4 Questions to Ask a Web Designer
Have a website project coming up? Here are 4 questions you should ask your web designer or web design company.
Ask your web designer these questions to recognize a deal breaker when you see it.
Website design and development is one of the most common projects people ask us about—and many are shocked at the decent chunk of change it will cost. Even with affordable website builders like Wix and Squarespace, a lot more goes into building a website than meets the eye. So, if you're shopping around for a new website, here are 4 questions we recommend you ask your designer so you can make an informed decision!
1. Who will write the content?
Many website designers expect the client to write all of the content for each page of the website. Outside of the fact that many business owners will willingly admit that they don’t have the chops to write persuasive sales copy, that’s not my biggest concern. The main problem I have with expecting the client to write the website’s content is the lack of strategic planning for what to write about in the first place.
When the Baylii team designs a website, we start with PAKO. We identify the purpose of the website and the audiences we’re speaking to. We articulate key messages and messaging themes we’ll use throughout the website. And we outline what we want your audiences to do, think, and feel while interacting with the website. Only once we’ve taken the time to do this, do we understand the ideal customer journey as they traverse through the website—and THAT is how we determine what types of content we need to develop to create this journey.
There are important copywriting questions to ask when evaluating a website design company. Choose a company that offers excellent copywriting as part of the package. Ask for sample websites that feature the author’s copywriting. Does the writer speak and write fluent English (this can be a challenge for overseas website developers/freelancers). Inquire about the copywriting process. Will they just finetune the copy on your existing website? Will they conduct interviews with your key staff?
2. What’s the process for getting photos for the new website?
When you’re building a new website or refreshing your old site, we highly recommend you take a hard look at the photos you’ll use throughout the new design. These days, audiences are highly visual and attention spans are short. That means you need crisp, well-lit, focused photographs that showcase your brand well and support the messaging on your website.
For the best results, we’ve found that working with a professional photographer is the best bet for most of our clients. See our article, The 7 Types of Photos You Need to Market Your Business for tips on making the most out of your photoshoot day.
If hiring a photographer is out of the question for you this time, stock photography can be useful—but keep in mind that searching through the thousands of stock photography options available can take a lot of time and your website designer may charge you for this or they may expect you to do the searching.
3. What’s the overall cost of the project?
When we develop websites for clients, we like to lay out all of the costs associated with the project so no one is caught unaware—even the cost for services we’re not associated with! These costs include:
- Domain registration
- Website hosting
- Copywriting fees
- Design and development
- Photography and videography
- Ongoing maintenance
- Training for your team
For more information on this, read our article, How Much Does a Landing Page Cost?
4. What SEO and accessibility standards will be taken into account?
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) dictates how high your website will show in search results on Google, Bing, etc. Even if ongoing SEO support isn’t in your budget right away (this is usually an ongoing monthly service), there’s no reason why the initial build-out of your website shouldn’t employ basic SEO best practices. Our rule of thumb is that anything our SEO team would need to change on a website to optimize it for search engines, needs to be handled properly from the beginning.
Accessibility for Impaired Viewers
With the World Health Organization estimating about 16% of the global population currently experiences significant disability, it’s important to ensure your website works with assistive technologies like screen readers, or is otherwise made accessible to impaired viewers. In fact, commercial websites are now legally required to be accessible and lawsuits for inaccessible websites are on the rise.
Go with a web designer who can list out the steps they’ll take to ensure your website is set up correctly for SEO and accessibility. If they don’t know what a 301 redirect is, RUN!
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing a website designer for your new website. If you’re considering having a new website built or redesigning your current website, we’d be happy to help! To request a price quote for your project, schedule a Discovery Call with Senior Brand Strategist, Lizzy Millenaar.