So, you decided to get a website made for your business, or you had a look at your current website and decided it’s time for a revamp. Not a web developer yourself? Need to commission someone to do it for you? Well here’s what to do…
Before choosing your preferred web developer, you need to ask them a few questions. Not all web developers are equal, so to make your life simpler we have compiled your list of 10 essential questions to ask your web developer to help you get the best company/person to do your website:
- What services are included and is it done in-house?
- Do they just offer web development or do they include hosting of the site and emails?
- Will they do the copywriting, image sourcing and design, photography, etc.?
- Do they offer SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), PPC & CPC (Pay-per-Click & Cost-per-Click) ad management?
- What platforms and web standards do you use?
This will quickly expose someone who is inexperienced. Web standards are what ensures that the website is developed in a way that it can evolve with technology and stay relevant. The type of coding, platforms, and technology used are important when considering this.
Some examples of current standards are:
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
- XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language)
- HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
- Drupal (Content Management Systems)
- How long have you been using the platforms and can you supply reference site?
By reviewing websites that they have already developed you will get an idea of their style and skill levels, and if this is suited to your vision and needs.
- What do they require from you?
Remember they don’t know or understand your business as you do. Find out in what format they will require the background information on your company:
- Will they optimise your content for SEO and web optimisation?
- Do you need to supply images and if so in what format?
- How compatible will your website be?
- Will the website be responsive (automatically adjust to different mobile screen sizes)?
- How will the website integrate with social media and social sharing?
- How long will the development take?
- When is the website expected to go live?
- Will there be a test phase to ensure you are happy with the website before it goes public?
- After completion who is responsible for future changes or updates?
Will they give you access to the design source files and full ownership of the website on completions?
If so, you will need accesses to the following:
- FTP access
- WP Admin access
- Database access
- Domain and DNS setting access
- What level of security will your website and hosting have?
If your website does not have a high level of security in place, you will be vulnerable to errors, bugs, spam and hackers.
Things to find out about are:
- Will your site be hosted on a secure web server with SSL or will it be an openly shared server?
- Do they incorporate any anti-spamming and security plugins within the development?
- Do they offer support and maintenance post development?
- After the website goes live, where does that leave you?
- Do they offer updates and compatibility patches as technology change?
- Do they offer any backup and restore features?
- If they do is this on an as-needed, ongoing, or retainer arrangement?
- How is the pricing structured and what is included and what is excluded?
It is important to confirm the costs and ask for a formal quote so that both you and the developer have a clear understanding of the budget set out for the website. Confirm what the prices are to update content, and make minor and major edits.
It is important to make sure you have a full understanding of what is expected from your company and what your web developer will be responsible for. Be well prepared for a meeting with your developer to ensure you get the best out of the service they offer.