A Web page has become the commercial base for the sale of products and services for any business. Your website is the center of your business which reflects your business services and products to online visitors.
That is why for many people creating a website is one of the first steps in creating a new business. Maybe you’re at that point now? In that case, it’s a magic moment
But getting a new website is not that simple. Hiring a right web design company is a tedious and important task. There are multiple Web design companies almost in every corner, and they all look the same! And speak in a technical language or jargon you do not understand! SEO, Adwords, CMS, WordPress, SEM, Analytics …
What madness! How to understand them? How do you know what you need? How do you compare offers? How to recognize the best option for your project? How to negotiate with them?
Business owners have a lot of doubts in the head and above all the fear of making a bad choice which will make you lose time and a lot of money when it comes to choosing right web design agency.
That’s why we bring you this article which will help you address all these issues.
At Helios7.com, our commitment to you during this guide is to offer impartial help and assistance during the difficult process of choosing the best web designer or agency for your website.
(Article Source) – BSolutions Technologies – Software Development, Web Design and Digital Marketing Services
You will need to learn some basic facts, very simple and you will understand, what to ask and demand from the Web design company before hiring them. This will allow you to evaluate your answers and make a wise decision about which is the right Company to work with and whom to avoid.
The ultimate goal is to choose a design company with the complete assurance that it will deliver an optimal web solution that covers every requirement of your business on the Internet.
41 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Design Agency
Q.1 Have you done other similar web projects? Can I see examples?
A good starting point for evaluating a web design company is to see that other web projects similar to the one you have in mind they have developed.
Any reliable company will have no problem in showing its client list and giving complete information of the Web projects made to each one of them. Let all your alarms jump if they say “It’s the Top-Secret and their clients are Aliens who do not wish to share anything with humans on earth” :).
But a Web is not just about delivering a nice design. Ask about the service and experience you will get when working with them.
You can ask for testimonials or references to know the level of satisfaction of their existing/previous customers. In this sense, many web design companies offer testimonials directly on their website, which is surely a good sign! But in other cases, you may have to ask for referrals directly.
Q.2 Can I meet, speak or chat with the team that will develop my web project?
This question will reveal at the moment if the Web design company has a team of experts for your project or, on the contrary, subcontract them to other outsourcing agencies which will become a headache for you. Run away in that case without looking back!
It is important to know the team of the company, the experience and the scope of each of them in your Web project.
Q.3 Are you going to outsource any part or phase of the web project?
Some Web design companies, especially the smaller ones, may need to subcontract and outsource certain phases of your Web project, especially if it has some special feature or need.
As long as it is only some specific phases and not most of the project, you can accept it with peace of mind.
But in such cases, in the same way, as with the Web design company, ask for examples of similar Web projects made and references of those subcontracted companies.
Q.4 How are we going to communicate and how often?
Each Web design company has a method of communicating with its customers: there are those who are communicative with the customer throughout the process of Web design and, on the contrary, there are those who prefer to only contact the client to show proposals or final deliveries.
Similarly, some Web designers prefer to have continuous face-to-face meetings, to address several topics at once. Others instead work perfectly having frequent conversations to deal with certain doubts or details by phone, Skype or Email.
Note: If your requirements are specific to just 10-25 Page Business website then you might not require frequent communication with the team.
Q.5 Will the design of my web page be responsive?
Currently, with more than 50% of online visitors will access your website using their mobile phone, and this number is increasing month by month. Therefore, it is an obligation for any company that their web page to be completely responsive and mobile-friendly.
Also, Google and other search engines give preference to websites which are responsive and mobile friendly. There is a speculation that non-responsive web pages re going to disappear little by little from their lists of results!
But what is a responsive/mobile friendly web page? It is one that perfectly adapts to any computer, tablet and mobile phone, maintaining at all times the good visibility, size, and navigation through it. That will make it easier for you to find yourself on the part of mobile users and much more likely to end up getting your data, query or purchase You should ask your web responsive yes or yes!
