When deciding to build a website from scratch or redesigning the current one for your business it can be extremely nerve wracking to instill complete trust in a web design consultant that you may have not worked with in the past. Because of the fact that your website is as much a part of your business as a brick and mortar shop might be it is incredibly important to create a website that attracts business and does have your current customers flocking away. Below is a detailed checklist for you to use while interviewing consultants before hiring them to build your site.
If you’re a high-impact professional, especially an entrepreneur, then spending your time compiling a bunch of information into a useful format is not worth it, and your end result won’t be on par with what domain experts can offer. Any hours you might spend researching are hours that you could have spent improving your own product, which has an order of magnitude greater effect in terms of 1) saving your future time and 2) multiplying your future funds. – ProductComms
When talking to consultants be sure to:
- Check who they are –
The web consulting firm you choose doesn’t have to be a big time agency with a massive office and tons of overhead but at the same time you want a professional. Trying to avoid family members, friends of friends, and that one guy who sits in the back during church hours is optimal. It is important to avoid these “developers” because they have nothing to lose while working on your site and most of the time they lack the experience in problem solving. Aside from the skill necessary to finish your project, developed businesses have a reputation to live up to, contract to adhere to, if there are any issues it is also much easier to get them on the phone.
- Check their website –
Your design firm should have a good website. Responsive, optimized, and fresh looking. You don’t have to agree with the layout or the colors but you do have to agree with the functionality. If their site looks like it hasn’t been updated since Y2K then it definitely sounds like finding another option is your best bet.
Don’t forget to ask:
- For portfolio and references –
Most good consultants have a page on their site where you can look at some projects they have worked on but most of the time you can also ask them for references that you can call and ask a former customer if they were happy with their experience with that company.
- What type of elements will my site include –
The consultant should immediately answer that question with questions of his own. “What type of services do your plan to provide on your site?” “Is there going to be payment processing?” The point is that they should not be able to answer that question without obtaining more information from you about what your goals are and how you want to get there.
- What other services will you provide and how are they priced –
Asking what comes with the site aside from design and development is a good question. Ask about marketing strategies, social media schemes, and SEO(search engine optimization) work. Ask for hard statistics from past projects regarding increasing traffic and revenue.
- How do you plan to build my site –
How is the project ensured to be executed properly? Will it be mobile responsive? Is there a set and defined processing and booking? Do they plan to use templates to complete the site or is it being built from scratch? When asking this question keep in mind that template sites should not be anywhere as costly as building one from the ground up.
- Where is my site being built –
More and more web design consulting firms are outsourcing their work to cheaper countries. Although a cheaper option most times, it still poses problems in the long term for your site. Giving sensitive and personal information to someone overseas without knowing their reputation is risky. Working in different timezone than your outsourced develop could leave you with constant headaches when trying to get them on the phone or even trying to get passed the language barrier.
- How long will it take to build –
Sometimes smaller companies will tell you they can do it in a week when in actuality it should take much longer. While shopping around take note of the time frame each firm gives you and compare all of them. Companies who give you an unrealistic due date are most likely inexperienced or outsourcing work along with templates.