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4questions

So, you know you need a web designer/developer, where next? A quick Google search and choose the top result? Think again, heres a few things you may want to consider if you want to have the best experience setting up your website.

1.What is their portfolio like?

Somewhere on their website will be a portfolio page with a selection of their past work. Take the time to visit each website, do you like their past work? Do they have a lot in their portfolio? Have they done a similar website project in the past? Their past work should reflect the feel, looks and functionality you want from your new website.

2.Do they pay attention to mobile design?

Its 2016, for a whole year there have been more Google searches on mobile compared to desktops, if your website is not responsive and optimised for mobiles, tablets and even phablets then you’re missing out on traffic! Have a look through the web designers portfolio on your mobile, go ahead, resize this window right now if you want! 

3.Will they provide references?

Ask them for references, however many you need to feel okay about. We’ve been asked for 3 references a few times, other times clients have decided to simply get in touch with our clients directly without asking. You’re more likely to believe their references than the designers themselves. Thats why you always ask your friends if that film in the cinema is ‘any good’.  Ask the referees about key skills like knowledge, time management, communication, after-care etc.

4.Is their pricing clear?

Do they provide clear pricing structures (here’s ours) or are they smoke and mirrors? Particularly regarding on-going costs. Some web designers may not provide maintenance or updates as part of your contract with them. When it comes to updating in the future they have the power to charge an astronomical hourly rate for the simplest of changes. Either lock them into a contract with maintenance included or ask us to do it for you.

SOMETHING TO PONDER – THE SIZE OF THE WEB DESIGNER.

There are clear advantages to asking a large company with a city centre office, you know you can trust them, and they are proven. But are you their priority? Do you know the person building your site? Similarly, going with a one-man-band may leave your project behind their own day-job but you know who they are and often can speak to them weekends or evenings. There are pros and cons to all sizes, no matter the size of the business, find someone you are comfortable with, this is a long-term decision, you don’t want to dread speaking to them AND paying them money for the privilege!

Have you got anything to add to this list? Something you wish you did before employing your current web designer? Let us know (kindly) in the comments below.