If your prospective web designer doesn’t say “Yes” to every one of these questions, pick a different web designer.
Picking a web designer can seem like taking a shot in the dark with your money — and your business online. We’ve come up with a list of essential questions to help you out.
1. ) Can I talk to your current and past clients?
This should be a no-brainer. If the web designer believes he/she has done a great job, they should willing send you a client list and contact info. Follow through and call them and ask questions about how happy they are with the service and work the designer has done.
2.) Can I see some of your previous work?
This can be very beneficial. You want to make sure that their past work is up to the standards you have in mind for your project.
3.) Will I own my website and content?
This is huge! And we have run into issues with this in the past when clients wanted to switch from another designer to us. We have had clients who signed contracts without reading them and when they wanted to switch to us, they were threatened with lawsuits because their previous contract stated that the designer owned the content — not the business owner. MAKE SURE YOU OWN YOUR CONTENT AND WEBSITE! And, make sure your contract states that you do.
4.) Will I have admin access to my hosting?
This question goes along with the previous question. If you do not have admin access to your hosting, you have no ability to leave your current designer and take your website with you — should you decide to do so sometime down the road. Designers are bad about holding clients hostage. Do not fall for this. You should own all your digital assets and have admin access to your hosting.
5.) Will I have admin access to my website?
Without admin access to your website, you cannot make major changes or create & delete users. It will also make it harder to move on from your web designer should you decide to do so one day.
6.) Will I own my domain name?
This is another big one. DO NOT LET YOUR WEB DESIGNER BUY YOUR DOMAIN NAME FOR YOU! They may say it’s, “part of their package”. Do not fall for this. This is a trap to keep you hostage and make it difficult for you to ever leave them. If they buy the domain name for you, then they own it — you don’t.
7.) Will you train me on how to use my website?
This should be a resounding “yes” and should be included with any web design package. You may not want to know how to use your own website and in that case, you don’t have to take advantage of the offering. But training should always be offered — and it is always offered by any reputable design company.
8.) Do you offer management plans?
It is sad to say, but many designers are only in this business for the quick payday of building your website. They build your website and disappear as soon as it is finished. Your web designer should offer management plans/packages that fit your needs. Even if you do not feel like you will need one, at least you know they aren’t going anywhere. If you decide not to sign up for a plan, ask what their hourly rates for updates and changes are.