Your website is often the first point of contact for your potential customers and so it needs to stand out and deliver. That’s why it’s essential you ask the right questions when it comes to choosing a web developer. By finding out the answers to your questions at an early stage, you will have a better chance of finding a web developer who aligns with your business goals and future ambitions.
So, where do you start? There are many questions that are worth asking potential website builders and so it can be difficult to pin down the most important ones. To alleviate some of this stress, we have compiled a list of 10 essential questions you should ask your preferred web developer to help give you the best possible start.
1) Do you have experience working with clients from my sector?
In order to create the website you want, your developer must first be able to understand your vision and be confident they can meet expectations. For this reason, it is beneficial when a web developer has experience dealing with businesses who have similar goals and audiences, or perhaps utilise similar functionalities on their site.
If your web developer lacks experience dealing with similar clients, there is a risk that the project may be delayed or simply take longer to complete due to the extra research and planning that will be needed.
A good idea would be to check the company’s website projects portfolio to gauge their experience, as finding a web developer with the skills and knowledge to bring your ideas to fruition is a great first step to building a website you can be proud of.
2) Will I have a Dedicated Point of Contact During my Website Build?
It is important to ask potential web developers about how your project will be managed. Will you have one point of contact, or will there be multiple? How often can you expect progress reports?
Having one dedicated point of contact who regularly updates you on the status of your website can be beneficial as you know all conversations can be found in one place and it is less likely that miscommunication will occur.
3) What other website support services do you provide?
Building a website is only one part of the process: you are likely going to need further support with things such as website maintenance, connecting your site to Google Analytics or training on how to manage your own site (if indeed, you own it.)
You may also require added services during the website build, such as copywriting, SEO and sourcing imagery which certain web developers and digital marketing agencies may be able to provide alongside the website build. This means you don’t have to spend time finding alternative agencies to deliver this support and can take some of the pressure off yourself when it comes to delivering content.
By asking your web company whether they are able to offer other services, you can plan for what support you may need, or whether you will indeed have to find alternative marketing agencies to deliver this for you.
4) Are you completing the work in-house or outsourcing it?
In some cases, a web developer may offer additional services but does not actually have the capabilities in-house to deliver, and so will outsource to third parties. This can often lead to project delays, poor communication, and in most cases, extra costs.
Ask exactly what services they offer in-house and which they outsource. You will then gain a greater understanding of how smooth the journey is likely to be and what obstacles you may face.
5) How much will my website cost?
Every developer’s rate is different and so it’s important to do your research beforehand to determine how much work is realistic within your budget. Don’t simply opt for the cheapest developers as you are unlikely to get the results you want: you really do get what you pay for.
Another thing to determine is how payments are spread. Does your developer charge a fixed price for example, or do they work on an hourly rate? It is advisable to opt for a fixed price as you minimise the risk of paying for extra hours should the project be delayed for any reason.
6) How is my website going to be built?
Often, web developers will work on both custom coded and templated websites, and you’ll need to be aware of the differences between the two before making your decision.
Whilst custom websites are coded specifically to meet your goals, they are often more expensive, more time consuming and harder to adapt once built. Templated websites on the other hand, offer the benefits of being adaptable, easy to manage and can be built more quickly, yet they can be less customisable than coded sites.
Once you have established which method your web developer intends to use, it is also worth finding out what this means for you in terms of making changes to the site yourself and how flexible they intend to be with revisions. You should also determine whether you will own your site once built as not doing so can lead to many issues in the future.
7) What are the expected time frames to set the website live?
An important aspect of any project is the timeframes. Find out the average turnaround time for a site of your scale and be sure to clearly state your expectations for delivery.
8) What is the build process?
Each web developer or web design agency will have a different process for building a website. It is important therefore that you understand how the build is structured and what updates you can expect to receive.
Is the website built in stages and signed off before each new one commences, or does the build happen in one go and revisions occur at the end? Find out how much authority you have over each stage and be sure to ask what post-live support, if any, is available
9) Will my website be responsive?
A website must work in a variety of different ways to be a successful marketing tool for your business. With a majority of browsers using mobile, it is essential your site is responsive and optimised for mobile use.
Furthermore, following the WCAG 2.1 international Accessibility guidelines, you should strive to ensure your website is inclusive to all those with visual, motor or auditory disabilities. Not doing so can exclude potential website visitors and ultimately narrow your audience. To find out more about web accessibility, you can read our recent blog here.
Search engines are another dominating factor when it comes to ranking websites and so Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) must be embedded within your site to help your website generate organic traffic and ultimately leads. Ask your web developer whether they include SEO within their website building process or whether they can offer it as an additional service for an extra fee.
10) What are your expectations for my involvement?
Finally, you need to know what is expected from you in order to aid the website building process. For example, you will likely need to provide logo files, brand guidelines and often content and imagery too.
Again, it is worth finding out whether your web designer can offer any support with content or imagery, saving you time and alleviating pressure.
Who should I choose?
Finding the right web developer or web design agency for your business takes a lot of research and dedication, but by knowing what your goals and expectations are, you have a better chance of finding a developer who aligns with your values, and by asking these 10 questions, you are one step ahead to building a website you can be proud of.
Why Choose All Things Web?
At ATW, we turn your vision into an impactful, functional website which meets the needs of both your visitors and search engines. To see some of the fantastic work we have created, check out our website design portfolio here.
Our website design service includes a dedicated point of contact and post-live support as well as optional additional marketing services with SEO, content writing and imagery.
Get in touch with our expert team today or call us on 01793 766 040 to find out how we can help bring your vision to life.