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23 Questions to ask before hiring a web designer.

Oct 9, 2021 | Web Design, Mindset

Finding the right web designer’s a little like finding the right partner!

Maybe you need to go on a few dates, maybe it’s love at first sight, but before you take things to the next level you wanna be confident that you communicate well and that you’re on the same page about your goals and dreams for the future!

And you ask each other a bunch of questions as you’re getting to know each other, right? Because it’s not just about you deciding if they are the right fit for you, it’s also about them deciding if you’re the right fit for them!

I ask my potential clients a TON of questions before inviting them to work with me, and my favorite clients ask me a TON of questions before accepting my invitation!

It’s so important for me to make sure that my clients are a good fit for me as much as it is for them to make sure I’m a good fit for them!

And if I think someone would be better off with a different designer, I don’t hesitate to make a referral because ultimately, I want your project to be successful whether we work together or not.

So I went ahead and put together a list of 23 questions my best clients have asked me before saying YES to working together so that you can use it to interview your short-list of web designers (and get to know me a little bit better)!

Have a question I didn’t answer here? Hit reply and let me know!

Q. What platform do you use? The most popular platforms are WordPress, Squarespace + Wix. Make sure you understand the pros + cons of the platform your designer uses! A. I use WordPress, because it has so many free options for plugins and it has the best environment for SEO. It’s more of an advanced platform but it’s the best for business owners who don’t want to limit their business at scale.

Q. Do you purchase my domain and hosting or do I need to? The cost of a domain and hosting varies, but at the low end it’s about $100 a year. Be sure you know if it’s included in your package or not, and know that it is a recurring cost. A. I have my own shared server on the fastest WordPress hosting account available. I do all of the tech stuff to get your website hosted and maintained. If interested I offer plans at $225/ year.

Q. If you purchase my domain and hosting, do I own it? How can I access it? Make sure you own your site and your web address (URL, domain name). Your web designer should not have these accounts in their name. Those accounts should be in your name with logins shared with your designer securely using a tool like LastPass. A. Yes, you own your hosting and domain account and will receive login credentials securely via LastPass.

Q. What theme do you use (if applicable)? If your designer uses WordPress it’s important to know what theme your designer uses so that you can find support for that theme should you ever have to hire someone else. A. I use the DIVI theme for customers who want to edit their own websites. And GeneratePress if you want a really fast website. Typically generates 90+ Google page speed scores.

Q. Do you create my branding (fonts, colors, styles, etc.) and graphics (images) or do I need to hire someone else to do that? Some web designers do branding, graphic + web design Some just do the web designer from the branding and graphics you give them. Make sure you know what you’re getting. A. Depends on the package. But you’ll get everything you need to do it yourself regardless of the package you need.

Q. Do you do any copywriting? Most web designers will not write your website copy for you, although some offer this service. Be prepared to write your own copy (or hire it out). A. I do copywrite for clients that don’t have the time. ALL of my clients will receive a copywriting template that I made that will help you write copy effectively so that you can write sales copy that has been proven to generate results.

Q. What content do I need to provide? A. Count on having to provide a logo, images, all of your website copy, links to your social media profiles, product and service descriptions and anything you want to make sure is included on your site.

Q. Do you set up Google Analytics for your clients? Is that on your account or mine? A. Google Analytics is a must-have for tracking how people are finding your site, what pages they are looking at, who they are, and what they do. Make sure that your designer is setting this up for you but that YOU have the Google Analytics account and that you are providing the tracking code to your designer.

Q. How will you optimize my site for SEO? SEO is a lot of work and not necessarily the responsibility of your designer – but at the very least your designer should be installing an SEO plugin for you, configuring it and optimizing your overall site for SEO – then and showing you how to use it as you add content to your site. A. I’ve ranked hundreds of keywords in search. It’s an entire process in itself. For online coaches, the quickest and easiest way to rank is local. That is, to be listed in the map pack for when people search “personal trainer near me”. Doing so is very straightforward with the right process and can be accomplished in as little as 3 months. If this is something you’re interested in doing I can run a free audit and see what that would look like and how difficult it would be in your area.

