Questions to Ask a Web Designer before you hire them.

Questions to Ask a Web Designer before you hire them.

The following is a list of questions to ask your website development partner.  The purpose of this line of questioning is to identify any potential red flags before it is too late.  The website development industry is littered with failed projects.  The best way to become one of the statistics is to do your homework up front.

Remember the goal of a website project is to have the following three elements match up as closely as possible:

  1. What you think you are buying
  2. What your website designer thinks they are selling
  3. What your website designer actually builds

The biggest single key to success in a website project is allocating the time to go through the planning and discovery process.  This process will help you narrow the gap between #1 and #2 above.  The second key is to police the process to verify that #3 above (the end product) matches #1 and #2 above.  Finding a company or individual who has extensive experience in doing this will help a lot.  Here are some questions that will help you find that company.

Setup Pricing Questions

  • Do you have a standard, published way to estimate website projects?  What is it?
  • Can you give me a line item breakdown of your setup fee / initial development estimate?
  • How much of the total price is for graphic design work?
  • How much of the total price is for functionality (software) development (includes training)?
  • How much of the total price is for content (preparation and loading)?

Ongoing Pricing Questions

  • Can you give me a breakdown of the total cost of ownership I will have the website?
  • How much am I paying for hosting?
  • How much am I paying for software licensing, maintenance, and support?  Is is a flat fee or hourly?
  • How much I am paying for ongoing content changes?  Is is a flat fee or hourly?

Experience Questions

  • Do you have a documented, repeatable process to plan and build websites?  Give me a written overview of the process?
  • Have you built websites like the one you are proposing to build for me?
  • Can you provide 5 website addresses of website you built like the one you are proposing to build for me?
  • Can you provide 5 references from companies you have built website for?
  • How many software driven websites have you developed?
  • Can you give me a list of at least 20 websites you have built?
  • How will I report and track issues / trouble tickets?
  • What are your office hours?  How can I get issues resolved after hours?
  • If you (the primary contact) decides to not do website development anymore, who will support my website?

Software Questions

  • Who owns the Intellectual Property rights to the software in my website?

10 Must Ask Questions

  1. How will I be charged?  By the hour or by the project?
  2. Can you provide a detailed breakdown of what I am paying for?
  3. Are there any future costs once the website design is completed?
  4. Will I have the easy ability to edit my website? If not, how much will edits cost?
  5. Will I own the website?
  6. Will I own the domain name?
  7. Will I have all the access information to all accounts related to the website?
  8. What information am I responsible for giving you?
  9. How long will it take?
  10. Can I have 3 clients that you have designed websites for?

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About author

Jarrett Gucci
Jarrett Gucci 289 posts

Jarrett Gucci is the owner of Dynasty Web Solutions. A full service Internet presence provider specializing in WordPress development for business owners. Jarrett Gucci along with his team of professionals have designed over 400 WordPress websites. Jarrett Gucci believes strongly in creating websites that are unique, functional and generate referrals.

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