You have a lot of options when it comes to hiring a website designer. Some will be less experienced, and some will be more expensive. There will be designers that suit your aesthetic, but aren’t necessarily capable of making your website into what your customers need it to be. All of this can make finding the right fit feel a little daunting.
When you hire a website designer, what you’re really looking for is a professional partner. The one you choose will need to develop a site that can help you achieve specific business objectives. You should have a good sense for the work you need them to do, as well as what they’re capable of delivering. Determining this will take more than perusing a designer’s portfolio. What you really need to do is have a conversation.
10 Questions to Ask a Potential Website Designer
Hiring a designer or design firm isn’t all that different from interviewing potential employees. Be sure you utilize your initial consultation as an opportunity to understand who they are and what they can offer you.
1. What industries and clients have you served?
There are several reasons to ask this question. First, it helps you gauge their experience in serving businesses — especially businesses like yours. It also helps bring to light what they know about your industry. Finally, it can reveal any possible conflicts of interest, like working with one of your competitors, now or within the last year. These may not necessarily be deal breakers, but they are important to keep in mind.
2. Can you share examples of websites you’ve developed?
When asking for web design work samples, it’s always better to visit an actual website than to look at screenshots. Being able to click through sample sites (or even better, live client sites) will let you see the aesthetic of their design, plus gain insights on the user experience. You should also look for examples of their services, be it custom graphic design, lead generation, or ecommerce capabilities.
3. Do you have any case studies that speak to the type of results you’ve helped businesses achieve?
Designers and developers should be ready and willing to provide case studies as evidence of successful websites. Be sure to look for hard numbers (not generic claims), including marked improvements in bounce rates, leads, conversions, or online sales.
4. What services are included?
It’s important to understand exactly what it is you’ll be paying for. Don’t make assumptions about what’s covered, even if you think that it’s obviously within a web designer’s purview.
Their quote should include a complete list of deliverables, such as:
- Time spent learning about your company, your current marketing and business strategy, and all current collateral, including your existing website (if you have one)
- Market research into your customers and competitive landscape
- Custom design or utilization of pre-made templates
- Provision for site hosting
- Additional digital marketing services (e.g., SEO, SEM, social media)
- Copywriting or other content development
- A/B testing and analytics reporting
5. Are rounds of revisions included?
You will most likely have changes you’ll want to see to your site as it’s developed. Be sure your quote indicates how many revisions are included, as well as how extensive those revisions can be. After all, tweaking copy is unlikely to require the same level of work as complete page redesigns.
6. What about future changes?
Your business will grow and change over time, as will what your customers expect from you. Look for answers about flexibility and how easily your site can be updated with new navigation elements, pages, and buttons. You shouldn’t expect a website to last forever as built, but you should understand its scalability and whether the designer has the growth of your company in mind.
7. How will you measure results?
Remember, the designer you partner with needs to be capable of helping you meet business goals. They ought to be ready and willing to discuss the analytics tools they utilize and discuss initial performance benchmarks, how often they’ll measure performance, and a strategy for ensuring you see meaningful results.
8. What do you need from me?
Effective communication is a two-way street. Your designer will need some level of input from you to deliver the site you’re looking for. It’s important to be clear around expectations for communication from the start, and understand how you can best contribute to the process.
9. How long will it take?
Their quote should also include an expected turnaround time, and that can give you some insight into how they approach addressing your needs. If the amount of time seems unreasonably long or short, ask about their road map so you can get an idea about how they came to that timeline. They should also tell you about what will happen if they don’t meet deadlines.
10. What does your pricing structure look like?
Designers may quote prices as either a flat fee or by-the-hour, so be sure there’s no confusion. However, don’t forget that you get what you pay for. The cost of your website should be based both on the scope of the project and their experience. Quality is imperative, and in design, that takes both time and skill. Be realistic about your budget and what the designer deserves to be paid.
As a customer-facing aspect of your brand responsible for digital first impressions, your website is a critical part of your business. As such, it deserves to be developed and designed by professionals. Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group’s website design and development team delivers custom-built, responsive websites with end-to-end support.
We utilize WordPress for easy updating, leverage Google Analytics to measure performance, and provide you with a complete content strategy plan to keep visitors coming back for more. We’ll ensure your site stays up and running with secure hosting, post-launch support, and a session that allows you to review the site’s features and ask questions. Contact us today to set up a consultation.