Q.6 Will you create wireframes designs (visual structures) before designing the Web?
The wireframes are the design of the visual structure of the Web, that is the visual representation of how different content will be distributed therein.
The design of wireframes is not the design of the Web nor its contents; is to define tables and zones where each block of information or element on the Web will end at the end.
Why is it so important? Because an experienced designer knows how crucial it is to take the time to design them conscientiously; placing a banner to buy, in one area or another of the Web, can finally influence the sales obtained much more than it may seem to you now.
Q.7 How many web design proposals will you send?
It is common for working with web designers to indicate certain limits, especially in the number of design proposals and change requests. But to achieve an optimum result, we believe that there should never be less than two design proposals and five change requests.
Anyway, if before the Web design wireframes have been designed, as we mentioned in the previous point, it is very probable that the first design proposed is your complete pleasure and only remains to define aspects much simpler as colors, typographies, and images.
It is clear that the result of the Web design must be perfectly and completely to your liking before starting the assembly of the Web, at any cost and without excuses.
Q.8 Will the design be consistent with my brand? Can I bring ideas?
If your company already has a brand image designed, you will surely want the Web to follow that image and be consistent, right? In that case, make sure the creative ability of the company to suit your case.
On the other hand, at the beginning of the project, any company will ask for much information about your philosophy, corporate identity, aesthetic criteria, etc. It will be a moment that will be very enriching because you will feel a true participant in the definition of the design.
Q.9 What if I did not like any of the proposed designs?
Usually, Web design companies offer a number of design proposals included in the budget. Then they charge a fixed amount for each additional design proposal that the client requests.
Note: You can ask for a FREE templates/preview of your website before they start working on it.
Q.10 What CMS manager will you use to create my web page?
A Content Management System (CMS ) manager is a Web platform from where you can update and make changes to the contents of your Web page in the future.
We strongly recommend to any company that requests that its Web page has this technology; all are benefits.
Of all the CMS available in the market, the most recommended by far is WordPress.
It is very important that you request the installation of a CMS to the Web designers; you will be completely autonomous in the management of your web page, and you will not depend on them every two by three.
Q.11 If you use WordPress will you use a predesigned Web design or will it be completely customized?
When a Web with a CMS like WordPress is designed, it can be through the template, called theme ( theme ), or as a complement and programming it from scratch.
The main difference between one system or another lies in the price; using a template (pre-developed design) is very economical while doing it from scratch makes the project more expensive.
The great advantage of designing a web from scratch is exclusivity; you will never find another web page that is the least of your own. While end up discovering an identical web page, yours does not “spring” …
So what can be the ideal solution? We believe that something intermediate: starts from a pre-designed theme but dedicates time and work by the Web designers to personalize it to your brand and create something unique ¡And Voila! You will achieve a virtually unique design at a very competitive price. Sounds good right?
Whatever your preference and economic possibility, it is important to know what you will pay and receive from the beginning. Without trap or cardboard.
Q. 12 Will I be able to see at all times how the Website is being designed and created?
Some Web design companies will be able to provide you with private access so that you can always see how the construction of your website is going.
That’s cool! Because it will allow you to detect any detail that has not been well understood, or that you do not like how it is finally before development progresses too much and is complex to change.
Therefore, try to have Web designers offer this possibility in all phases of the project accompanied by their agreement in which you make revisions and suggestions.
Q.13 Will the website be easy to use for any user? Will you test?
It is clear that you want your entire Web page to be easy to use for any user, or the vast majority; on the home page, in the product catalog, in the buying process. Let’s all go!
Every good Web designer must have a very hand in hand all the aspects that influence the usability and the user experience. You should not hesitate to give you solid answers and assurances regarding any questions you may have in this regard.
In the same way, it is very interesting that from the Web design company tests are performed to detect programming errors, incompatibility between browsers, form functionality, links, scripts and many other elements of the Web.
