When hiring a web designer, here are 30 essential questions you’ll want to ask to help you select the best web designer for your website requirements.
Finding an excellent web designer and developer can be difficult and when you do have someone in mind, it can be hard to know if you’ll be happy with the web designer’s work. To help you qualify potential web designers, here are 30 questions you can ask to help make your decision easier.
30 questions for a web designer
1. How can you help me?
Web design isn’t just about making a website look great (although that’s very important). Web designers should have one essential goal – helping you grow your business. That should be every web designer’s primary objective.
2. How much development experience do you have?
3. How much SEO experience do you have?
Web designers don’t need to be experts in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but they do need to have a good understanding of how SEO works. There’s no point in designing a beautiful website that no one will see. SEO begins with website design and development and web designers should design websites with SEO in mind.
4. What’s your approach to web design?
This answer should help you see what are the web designer’s priorities. For me, my approach is to design websites with the following priorities: goals/conversions, security, speed/performance, responsiveness and user-experience.
5. Who is on your team?
It’s important to know if you’re going to get passed around from person to person or if you will have one main point of contact. Excellent account management involves having one main point of contact who can utilize a network of professionals behind the scenes while ensuring the client has one go-to contact.
6. What is required of me?
It’s always good to know upfront what will be required of you throughout the web design process. Most often a client’s involvement includes overall direction, content delivery and approvals.
7. What tools will you use?
A web designer should be clear about what tools and plugins will be used to design and develop your website. It should also be clearly written in your contract which tools and plugins are paid and if those are additional costs.
8. How many revisions are permitted?
Some web designers have a limited number of revisions for each draft of your website. It’s good to know exactly how many to ensure you’re not charged more for extra tweaks.
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9. Do you offer training?
If you’re interested in knowing how to update your website with minor content changes or other small edits, you may want to have training provided. Many web designers include a certain amount of training hours in their agreement.
10. Do you offer ongoing support?
After the hand-off and your site is launched, many designers will offer a monthly care or maintenance package to assist with security, plugin and theme updates as well as content and design changes.
11. How long will it take to design my website?
This can be a tricky one for a web designer to answer as it truly depends on the scope of work. One of the biggest factors in timing is how long it takes to receive content and approvals.
12. Do I own my website after it’s completed?
The answer should be yes, absolutely! After the hand-off, the website should be completely yours. Some designers will ask for credit at the bottom of your site saying something along the lines of “Site designed by Company ABC”. As well, a web designer may ask to showcase your site on their portfolio.
13. What’s your response time?
Unlike the question about how long it will take to design your website, this question probes into when you can expect to hear back from your web designer. You don’t want to feel like they have ghosted you by not communicating and responding to any questions.
14. What payments do you accept?
You don’t want to find out after you receive an invoice that you don’t have the kind of accepted payments and always best to ask upfront.
15. What are some examples of your work?
Every web designer should have a portfolio where you can see examples of their past work. In addition to looking at the design, you can ask about specific projects and what goals they helped achieve.
16. What if the scope of work changes?
Usually there is an agreement between a web designer and the client outlining the scope of work that is mutually agreed upon before the project commences. If there is a change to that, best practice is to complete a Change Order that becomes an amendment to that agreement and needs to be reviewed, signed and approved by both parties before the scope can change. This protects you from being charged for any additional work that was not originally approved.
17. What do you understand about my business?
If you want to have a truly effective website, you’ll want a web designer who takes a genuine interest in your work – who your target audience is, what you offer and what you are trying to achieve.
18. What if I’m not happy with the end result?
There should be steps along the way during the web design process to ensure you are happy with the overall direction and design from the first draft to the final product. Some even designers (including me) have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
19. How do you choose colours and fonts?
If you don’t have specific brand-guidelines, the web designer may choose fonts and a colour palette for you. If you’d like to be involved in the selection process or have recommendations, you can share that with the designer.
20. Will you use stock images?
If a client doesn’t provide all the images or if there are sections where a stock image may benefit the website, a web designer may select to use stock imagery. It’s good to talk upfront about where they will get stock images from and ensure they have the appropriate licenses.
21. Can we set up a video call?
I’m old fashioned and have always done business with a handshake. In this day and age that’s not always possible but it is possible to have a face to face virtual meeting where you can see the person who is going to be designing your website.
22. What qualifications do you have?
23. Is there a past client that you can speak with?
The best way to find out about the web designer’s past experience is to speak with a past client. Most should have no problem providing a reference.
24. What website platform will you use?
There are a ton of different ways to build a website such as WordPress, Shopify, Wix and Squarespace. Ask the web designer for their recommendations based on your specific requirements.
25. Do you host my website?
Some designers include hosting in their package. Others can recommend a host and help get everything set up. If hosting is included, you’ll want to make sure that there is 24/7 support available. I recommend having a dedicated host that provides 24/7 technical support. You don’t want your website to go down and not be able to get in touch with your web designer.
26. Do you write the content for my website?
This may vary from designer to designer but in my opinion, you know your business best and you are the expert on your products and services, which is why the content should come from you. I provide copywriting as an extra service.
27. Do you provide a domain name?
Just like hosting, some designers may include a domain name with their package. The one problem with this is that if you wanted to part ways with your web designer, it may be difficult to switch the domain name registration. I recommend to my clients to purchase and own their own domain name, which I can assist with but the ownership is 100% yours.
28. How do you ensure my website is accessible?
Every web designer should be familiar with accessibility standards and checklists to ensure that your website is accessible for every visitor.
29. How will you help me convert visitors to sales/leads?
A web designer should be able to clearly articulate proven conversion strategies and recommend how your website can achieve your objectives.
30. When do we get started?
Hopefully you’ve been happy with the 29 responses that you’ve heard from your potential web designer so far and that you’re ready to move forward. Be sure to ask about when they can start as some are so busy with current clients they can’t start for months so you’ll want to ensure your timing aligns.
I hope this helps you find the right web designer!
If you still haven’t found your go-to web designer, let’s connect! I’d be delighted to answer these questions and share my approach on how I can help your business grow.