The Top 10 Questions You Need to Ask a Potential Web Designer

Amanda Olson - Designer behind Anchor ‹A› Digital Design Co. and the Zag Blog

Hi, there!
I’m Amanda – a designer, WordPress guru, and dreamer.

Zag is the Anchor ‹A› blog dedicated to helping you reach your biggest business goals.

When looking for a web designer, you might feel overwhelmed. You don’t know where to start or the questions you should even ask. That’s why I made a list of important topics for you to chat about with them

1. Can I see your portfolio?

If you don’t love their aesthetic and it doesn’t fit with yours, it’s not worth forcing. Although designers can adapt to many different styles, finding someone who aligns with your style will help the process be smooth. A great designer will be well rounded, and have many items in their portfolio to show you that they are able to adapt to many different styles.

2. What is your lead-time? Do you have a list of milestones and check-ins?

When your needs and their lead-time don’t line up, there is bound to be disappointment. Evaluate your needs, and make sure the designer can meet those needs.

This is not to say that you should expect a designer to have a website done for you in two days. Go in with an open, flexible mindset. It’s important to remember that a longer timeline generally means that the process is more thorough and leads to a better end product.

Also make sure to discuss what they require of you during the process. Do they have specific times for reviews and feedback during the process? It helps the project stay on task when there is timely feedback from you during the process. Be familiar with their list of milestones and when to expect updates.

3. What’s your process?

When a designer can share their process, it means they know exactly what steps it’s going to take to consistently provide great results. It ensures that that once you start working with them, they’ll be able to take the lead and guide you the entire way. You won’t be forced to drive a process you know little to nothing about. That’s why you hired them, right?

4. Do you have a contract?

You want them to have a contract! Don’t let the idea of a contract scare you, because it is for the benefit of both parties. It isn’t only for the web designer’s benefit, it also protects you if something were to happen.

If they don’t have a contract, the designer probably hasn’t been in business for long and is possibly inexperienced. Newbies can be great, but it also means there might be some bumps along the road.

5. Are you familiar with the platform I’m using?

This might seem like a no brainer, but it is extremely important for them to be an expert at the platform you are using. They might be able to build you a fine website on any platform, but it will not be optimized to its full potential. Why? Simply speaking, they will spend more time (equaling money) learning as they go. They won’t be familiar with all the surprises that come up along the way. It’s important for your web designer to know the ins and outs of the platform to give you a full optimized website.

Remember, you are hiring them because they are the expert. If they aren’t the expert, you might be paying more and getting less.

6. Are you familiar with the industry I’m in?

It’s important the web designer knows the industry you are in. They will be aware of struggles and benefits of particular platforms. This will help you get the website of your dreams that fits your needs.

Another benefit of your web designer being familiar with your industry is they will be aware of required compliance. For example, ADA compliance. ADA compliance means your website accommodates people with disabilities. This is a huge thing for banks.

7. Do you include maintenance and SEO?

There is no avoiding it. Maintenance and changes to your website are inevitable. If you don’t want to, or don’t know how to handle them on our own, make sure they offer you these services. They are already familiar with the ins and outs of your site, which makes maintaining it easier.

The same goes for search engine optimization (SEO). A phenomenal website with no SEO gets your business nowhere.

8. How do you get to know your clients and their businesses?

In order for a web designer to bring your vision to life, they have to understand your business. You have that vision of it in your head, and it’s important to understand how they are going to bring that vision to reality.

If the designer does not take the time to get-to-know you, how are the able to create that vision? This is an extremely crucial step. They need to be familiar with your business in order for the final product to truly fit your business.

9. How many revisions do you offer?

Revisions are also unavoidable. Even if they know and understand your business perfectly, it isn’t going to be perfect on the first try. It’s all a part of the process, but you want to make sure their process gives you enough time and chances to perfect it. Do they offer unlimited revisions, one round, two rounds, etc?

#10 – Will you train me on how to make changes to my website on my own? What will that look like? A document / in-person meeting / call with screen sharing?

Say you opted out of #7, and you want to do it all yourself after your site is built. Make sure they offer training. It’s also important to remember that you might need a reference point after an initial training. Do they offer a training guide or video for reference later?

Share Your Thoughts

What’s the number one thing you want to know when hiring a designer?