Q.14 Will the page be validated by W3C or another similar validation system?
A “validated” Web page means that its HTML and CSS structures and codes comply with all rules established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which defines what code is valid and which code is not.
Having a web page with validated code guarantees its correct visualization in any device and browser. But even more importantly, it will benefit the good positioning of your Web in Internet search engines. Google loves validated web pages!
Q.15 How will you work the positioning (SEO) of my Web in the search engines? Do you offer guarantees?
Making your website appear well positioned in search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo should be key to your company when it comes to hiring a Web project because, otherwise, what would be the meaning of the Web project if no one is going to find?
A Web page appears well positioned in search engines depends on many SEO (factors Search Engine Optimization ): design and information structure ( wireframes ), content and keywords, internal and external links, and a long list of factors to take into account at all stages of the development of the website. Not in vain is considered the most demanding and complex part of Web development; the real test of fire for any Web design company.
The most important part of SEO is Web content. Will the company review all the texts and optimize them in SEO? It is crucial that it be so; the extra results obtained will make it well worth it.
You should make sure that the design firm has genuine SEO experts; It is not as easy to find as it may seem. Again ask for information, references, and guarantees.
Q.16 Do you have experience in positioning local businesses in proximity searches?
For local businesses or with a physical presence, the vast majority, appearing in the first results of local searches is still vital to attracting customers, is it your case?
If your web page is optimized for local SEO, it will always appear that a user, who is nearby, does a search related or relevant to your business, product or service that you offer.
So, if that is your case, make sure the web design company has local SEO experts; they should offer you examples of local web projects done along with information on achievements and references.
Q.17 Will you do market studies and my competition before designing the Web site?
As a business you want a Web that helps you sell more, right?
But, how to achieve an effective Web that sells? Of course, your comments and point of view as a customer is key, you know how to sell your product or services, but it is very necessary to expand the focus; we need objective data from the sector. It is crucial to do market research on the Internet.
On the other hand, you should also analyze the competition and see what is doing, not to copy, but to see what they believed was the best solution to attract customers. The ultimate goal is to gather as much information as possible to achieve a successful solution.
Q.18 Will you do A / B tests to define the most effective web design commercially?
It consists of creating two different versions of the same page, such as the main page. One of the versions has a design element while the second version has another element or some variant.
Both versions are tested on the Internet, and then the data obtained is checked to find out which version the user desired action was achieved by the user: click a button, subscribe to the newsletter, buy a product, etc.
In the same way, more A / B tests are applied to each element until the perfect Web design is achieved.
It is the ideal way to discover the design options that best convert visits to potential clients. But very few web design companies offer this practice because it is an expensive process. Therefore, for certain budgets can be a very interesting option to value.
Q.19 How are we going to achieve conversions on the Web? How will it help my business?
First of all, what is a conversion? It is the action that we want a user to do on your website: get in touch with you, sign up for your newsletter, download your catalog, make a purchase, etc.
It is important that, before contacting a Web design company, you must know exactly what real objectives and conversions you want to achieve through your Web, which will depend on your budget, the type of company as well as the products or services that you offer
And then you have to make sure that the Web designers understand what conversions you want to achieve, to offer you a reliable and proven strategy according to the website.
Q.20 Will my web page grow if my business grows? Will it have an additional cost?
Your goal as a business is to grow, but what happens when you want your Web to grow too ?, add new Web sections ?, write new news ?, increase the number of products?
If you have a content manager (CMS) as well developed WordPress should not have a problem; you should be able to do it yourself without any cost or need to contact the Web designers.
So what if you do not have CMS or your CMS has any limitation? Avoid surprises and ask the web design company directly.
Q.21 If I have CMS, will you teach me to use it and make the changes myself?
