12 Website Design Questions to Ask Your Web Developer
Below, we've provided 12 key website design questions that you should ask your website developer before engaging in a project. We value the fact that our clients are well informed and would like to ensure that you are too. These website design questions are just a few that popped into our minds but feel free to reach out to us if you have any website design questions that you'd like to see added or answered.
1. How long is your average turn-around time for a project from start to finish?
Turnaround time for website design projects varies per company. Sometimes a developer will require up to 2-3 months for even the smallest projects. Others will produce projects in just 4-6 weeks. On a rare occasion some designers will even do a project within a week or two. Obviously, there are a lot of factors that go into the answer to this question and it will always fluctuate depending on the scope of work but if your website is expected to be less then ten pages, with minimal functionality then shoot for a 4-6 turnaround. We guarantee you can find a designer that will produce it.
2. Do you have a portfolio available online for review?
All good website designers should have a portfolio that is available to potential clients. The portfolio should contain work from a related field to your own, showcase the developers technical skills and provide details into each project. If done correctly, a designers portfolio will help you better determine if they are a good fit.
3. What CMS do you plan on using for my site?
The CMS or content management system used to develop your website is one of the most important factors to consider. If the wrong one is chosen then it could cost you thousands in redeveloping a project again in the future. It's best to choose a developer that will use a leading CMS. Today's leading content management systems include WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. We personally prefer to use WordPress and stick by it's endless abilities but all three prove to support flexible growth for projects.
4. Is my project going to be a custom build or based on a pre-developed theme?
Okay, we'll start by disclaiming that not all pre-developed themes are bad. In fact, there are some like the Avada WordPress theme that are a fantastic solution for those who would like to design their own website. In fact, we've provided a resource on our own website that users can find the best themes on the market.
Unfortunately, when looking to develop a higher end, flexible, growth oriented and multifunctional site, themes generally have their limitations. That's why we suggest a custom build if any of the descriptors above sound like they fit your project. Think ahead, go custom.
5. Will the website you build be fully responsive and mold to various devices?
Website design projects must be responsive these days. It's not an option to produce a website that doesn't scale to various devices. A solid responsive website will mold to all phones, tablets and desktops without negatively effecting the user experience. User experience is a keyword here but there is another reason that your website must be responsive. Google... As of 2012, Google began their efforts to ensure that all websites that are responsive rank better than those that are not. This has been heavily reflected in their mobile responsive algorithm. If you're going to dig into a new website design project then make sure it's going to be responsive.
6. What kind of SEO will you be doing on the back-end of my website before launch?
All good website development companies perform SEO or search engine optimization on each website design project. SEO services should include, the submission of the site to top search engines, robot.txt and sitemap setup, ongoing SEO plugin integrations and configuration, and keyword/keyphrase weighting on all pages.
Think of your own website design questions while reading? Get them answered here.
7. What is going to be our strategy for data collection and is there anywhere we can improve on it?
Data collection is vital to the short and long-term success of a website. Effective growth comes from ongoing user visits, increased time on site and solid content distribution. Make sure your website developer creates a strategy for the content that you have available and for obtaining key user data that pushes future growth. This can be accomplished through forms, downloadable content, interactive media sessions and more. The opportunities are endless.
8. How are the security protocols executed going to protect my website?
Out of all of our website design questions listed in this blog, this is one of our favorites. Why? Because most website developers over look this important project element during the website design process. This is a question that we strongly encourage you to ask your website development company.
Here are just a few items that you should become familiar with and consider the security measures for during the buildout of your website development project.
• Login Credentials
• Brute Force Attacks
• Malware Scans
Interested in learning more about the website design security process after reading these website design questions? Get started here.
9. What are your website backup standards?
It's essential that you backup your website on a regular basis. It's too often that we hear a potential client discussing the issues they had with their website being down due to a lack of updates, security problems, etc. Creating backups of your website on a recurring basis ensures that you will be able to be back up and running within minutes of an issue occurring. Having a backup also allows you to bypass all of the potential troubleshooting that goes into finding the answers to errors. Most developers use backup tools and provide them to their clients as part of their project. The backup tool will often run automatically and on a frequent basis storing those backups on your server or another designated location. In our case, we use BackupBuddy as it's one of the most widely used backup solutions on the market. Make sure your developer has a backup method ready for you!
10. What kind of updates will my site require?
No matter what CMS (Content Management System) you are using, updates will be required to some capacity. Themes, plugins, .php versions and more need to be updated to ensure patches are executed and improvements are added. An updated site has a significantly reduced chance of either being hacked or broken due to a misconfiguration, conflict or hole in the websites code. Make sure you review how to update your site on a regular basis. You'll thank yourself for taking just a few minutes every other week to do so.
11. Do you provide maintenance packages for your clients?
The answer to this question is more of a follow up to website design question #10. If you feel like you don't have enough time to update your website yourself or you are incapable of overcoming the technical learning curve then make sure your website developer can handle this for you on a recurring basis. Website maintenance is a general necessity to ensure a website is healthy. The cost should be minimal; generally between $30-$60 per month. Trust me, that price is worth your piece of mind and potentially avoiding paying hundreds due to errors and breaks. Your website development company should be checking the following things during their maintenance review:
• Themes (Child and Parent)
• WordPress Version
• Backup Status
• Security Logs
12. What is your hourly rate in case I would like to further develop my site in the future?
The hourly rate of website developers varies due to a handful of factors including experience, location, workload, etc. The average hourly cost of a website developer in our particular market is between $80-$120 per hour. Our hourly is $95 per/hour. Make sure to ask for your website developers hourly rate in case you would like to make edits, add pages, add functionality, or if you have issues in the future. Establishing an hourly rate will often ensure you've been locked into it in the future and will help you better estimate potential website design expenses.
Obviously, these are just a handful of website design questions that you should be asking your web developer before you jump into a project. We hope that the questions above were helpful. If you have more website design questions that you would like to see answered feel free to contacts us at this link to submit them. We will make our best attempt to write about them in the near future. If you need immediate assistance, fill out our quick contact form on our home page.
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