5 Questions to Ask Your Website Designer Before Hiring

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Are you looking to hire a web designer to help you with your small business website?

Well you have come to the right place.

In this article we put together 10 crucial questions to ask your potential website designer before you commit to hiring them. It is important to ask the right questions during your selection process because who you choose to work with and build your website will play an important role in the success of your business. You only have one chance to make a first impression and your website is often times the first thing a customer sees before deciding to spend money with you.

By posing these questions, you'll feel more confident moving forward. It is important to remember that you could end up working with this design firm for several years. Picking a firm that has longevity and clear, concise communication is vital for the success of your business.

Of course, meet your website designer before deciding to hire them. Schedule a call via phone or a virtual call or if you’re both local, meet up in person to set your project up for success.

Read below for the 10 questions you should ask web design companies so that you can get the best website for your needs.

1. What kind of research will you do on our business?

Research into your business and industry is crucial for a website designer to successfully strategize, design, and market your business online. In our line of work, we would refer to the process as "discovery". We want to discover who your clients, prospects, and partners are in order to provide you with the optimal website design. Your clients are the life of your business so we should build your marketing strategy around them.

An experienced designer can most likely make a website for any industry, but why not ask them if they have specific knowledge in your particular niche? Someone fluent in e-commerce websites might have little skills in designing a real estate website that pulls in up-to-date listings. A designer with skills in creating real estate websites might have no ability in designing a doctor's office website that requires online booking for appointments. The list could go on and on. You’ll want an expert to properly configure the tech so everything works seamlessly for your client.

Building and designing your website with this in mind allows for you and your designer to focus your collective attention on crafting the perfect brand story, content writing and employing the best practices needed for your online presence that also integrates with the necessary third-party platforms.

These important details must be discussed on your initial conversation with a potential designer. They should be able to discuss in depth all the intricacies of your business in regards to your website needs.

When creating your brand and website online, your business is our business. This initial discovery session is a deep dive into your company to identify your powerful brand purpose, the needed functionalities and determine the right next steps to assert your online excellence. Learn more about our services.

2. Can you design a website that fits my budget?

It is important to clearly communicate your budget during the initial conversations with a website designer. Some companies may list their prices online but more times than not, those are just estimates and could vary drastically.

Ask your designer what options they offer and consider them against your budget. Are they going to offer web hosting, domain registration, paid plugins, content writing or stock images? These will most likely be additional costs unless otherwise noted. You may also have add-on costs such as email marketing, membership, e-commerce, online scheduling or other third-party software.

At GOAT502MEDIA, we are in favor of being upfront our pricing. It allows for potential clients to have an expectation of what sort of investment is needed in order to hire us. To get an accurate cost on what your website will cost, we ask that you schedule a quick call with us to provide us basic information so we can tell if we'd be the right fit for your project.

3. How will my current site be incoporated with the new one? What will happen to the site I have now?

If you have a current website, ask your potential website designer if they will look it over and give you their honest opinion. If they won't or say they don't need to, that is a red flag. It's necessary for a designer to see what you are currently working with in order to to strategize your future goals.

A designer genuinely interested in helping you get what you need won't try to convince you that you need to build a new website if making adjustments to your current site is all you need. While we primarily build new websites, we are open to editing your current site.

Small websites (1–10 pages) are pretty straightforward to review and give general verbal feedback on. If your website is in the medium-large size range (10+ pages), you may want to request the designer to provide you with a site audit/analysis or at the very least feedback of your current site to learn about the designer’s thought process and ideas.

There are a lot of behind the scenes work to be done when moving to a new website. Are you going to change domain providers? Are you going to change hosting providers? Will the site be made using a page builder? Will all your current links be transferred with the same naming convention? Do you need to export your blog posts, copy or images? In summary, make sure they review your current site.

When the new site officially goes live, your old site will be lost forever. If you want to keep a copy of the old site for any reason, make that known to your designer well in advanced. For example, we can place your old site on a subdomain or provide you a backup file if you should ever want to return to it or just for nostalgia sake.

4. Do you offer other services besides web design?

A lot of front-end web designers have skills in graphic design, logo design, content writing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies. These skills, however, should not be expected for the same price as just designing a website. Finding a website designer capable of all the aforementioned skills means they will be able to build a high-performing website that will generate leads. Your website should be built as a marketing machine - not just a pretty site that no one will ever visit.

Web designers usually offer additional services that your business probably needs such as logo design, content writing, brand photography, video or sound editing, social media graphics, etc. Ask them what they can offer! Better yet, tell them what you need. Don’t know what you need? Fill out our contact form and schedule a discovery call with us to see what we have to offer.

If you have certain creative work in mind that the designer doesn't offer - ask them for a referral to someone who does. A lot of creative types are well connected and could find you someone who specializes in what you need. For example, in some cases we have outsourced content writing to trusted professional partners who specialize in that field.

5. What do you need from me before we start?

During our discovery process with you, we will be asking lots of questions to make sure we have all the necessary information to make your website design project as smooth as possible. We want to get a checklist in place so that we can get your website launched as soon as possible.

Here are some questions that we will ask:

  • What isn't working with your current site?

  • What goals do you have with the new site?

  • What specific features do you want? Any functionalities you want to add?

  • Do you have a main competitor?

  • Are there any websites in your industry that you like?

  • How many pages do you want?

  • Do you have copy, images, logos to provide?

  • What kind of timeline do you envision?

One last question to ask...

Do you feel more prepared and have a better understanding of what questions to ask your potential web designer before starting a project? We hope so!

Have a question you want to ask us that we haven't answered? Please ask away! You can use our online contact form or reach out to us by email or phone.

GOAT502MEDIA is here for your web design and video production needs. Contact us today to get started telling your story.
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