8 essential questions to ask before hiring a web designer

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It’s important to ask the right questions during your web designer selection process. Who you choose to work with will determine the end product, which will affect how your customers interact with your products and services. Planning a meeting can set up your plan for success.

By asking the following smart questions, you will not only look prepared, but also develop a better understanding of what your web designer can bring to your next project.

1. Do you have a portfolio that I can consult?

Many web design companies showcase their work on their websites. For example, The 215 guys from Philadelphia have a diverse portfolio that includes e-commerce, lifestyle, and more.

Always look at their clients’ work and note their design style and whether or not they emphasize user experience. Then ask yourself, “Does their style match my business?” “

2. What research will you be doing for my business?

Good branding and web design takes a lot of research into your business and industry to successfully market your business. Your favorite designer should want to work with you to understand your ideal client and build a marketing strategy around them.

Ask if they have a business specialty or if they have private information about a specific audience or industry.

3. Do you offer any services other than website design?

Most web designers provide more than one service to their clients. For example, it’s common for web design companies to offer logo design, illustration, writing and video editing.

Often, designers subcontract work to independent contractors who can fill in their skills gaps. Ask if they are doing this because outsourcing can cause delays or additional costs.

4. What is your Estimated Delivery Time (ETA)?

It’s always good to ask for the timeline for your project and if they can complete it on time. Be sure to allow extra time for any unexpected changes or issues. Ask the follow-up question “What’s your design process?”

5. What do you need from me before starting the project?

Some web designers need their clients to give them their passwords, content, or images before they can start working on the project. Most web designers can’t do it all, and if they have to contact you in the middle of the project for needed information or content, it could push your delivery date back. If you ask early, you will be able to deliver content at your own pace.

6. When and where can I contact your web designers (or you)?

The web designer you hire should be easy to contact. There is nothing more frustrating than several days of silence from a team you pay to build your website. Ask where you can contact the web designer or team, what their office hours are, and how quickly they respond to avoid buyer frustration, delays, and remorse.

7. How many sets of revisions or editions are included?

Before signing a contract, establish control points throughout the project. Explain that you want to be able to review and approve the project in stages before the designer comes up with a first draft.

This process benefits you and the designer as they can adapt to your needs periodically rather than just once, which wastes time. Designers usually come up with 2-3 revisions.

8. Is my website secure and responsive?

Even if you don’t plan to sell any products on your website, it should still be secure and responsive. Ask the design staff what content management system they are using (WordPress, Squarespace, etc.) to determine what security measures you need to take. Your website should also be responsive and secure across all platforms, especially smartphones and tablets.

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