Content managers (CMS), like WordPress, are fantastic! They allow you to be able to make almost any change in the website by yourself, without having to pay a Web designer and zero cost. Sounds good right? But inevitably for this, you will have to devote some time and learn how to use it.
Learning to use a CMS yourself can be a tedious and desperate job, so ideally it would form the chosen Web design company; the authentic experts of your Web and who know in detail all their secrets and shortcuts.
Make sure the web design company includes this training, as well as a free support service for any questions you may have with the use of the CMS.
Q.22 Should I give you all the texts? Are you in charge of content-writers?
It is very common that the development of a Web page is delayed because the Web design team is waiting to receive the texts by the client. And it is that many clients underestimate the time it takes to create the effective texts for the Web.
It is highly recommended that you have all the texts prepared from the beginning.
But even if you think you’ll have time for it, will you be able to create effective texts that “sell”? Online marketing experts say that content is king; a successful Web can only be one that communicates effectively.
For most web projects, it is a very wise decision to hire the services of what we call a copy-writers ; Web writing experts, who can be writers, advertisers, public relations, etc.
Q.23 Regarding the photographs, should I deliver them? Or do you get them?
All Marketing reports indicate that using real company photographs is the best way to communicate with Web users and that better conversions are achieved.
But they must be quality images; made by photographers and with professional material. Take advantage of the meeting with the Web design company to ask for a quote; they will often work with photographers in the area and will be able to achieve good prices.
Other times, depending on the profile of your company, you may need to use image bank photographs. In that case, ask the Web designers if they can give you access to some bank of images, or you can get and propose the necessary photographs for your Web and the cost that would entail.
Q.24 Can I link my social networks to my website?
It seems obvious, right? Well, you can not imagine the problems that some Web designers see in it if they were not warned from the beginning …
Try to be a complete and even automated link: for example, that every time you publish news on the Web page automatically appears on the company Facebook or Twitter, or that from a simple button the user can share your Web or product on your Facebook, etc.
There are many possibilities and very interesting to link the website with social networks. And vice versa.
Q.25 Will you include an option to subscribe to my email list?
More than 59% of B2B advertisers have confirmed that Email is the most effective way to generate revenue.
The email List is Key to Marketing for Any Company, Right? Then you must have a system of the capture of emails from the first day of publication of your Web.
To do this, the Web design company should add create the account, if you do not already have it, and add simple and effective subscription forms for the users of your Web.
Q.26 What security measures will you take on my website so that it is not infected / hacked?
If the Web design company does not install all the security measures in your Web page, it will be a matter of time for it to become infected, pirated, and losing all the data that it contained. Let’s go!
Web designers should ensure that they install the latest security measures, which in the case of a CMS like WordPress are exclusive security plugins.
But eye, it is not enough to install security systems; the whole system should be kept up to date. Otherwise, an unincorporated security system can make your Web as vulnerable as if it did not have such a system.
Therefore, the Web design company must offer and guarantee a periodic plan to update all the systems available to your web page.
Q.27 Does the web domain service and web hosting are offered by the Web Design Company?
This question is of tremendous importance; will let you know the transparency of the Web design company.
If a company tells you that the web domain service and web hosting service is offered internally then run fast without looking back!
Why do we tell you? You see, the company will tell you that they do so to avoid “inconvenience” to the customer, but nothing annoying: It’s a 5-minute process!
But the worst thing is that you will be “tied” by the Web design company, and the day you want to change Web hosting company, or Web design company will be the beginning of all your problems.
Also, what would happen if the Web design company entered into payment defaults with its supplier ?, or cease its activity? Phew! Everything points to a dramatic final for you where you end up losing your Web domain, Web page, email accounts Email A mess goes!
Note: 99% of the web design agencies are not Web Hosting or Web Domain registrars.
Q.28 What domain and web hosting company do you recommend? Can you manage it in my name?
It is tremendously interesting to know the recommendations of the Web design company for your project; the fruit of his experience and knowing all the technical needs of your future Web.
