When you realize that your company needs a compelling website, the first step is finding a web developer team capable of achieving your goals. While some might want a basic website that provides information, others use their website as a powerful tool to attract new customers.
As a member of an Internet marketing company that works with Web design, I’ve found that the following are good questions to ask your potential Web design company before deciding if you should hire them.
1. What are some examples of sites you’ve designed, built and maintained?
Just like any hiring process, it’s a good idea to look at the candidate’s portfolio. Find out what types of content management systems and software the web design team is familiar with. While many Web design companies have impressive examples in their portfolios, it’s not known how long those took to develop, what parts the company did or how much was the cost, so review their work and ask additional questions.
2. Will the team help you select plugins and third-party platforms, including web hosting providers?
Make sure that the team is knowledgeable and capable of choosing the right Web Hosting provider and other systems. When it comes to ecommerce websites or shopping carts, this can include SSL certificates for credit card security, as well as a range of additional services to help with the shopping and checkout process. Most clients are not aware of the variety of the options available within the world of Web hosting. The loading time of your site heavily depends on factors such as the programming language, the quality of the processor, and the amounts of RAM and space used.
3. Is your work outsourced or done in-house?
In the service industry bigger is not neccessarily better. Sometimes, the best business that perfectly matches your needs and tastes has a relatively small footprint. In some cases, teams that are too big can lose the personal touch. Some prefer to work with a non-distributed team that might be more accessible.
Find out if there’s a dedicated account or project manager. If the potential Web design team is local, consider meeting with the desingers in person. If the team is not local, find out if someone can meet with you virtually to review designs together and to train you to update your website.
4. How are you going to communicate?
Is the team easy to reach by phone, or do they only communicate via email? If possible schedule a meeting with the team? You don’t want to speak to a different person every time you call so make sure the team has a dedicated project manager that can be easily reached.
Email communication is ideal when it comes to sharing documents, photos, and other files. However, having the phone support option is also important since not everything can be easily communicated through email.
5. What costs should you expect, and how does the company calculate the cost estimates?
Look into the company’s pricing model. Are the estimates based on production hours or other metrics? Find out about their payment schedule and how payments are accepted.
It’s also important to understand who owns the intellectual property, including the website and all its components.
6. What happens if you change the project scope mid-project?
Much like construction projects that often change after starting the project sometimes plans need to be updated due to changes in business needs or to keep up with competitors. It’s important to know what will happen if you start making changes to your project scope or after approvaling the plans.
We’ve found that if the project scope is not clearly defined or there are multiple decision makers, there are often many changes that neet to be made mid-project. Try to define the scope of your projects as clearly as possible. If possible, clearly state in advance what sort of revisions will be needed if there’s a change how will the team handle it.
7. Does the team provide you with training throughout the process?
Modern websites are built on a content management system such as WordPress or an ecommerce platform such as Woocommerce. If you are not familiar with this software and aren’t fond of reading technical manuals, you will want to ask if the team can help train you to manage your website. Good web design companies offer training as well as ongoing support to answer questions and help when you get stuck on a task. If you are not familiar with the system that will be used for your project, ask for a training sessions along with documentation.
Choosing a web design and development team is difficult and there are many factors to consider. Asking the right questions in advance will ensure that you are choosing the best company for your company needs.