A web developer takes the whole process of building an online presence for your business off your hands. It leaves you time that you need to focus on other areas, but hiring a web developer should never be as simple as signing an agreement. One web developer might offer completely different services and pricing than another, so it’s important to make sure you are thorough in your search. Here are 10 questions that you should always ask a potential web developer before beginning work.
What services do you offer?
Sometimes, a web developer will include services like graphic design, social media integration, web hosting, domain name registration and SEO help. But not all web developers do. Get a clear idea of all the services that are available to you. There may be a website feature you haven’t thought of or something you know you definitely will not need. This can narrow down what web developer you ultimately choose as well as how your website is designed.
What do you need from me to begin?
This is possibly one of the most important questions you need to ask. A web developer or a web development team will have a wide array of talents from coding to graphic design. However, the only person that can provide certain valuable and necessary information is you. If you have ideas for tabs you want to be included, landing pages or other website features, be vocal! A web developer will have thoughts and ideas to propose, but your input is vital and necessary as well.
Will any of the work be outsourced?
Many web development firms offer a diverse array of services, but that doesn’t mean that all of the work happens in-house. Independent contractors are sometimes used for different components of a project. Ask for the website information and credentials of any outsourced contractors that might be working on your website.
Do you have a portfolio and case studies?
The phrase “pictures or it didn’t happen,” comes to mind here. You wouldn’t hire a contractor to build your house without knowing they had some quality, proven experience, and the same goes for a web developer and designer. Ask to see a portfolio or weblinks that show past work so you can get a sense of how those sites perform. Look at what features they have, if they are easy to navigate and professional looking. Use these to come up with further questions that you will ask about your website development project.
How will you strategize my website design to generate revenue?
A web developer should not just focus on the design and functionality of the website itself, but also what it will produce. A revenue generation strategy should be a part of the site development plan, so make sure that this is clearly stated in your conversations. They should line up with your goals as a company.
How will the project be managed, and how long will it take?
More often than not, a web developer will have a four-stage plan for site development: Strategy and Research, Design, Site Development, and Launch and Evaluate. Ask to outline a timeline to find out what methods of communication will be used to navigate all stages, who will be working on what, and create a check-in schedule of calls and meetings as necessary.
How do you price services, and what is included?
Companies will be priced differently depending on the services they offer and what needs your project has. Price is based on the scope of your project as well as expertise and should reflect the level of quality of their past work. To make sure you are paying for everything you want, ask for a list of deliverables with their respective prices.
Will my site be optimized for mobile?
Most businesses today very wisely have a mobile presence, which has become more necessary than optional with each passing year. It is imperative to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile viewing and shopping to keep up with consumer needs. Learn how your web developer approaches the mobile optimization of your site, and how much experience they have. Having a mobile presence will be good for your sales and search engine rankings.
Do you offer e-commerce services?
If you’re developing a website for your business, it’s likely that it will be an e-commerce site as well. A full-service website development and design company will also offer e-commerce services to make online sales. For example, EMPIST works with Shopify. Be sure to ask what e-commerce solutions are available to you.
Will you provide ongoing maintenance post-site launch?
Technology never stays stagnant for very long, which means that you might want to update or change things about your website down the line. From updating content to adding more pages, a web design firm can help with this. Be sure to ask what on-going or as-needed maintenance they offer post-site launch, and how much those services cost.