12 Questions to Ask When Searching for a Web Designer
When you’re searching for someone to help you create a website for your company, the process of finding a reliable web designer can get confusing fast. Designers may talk about design technology or methodology, presenting complicated proposals with multiple options for your site design... but all you want is a simple website that’s going to bring you new business.
Because we know how tricky this process can be, we put together this list of questions to ask a web designer or web design firm you are considering hiring to create a website for you. These questions can help you better understand whether or not the designer will be able to help you meet your goals. They’ll also ensure that you’re getting more than just a good price. After all, the cost of your website is important, but it’s better to pay more for something up front that you’ll love as opposed to something that will require multiple adjustments or fixes further down the line—fixes that will certainly add up.
Why Ask Questions?
Asking questions is a good way to get to know someone. Moreover, it’s a great way to catch someone unprepared, and watch their reaction to something they couldn’t anticipate.
When you receive a proposal from a web designer, everything has been planned and thought out in advance. But when you ask a question, you’re putting the designer on the spot for their answer. This gives you a better chance of learning what they are really about.
This list of questions you should ask your web designer is by no means complete or exhaustive, but it’s still a sampling you should think about pulling from. You can ask these questions at a face-to-face meeting, over the phone, or even in email if you like—but the first two options are better, since you’ll get an immediate response that way.
Questions to Consider Asking Your Future Web Designer
Here are a few questions to ask a web designer or web design company you may want to work with. You may have already thought of some of these, but others may be new to you.
1. How Much Experience Do You Have?
Though it’s not necessarily a bad thing if the designer you’re speaking to has only been creating websites for a year or two, industry experience can be incredibly valuable. Look for designers or firms who have five or more years of experience.
2. What Kinds of Websites Have You Designed?
A wide range of design experience can also be highly valuable. Designers who have worked on everything from ecommerce websites to microsites are likely to have no trouble working on your site design. Or, if you are looking for one type of site, and the designer you are working with specializes in it, you will definitely be in good hands.
This question can make it apparent if you run the risk of a design mismatch. For example, if you are looking for an ecommerce site design, but the design firm you are talking to has only ever created websites for B2B companies, you may want to look for another firm.
3. Can You Show Me Some Websites You Have Designed?
A reputable designer or company will be more than happy to share their portfolio of past designs, or even offer testimonials from the customers who received these designs. If you receive any resistance here, it’s time to look for another designer.
4. What Kind of Results Did Those Websites Experience?
A website’s design is usually only part of what contributes to its success. There are other factors, including its content and search engine optimization, that also determine how much money it makes for a business. However, it is still a good idea to ask your potential web designer how their work contributed to the success of a business they worked with previously.
Much like your request to see a portfolio, this kind of information should be willingly shared by the designer, and preferably in a documented, easy-to-digest format. The designer should be able to confidently say that their design led to a specific percentage increase in sales, conversions, or leads for a customer.
For example, WebpageFX has a results page where we show client metrics for those who have worked with us on redesigns, SEO campaigns, and other plans. This is the kind of information you should receive from the designer, or at least be told about.
5. How Will Your Design Help Me Reach My Goals?
This question requires the designer to talk specifically about how they can help your business. This is where someone who is approaching your design from the standpoint of “I only want to make money” may stumble. They may promise something vague, like increased sales because your site looks so good, or may not be able to answer the question at all!
On the other hand, a web designer who is approaching the project with the mindset of “I want to help you succeed” will be able to answer this question with confidence, pointing out how the suggested features of your website design will lend themselves to the business goals you want to meet. Don’t be afraid to ask for specifics, because a credible designer will certainly be able to give them.
6. How Long Will it Take to Design My Website?
There is no right answer to this, but you will know what you want to hear. If you are on a time crunch and the web designer’s answer is “six months,” you should look for a web design firm with more resources that can better accommodate your needs.
7. How Many Revisions Are You Willing to Make?
The answer to this should be similar to “as many as it takes.” Reputable web designers do not limit the number of revisions, charge you for more than a set number of revisions to your website design in the initial stages, or tell you that something can’t be revised. As the customer, you must be happy with the final product, after all!
8. How Closely Will You Work with Our Company?
Listen closely to the answer to this question. The designer you choose is someone you will want to communicate with your team as if they were part of it, as opposed to someone on the outside looking in. You should be able to get a sense about their willingness to work with your company from their answer.
9. How Will We Communicate During the Design Process?
Similarly, this answer will give you a good idea about how closely the web designer will work with your team. Some designers use email to communicate, while others rely on a project management software like Basecamp (which is what we use at WebpageFX).
Most importantly, ensure your intended designer has an answer to this question: constant communication is needed over the course of a redesign to keep things moving smoothly, and your designer should be the one organizing said communication.
10. Is Any SEO Integrated Within Your Web Design?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a crucial part of any new website. If you do not have a separate team working on the content and/or SEO of your website, ask the designer this question. They should definitely have an answer, as well as a detailed SEO plan for you. If they do not, look for a design firm that specializes in SEO—it will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
SEO is something that should be incorporated into your website’s design from the very beginning, not added in at the end. Since the optimization of your website affects how highly it ranks in search engines, it also affects how many new sales or leads you get from it. Creating a new website without an SEO plan of some kind is a bad idea, so check with your web designer to make sure it is on their radar!
11. How Much Will My New Web Design Cost?
Finally, the question of cost. The answer to this question will always vary. The cost of a website design usually depends on a number of factors, including:
- The designer’s experience
- The size of the site being designed
- The site’s functionality
- The type of design (modern, high-end, simple, responsive, etc.)
- How many people are involved in the process
Since many web design firms do not publish their pricing online, it is hard to shop around and know if you are getting a good deal. The only way to really be sure is to compare the pricing you are quoted against a site that does publish its pricing, or to trust your gut.
You know better than anyone what you can and can’t afford, as far as a website design is concerned. So don’t be afraid to say “no,” or to ask for a lower price. You can even walk away if you don’t like the quote you’re given. But remember one thing: you get what you pay for, and a cheap website often has many downsides.
12. Can I Contact You For Future Updates to My Design?
Finally, you should always check with the designer you want to work with to see if they would be willing to work with you in the future. If you want to update a page, add a new visual element, or even redesign your website, will they be able to help you?
Most designers and web design companies have hourly pricing or contracts that allow you to establish long-term relationships at a lower cost. Consider signing up for one of these plans to save a little money while keeping a reliable designer on hand.
Other Questions to Ask a Web Designer
The above list of questions is by no means exhaustive. You can really ask the designer you’re thinking about working with whatever you think is best. This may mean asking specific questions about their experience with your industry, if they’ve ever designed sites like yours before, or what they know about the type of design you want.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re searching for a web designer to work with. If you ever get the feeling that you’re bothering the designer, it’s probably time to walk away – a reputable web design business will always be accommodating and willing to help its customers, after all!
Looking for a Reliable Web Design Company?
If you’re on the lookout for a web designer to work with, why not give WebpageFX a try? We have many years of experience creating beautiful, functional, and engaging websites for our clients—and we’d love to do the same for you, too.
You already know what questions to ask us, so give us a call or send us an email to set up a time to talk! We’d love to hear from you.
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online to learn how web design by WebpageFX can turn your online business goals into a reality.