particular phases of a project take, to ensure things stay on time. Ask about the length of time you have to review and provide feedback.
- Will the site be search engine optimized?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a crucial part of any new website. Although a website on its own doesn’t generate new clients unless properly optimized for search engines (SEO) or promoted through paid advertising (Google Ads, Facebook Ads), your designer may still have some strategies or tools in mind to help you convert website visitors into leads, or help your website rank higher on Google through basic on-page content optimization.
- Do you use a WordPress or any other CMS?
A content management system (CMS) is a software application that can be used to manage the creation and modification of digital content. CMS’s are typically used for enterprise content management (ECM) and web content management (WCM). more
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in use today.
- Will you provide training to update my website?
Your web designer agency may give you access to your WordPress or Joomla CMS Admin control panel, FTP, and your hosting’s full settings. Congratulations! At this point, you should have full access to edit all parts of your website. But now what? Do you actually know how you’re supposed to actually changes photos on the photo gallery? Or update text on the homepage?
- Will pricing be transparent?
The first and perhaps most important consideration when discussing web design cost is that it’s entirely scalable. You ought not expect since WordPress is free the same case should apply to your designer, their time isn’t free. There should be an agreement between you and your designer on pricing even if the templates are free, still consider the design and upfront them. Be careful since some designer buys models cheaply and charge you thousands for the design.
- How easy is updating on my website?
You don’t want to be going back to your website designer every time you need to change a handful of words or prices. WordPress is easy to use and your website designer should allow you to make changes or even add completely new pages without going back to them. Of course, if that doesn’t appeal. Then the offer of a maintenance package could well be your best option.
- What happens if we fall out?
Whilst it’s unthinkable at the start of the website design process, it’s by no means unheard-of for people to fall out with their website designers. You should take care of this while you’re still on speaking terms.
- Can I contact you for future updates to my website?
You ought always check with the designer you want to work with to see if they would be willing to work with you in the future. If you want to update a page, add a new visual element, or even redesign your website, will they be able to help you?
Most designers and web design companies have hourly pricing or contracts that allow you to establish long-term relationships at a lower cost. Consider signing up for one of these plans to save a little money while keeping a reliable designer on hand.
Final Thoughts and Summary
Be informed, ask around for referrals and ask lots of questions before making your decision. Asking good questions will help you get a deeper understanding of whom you might be hiring for your next web design project. It’s important that the web design and development company you select is on board to help you achieve them. Your new website design should be a reflection of your strategic business goals.