What to Ask Before Hiring a Web Designer
If you’re looking for help in web design in Manchester, you wouldn’t be the only one. In fact your location is largely irrelevant, thanks to the Internet – your website might be aimed towards a particular geographical community in terms of your marketing efforts, but the truth is you can source skilled and experienced web designers from around the globe. However, the sheer number of web designers out there means you’ll have to find a way to separate the wheat from the chaff; here are some excellent questions to ask a web designer before hiring him or her going forward.
Don’t Forget the Basics
There are some very basic questions you’ll need answered before you can hire anyone – so basic that you might even forget to ask them at first. However, these are also some of the most crucial questions you’ll need answered, such as whether a prospective web designer has a portfolio you can review. It’s important to review a designer’s previous work to see if the sites they have done in the past are similar to what you have in mind for your own website.
Another key question to ask is what the fee structure will be for designing and also maintaining the site. Many people might forget that there’s more to simply getting a site up and running than its initial creation. Initial design and setup fees might be reasonable to you, but if a web design company then provides monthly or annual maintenance and hosting fees that are on the more expensive side, your hosting budget might not be able to maintain the cost.
Accessibility and Expansion
Once you’ve got a handle on the work a web designer has done on sites in the past and how much they’ll be charging you for their services, it’s time to get more technical. As the owner you’ll have access to your own site, but you’ll need to ensure that you have the right kind of access for your needs. If you’re going to be updating your site regularly, you’ll be better off handling it yourself than paying a web designer to do it, but this is dependent on your level of expertise with content management. If you’re not comfortable with the process, you’ll need to have your designer do the bulk of the work.
Meanwhile, expandability is also an important topic to discuss with any prospective web designer you’re looking to hire. Your website needs to be able to grow as your business does, and if there’s not enough expandability built into the site, this means that you might need a complete overhaul down the line – this is going to cost not just time that could be spent building sales but money that could be spent on marketing or other expansion costs.
Solid Under the Hood
One of the most important questions you need to ask is how things will be handled behind the scenes. With search engine ranking being so important to marketing a website today, the invisible things that are built into a website under the hood – meta tags, valid code, using CSS in lieu of tables, and so on – are crucial. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a search engine optimization expert, but it does mean that web crawlers and indexers from Google and other major search engines need to be able to map your site easily.
Finally, make sure your web designer can integrate social media links into your website. It’s easier than ever to link a company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts directly into an external site, and since social media is such an important facet of building business organically in this day and age you need a designer who can do this for you.