Hiring a reliable, experienced web design company can be critical as the website they’ll be designing for your business will play an integral role in your company achieving its online marketing goals.
It does not matter if you’re having a website designed brand new or redesigning an existing one, the hiring decision you make will decide your website success.
With so many options of web design company in the market, both online and local, it can become an overwhelming determining which one is the right fit for your business. But actually, the best approach is to use a thorough hiring process.
Just like hiring a new employee, choosing a web design firm takes interviewing, reviewing performance results, requesting a portfolio of their work and checking references.
We have been through it all and we understand how important it is for our prospects to get their website right , we value your business and time that’s why we have combined the most important questions you should ask to any web design company before sealing the deal.
1. Do You Have An In House Web Design Team? How Big Is Your Team? How Long Have They Been Working Together?
Many web design companies do not have in-house development teams. This is typically a sign that the person selling you the website doesn’t understand the technicalities that drives your website.
Additionally, having a third party between you and your developers is a sign of confusion. You’re actually buying the work of a third party that you know nothing about.
Make sure the web design company you hire has their own team of web developers. Additionally, it takes years for a team of developers to settle on a set of technology and become experts.
If a team has been together and focused on the same core set of technology for three or more years, they probably have a reliable web experience.
2. Can You Tell Me Your Web Design Experience? Can You Show Me Some Of Your Previous Work?
Getting an early peak at the “back-end” (content management system) and some of the client’s testimonial will be very informative of what your experience will be when you get your website. Being able to quickly and intuitively edit your website is critical to the long term value of your website.
If you have to contact your web design company every time you want to edit a word on your website, you’re going to lose your shirt in costs.
3. How Responsive Is Your Website? Is It Mobile Friendly?
Over 50% of all websites are now viewed on mobile devices. Your website should be built mobile friendly.
These days, that means that the site is “responsive.”
In layman’s terms the site design changes (responds) to the dimensions of the screen on which it is viewed.
4. Is Your Content Management System (CMS)/Technology Proprietary or Open Source? What Types Of Licensing Fees Are There?
There are many content management options on the market. Software that is “open source” means it’s created and maintained by the developer community at large and free to use (although it still costs money to implement) and frequently means there are more people that are familiar with it and use it.
This drives development costs down. Proprietary software owned by a specific company and may be so custom that only the creators know how to work with it.
Imagine buying a car with a new engine design that only one mechanic knows how to work on. It’s expensive and risky. You want the cheapest, most widely adopted technology that gives you the functionality you need.
When it comes to content management systems, for most small to medium sized businesses, that solution is WordPress.
5. Do you offer a web warranty? If so, how long is the warranty good for? Maintenance plan? Service Plan? Hosting?
A website is like your property. It requires ongoing maintenance and support (you have to keep an eye) every single day the world wide web is evolving.
Web browsers are being updated very often, new viruses are being born and new functionality is being introduced. Your site may function beautifully today, and be broken tomorrow.
You need to prepare yourself for ongoing costs. It’s best to know how the web design company you’re going to hire for your website development is going to handle that.
6. What Is Your Pricing Policy? How Do You Breakdown Your Prices According To The Additional Features?
It seems to be common practice in this industry to do little up front discovery, underbid a project and then jack up the price on clients as the website is being built.
Our clients frequently tell us: “Wow, your proposals are big!” Our proposals are big because we do exhaustive up-front discovery and write extremely details scopes.
We want to know exactly what we’re going to build before we give the client a price. This way, we can guarantee that we’ll hit our deadlines and meet their budget.
If the website design company you’re getting a quote from doesn’t ask a ton of questions and write a detailed plan as part of their proposal, beware! As they can double the charges in the on going process.
7. What Is Your Estimated Deadline For The Project?
This is another good question to ask references about. What timeline did they give the client and how long did it actually took to build the site.
Speed for development also goes back to question #1. A team that has worked together and on the same technology has probably encountered most bugs and can work quickly.
A third party developer working on new technology is probably going to encounter new bugs and prolong the deadlines.
8. Will I Be Able To Access My Design Source Files Whenever I Want To?
I’ve seen some web design companies hold their clients hostage.
Know who you’re your design files.
At StartupBug our policy is to send our clients all their files (including design source files) at the conclusion of every project.
If you ever have a falling out with your graphic design firm and realize you aren’t in ownership of any of the design files, you’ll really regret not asking this question up front.
9. How Do You Track The Success Of Your Website?
There are many ways to track success of a website deployment.
Success may be traffic, conversions, sales, etc. Whatever your metric for success is, make sure that you have ways to track it and make sure the firm you hire includes that in their proposal to you.
When the website launches, it should already be built into the site.
10. Can You Provide Me Any References?
Now here I do not have to say much before investing you should go through all the previous work which is done by the company and analyze it according to the reviews.
11. How Long Has Your Web Design Company Been In The Field? How Big Are You?
You’re going to be like a partner with your web design company for a while. Generally it is difficult for development teams to get into other firm’s work.
There is a ramp-up time that will cost you money. So, you want to work with a firm that isn’t going anywhere. Size can also be a factor. Big or small they both have their pros and cons. Typically, the bigger the company the more expensive the service.
But size has its advantages. If one employee at a large firm has a family emergency, there are other workers there to pick up the slack.
I suggest picking a firm that is six or more employees. At six employees, a web development firm should have at least two designers and two developers.
It’s a nice layer of protection for your project.
12. Do You Have A Dedicated Project Manager To Answer The Queries?
It’s very helpful to have a dedicated manager on your project. They build timelines, schedule meetings, coordinate feedback, review and organize content, etc.
If the web design company you work with does not have a project manager, be prepared to spend a lot more time dealing with web stress. And understand that most web development delays occur because of this issue. It’s the little things that cause the biggest delays!
So these are the few basic yet important questions to ask to your web design company because not forget your website represents you brand online and 2017 is all about marketing.
If you have any other questions comment below as we love to help your readers grow their business.