Unfortunately, I regularly hear horror stories from clients who come to Designed For Momentum due to web design projects gone awry. Two of the most common dilemmas I hear include: “I’ve hired someone to design my site, and now they’ve disappeared!” Ugh. The other common issue? “I hired my friend to design my site and he tried his best but….it’s sort of an eyesore and I don’t know how to tell him I don’t like it.” Ouch. These situations are both frustrating and costly. If you’re about to dive into a web design rebranding project, here are some questions to ask your web designer to ensure that the finished product accurately reflects what your business is all about. And that you get the service you deserve!
What is your background?
First and foremost, you’ll want to hire someone who’s actually trained as a designer. Some people try to bill themselves as both a developer and a designer, when in reality their qualifications aren’t up to par. Remember: just because they can build a functioning website, doesn’t mean they’ll be able to adequately bring your vision for your brand to life online visually. To make sure you’re choosing the right person for the job, one of the most important questions to ask your web designer involves their training and experience. What is their process like? How long have they been doing what they do? Also, take note of the questions they have for you before they get to work. Your designer should dig deeper and work to get a pulse for what your business is all about. This may include questions about the colors you like, other sites that inspire you, your story and core message, and the words that you’d want to use to describe your site.
I always encourage business owners to bring examples of their branding materials to their initial design meeting. This helps the professional you’ve hired to fully understand the aesthetic you’re hoping to achieve. Still have a lot of question marks in place as far as your vision for your brand goes? I suggest putting everything else on hold and focusing your energy there with a graphic designer. The clients that find the most success with their web design process are those that have their business’s messaging fully cemented.
What is your timeline for completing my project?
Discussing a timeline for the project sets expectations and prevents future frustration. But while you need your designer to hold up their end of the arrangement, remember that you directly impact your site’s launch date as well. I’ve seen many projects grind to a halt as we wait for a client to write copy or gather photos. To avoid a delay, one of the questions to ask your web designer should be about the elements you’ll need to have ready in order for the site to go live.
What resources do you have available to me?
If thinking about writing copy and gathering photos sends you into a panic, ask your developer about resources they may have available to you. At Designed For Momentum, we offer our clients copywriting and photography services for an additional fee to alleviate the stress of these time-consuming tasks.
What kind of guidance can you provide?
A designer is there to bring your vision to life, but at Designed For Momentum, I also serve as a marketing coach. I provide my clients with guidance on writing so they can be found on the web, how to tell their story to connect with prospective clients and suggestions on how they can guide their ideal clients through their website. Seek out someone who is able to offer tips on all aspects of the process so your website can have the maximum impact.
What happens after the site is built?
Make sure you’re clear on exactly what happens when your site is live and attracting eyes on the Internet. Are you required to pay monthly maintenance fees? What kind of training will you receive so that you’re able to make changes on your own? Are you paying for your hosting and your URL separately? These are all important questions to ask your web designer. At Designed For Momentum, we teach all of our clients how to update their sites, and don’t require (though we do recommend) a monthly maintenance contract.
Do you have references?
The right designer will have a strong portfolio to comb through so you can verify that your styles are in sync. Additionally, they should be able to provide you with names of satisfied past clients who will talk to you about their experience with this individual.