Q. Do you back my site up or is that my responsibility? If you do backups, how often? Stuff happens, and someone should be backing up your site nightly. Find out if that person is you or your designer Even if the content doesn’t change that often. Keep one master backup, and then run a nightly backup. If you do this, no matter what happens you’ll be covered. If not, you risk losing your site. A. If I’m hosting the site, I keep nightly backups to mitigate website issues.

Q. Can you build a site that looks like this? (Meaning your own sketch, or a link to a site that you like). A. Make sure you are super detailed in what you’re looking for. Most designers can create any kind of design. If the design you want is more complex expect your designer to recommend a custom package. If it’s more simple and straightforward your designer may have a template option which is great for your budget!

Q. How do you protect my site from hackers? Your designer should be installing a security plugin like WordFence or Sucuri. There are free versions that do everything you need, so you shouldn’t have to pay extra. A. I have a variety of security measures on the domain and server levels.

Q. Do you maintain my site after our project is over? (i.e. updating WordPress Core, plugins, etc.) Find out if your web designer will be updating plugins and keeping your site to the latest version of WordPress. These actions are critical to protecting your site from hackers and keeping it running quickly and efficiently. If they are doing this, you should be. A. I offer a monthly package for $250 where I will maintain the entire site. This service also includes minor changes like image swapping, text, and alert changes, etc.

Q. Does my site come with an email address? How do I get that set up on my phone/laptop? Okay, so not REALLY the job of your web designer, but this usually comes with your domain and hosting. Find out if that’s something you’ll do yourself or if it’s part of their package. A. If I’m hosting the website then yes. I provide my clients with unlimited email addresses.

Q. What’s your process? If they can’t articulate their process to you… consider that a red flag. A. My entire process is detailed in the project planner for clear communication throughout the entire process.

Q. How do revisions work? Your designer should have a clear process for getting feedback from you and making the revisions you request, and your designer should tell you if any of your requests are out of the scope of your original project and give you the choice of moving forward with out-of-scope revisions or not – before just doing them and billing you for them! A. Depending on the package I have a limited amount of revisions for each project.

Q. How long will this project take? If the designer can articulate a clear process, they’ll likely have a clear timeline that they stick to easily. If not, that’s when projects can drag on for months longer than you’d expect. A. I stick to project deadlines! I don’t like projects that drag on. It’s bad for both parties.

Q. How do you prefer we communicate? If you’re a phone person and they are an email person, you might not be a match. Good communication is essential, so if neither of you is willing to meet in the middle that’s a warning sign that you and the designer might not be a great fit no matter how talented they are! A. I’m open to any line of communication.

Q. What time zone are you in?: A. EST.

Q. What’s your price range? A. Starting at: $1,000 – $5,000

Q. What are your payment terms? It’s normal for a web designer to require a deposit to reserve a spot on their development schedule, and even to require the balance to be paid in full before an exclusive booking (like if you booked them for a specific day) but it’s NOT normal for a web designer to require the entire balance of a long-term project upfront. There should be milestones that are met during the project before you are invoiced for the next part of the project, just like building a house! A. For more expensive packages it’s 3 payments. Due at start, middle, and end of the project milestones. For my $1,000 package, it’s 2 payments.

Q. Will, you train me on how to update my website? Your designer typically won’t update the content on your website unless they offer a specific content updates package, but you should expect your designer to empower you to understand your website and make updates. If they won’t train you, consider it a red flag. A. I can provide video training upon request.

Q. What if I need help after the project is over? Find out what options your designer has for hiring them to do more work after the project is over. Can you book them for an afternoon for tasks? Do they have a retainer option and if so how does it work?

A. I do offer a monthly service that includes minor updates. For anything over 30 minutes, I bill $100/hour in 15-minute increments.

I hope you feel more confident in choosing the right web designer for your project!

And if you’re a personal trainer who struggles with getting clients or clearing up time in your schedule and you want to free up your time by having a website that does everything for you so you can double your revenue and ultimately live a more fulfilling lifestyle, I’d love to chat more about working together.

Click here to check out my web design packages.

And click here to schedule a free no-pressure consultation!

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