But attention, you are asking for recommendations; at no time should you feel compelled by the Web design company to hire the Web hosting with a particular company. Suspect if this is the case!
Finally, it is a good detail to assess if the Web design company offers to perform all the steps to register the Web domain and hire the Web hosting. But look! Always doing it directly to your name and making the payments directly to your card or bank account. No intermediaries, please!
Q.29 Will you create a Google Analytics account and be able to access my web statistics autonomously?
Google Analytics is the best analytics system for your website. And also completely free forever, take now! You must make the most of it, yes or no! And from the first day, you launch your website.
But it can be a bit complicated to create an account in Analytics and install it on the Web. Nor anything of the other world.
But it is appreciated and appreciated that the Web design company offers this possibility for free; they have it very hand, in hand and it will not take them more than 15 minutes to complete the process.
Q.30 Will you configure an automatic system of daily backups of the Web and its databases?
That you decide to have a backup system that makes a daily copy of your entire Web page and databases is a fantastic and much-needed idea. Because if you delete something from your Web page without wanting to, or if you infect / pirate the Web page, you could recover the backup from the previous day in a few minutes. Sounds great, right?
Also, more and more web hosting companies offer a daily backup service for free and, although they are certain limitations, for most companies is enough.
But if you need more, or if the chosen hosting company does not offer this system, it should be the Web design company that offers you an effective and guaranteed solution. Because there is a lot at stake that this system works perfectly.
Q.31 Once the Web is launched, who will manage and maintain the Web programs?
Each time Web pages have more programs (software) such as content managers (CMS) type WordPress.
Not keeping this software updated on time, apart from being able to cause many security problems as mentioned above, can cause incompatibilities with the Web server, display problems in browsers and mobile phones, Google SEO penalties, etc.
Updating these programs requires certain technical knowledge, so it will be interesting to know what solutions the Web design company offers for it and what its cost from its inception. Some companies offer a particularly economic development cost and then inflate the periodic prices of this later maintenance. Pay attention and watch closely.
Q.32 Once the Website is published, will I receive support and support when I need it?
Almost in all probability, once the Web page has been published, you will still need, for a certain time, support from the Web design company to use the services that the Web offers, the CMS content manager, email accounts, changes in the Web or the hosting server, etc.
It is important to choose a Web design company that offers and includes a guaranteed, effective and generous after-sales service and technical support.
Otherwise, it is very possible that you end up needing to outsource this service with great frustration, loss of time and additional expenses on your part.
Q.33 Will I have full access keys to all Web services? CMS, Google, cPanel, FTP, etc.
Like a good relationship you have with the Web design company, you do not want to be tied to it, right?
Make sure you have all the complete access data to all the internal and external services that your Web page uses. From the content manager to Google Analytics statistics, the web server control panel and Email server, etc.
You will need to have all this information if you ever decide to change your Web design company or Web hosting company.
Even if you do not want to change companies, we recommend you to claim this information, yes or no, even if it is to be “caught” if the Web design company closes tomorrow.
Q.34 What if you disappear in the future?
Following the line of the previous questions, we already know that companies arise and disappear overnight, right? No matter whether you are an independent professional or a large company; this is no longer a guarantee of anything.
The Web design company should reassure you in this aspect by ensuring that all services related to your web page will be directly in your name and you will have all the keys to access them as a client: Web domain, Web hosting, CMS content manager, accounts Google, Paypal, etc.
And when the time comes make sure that the Web design company fulfills these promises, right!
Q.35 If at any point I would like to move the Web to another web hosting company, would you help me?
If you notice that your Web page has problems, slow loading or disconnects continuously, you will have to consider moving it to another web hosting company that guarantees better performance.
This transfer process does not require a lot of time, but some technical knowledge you probably do not have but the Web design company itself.
Faced with this hypothetical case, it is useful to know the predisposition of the Web design company to help you at that time.
Q.36 How much time will you need to develop the website?
Faced with this question you must get a solid and realistic response from the Web design company, based on everything discussed above.
The company must offer maximum commitment to meet the deadlines and development times, in writing, as well as what would happen in case of non-compliance.
Likewise, make sure you know exactly what is expected of you at all times in the process; what material you must deliver and what decisions you must make. To speed up the whole process, consider yourself obligated to meet all deadlines on your own.
Q.37 How much do you usually charge for designing a web page?
Typically, the Web design company needs to evaluate all the information in detail before you want to indicate an approximate price for your Web project. That’s fine; there are many technical details to study and comment internally to calculate the budget of your Web project.
However, it would be interesting to know what price moves in the design of Web pages and then to know what position your Web page occupies within that scale; will give you an orientation of the level of complexity that your project assumes to the company.
Q.38 What is the total price and terms of payment?
You need to know the total cost of the Web project with everything commented previously included, no surprises, of course!
Ask for a disaggregated budget to know what it costs each phase of the project or service that includes; will allow you to know from now what it will cost to renew certain services, if any, or to complain about any misunderstanding during development.
Make sure you are very clear about the terms of payment; every reputable Web design company will ask you to pay approximately half of the total cost in advance and the rest after the publication of the website. Of course, these conditions can be modified slightly to finish adapting to your economic possibilities.
But distrust and much of any company that is very flexible in this aspect or even that you request payment in advance; shows despair and its solidity as a company is more than questionable.
Q.39 Of all what is offered, what will be a single payment and what amount needs to be paid periodically on monthly, basis?
When you contract a Web page, there are services that have a fixed and unique cost, such as the development of the Web itself, but there are also services available on your website that need to be renewed and paid periodically, usually every year.
We talk about expenses such as the Web domain service, Web hosting, email list manager, certain extensions of your CMS manager, payment gateways, etc.
All these services have a periodic cost that can also vary from time to time, either by an increase of rates that your provider makes or because your web page grows and with it the needs of the services that it has.
Q.40 Will we make a web development contract?
You’d be surprised how many web design companies get “out of the loop” and do not make Web development contracts to their customers!
What good is it to have done all the above questions if all your demands and conditions are not written in a document? No problem and that can only lead to misunderstandings and frustration.
Either you start with a web design company that, transparently and looking after your interests, does not offer you from the outset to leave all your needs and conditions in writing for your complete peace of mind and guarantee to end up acquiring a web according to it all.
Q.41 What is your policy regarding the possibility of designing web pages for my competitors?
You must have a clear intention to do so because there is no clear or incorrect answer.
If the company has designed in the past a Web for a company in the same sector, it already has a great experience from which you will benefit; you will know what works and what does not. That is very good for you! True?
If they have worked for your competitors, then you can ask for a design better than your competitors rather the usual Phew! What a conflict of interest … Everything will depend on your priorities regarding your business strategy.
Let’s face it, there are many ” pirates “; self-proclaimed companies ” experts in Web design ” taking advantage of the great demand that this service currently has.
We are sure this Guide will help you select best web design company.
Not all web designers are the same, quite the opposite! So be well informed and ask lots of questions, all the ones that are written here and any other that happens to you, before making any decision.
All with one goal; have complete security and all the guarantees that your future web page will not only be “pretty,” but will be a profitable commercial investment for your business that will generate conversions: quality contacts, leads and, ultimately, more importantly, loyal customers.
We hope you find this guide extremely useful the next time you talk to a possible designer for your future Web project. Good luck with your project! (I.e.
You will need to learn some basic knowledge, very simple you will see, to know what to ask and demand the Web design company before hiring anything. This will allow you to evaluate your answers and make a wise decision about who is interesting to work with and who to avoid.
The ultimate goal is to choose a design company with the complete assurance that it will deliver an optimal web solution that covers every one of the needs of your business on the Internet.