If you are looking into investing in a website but don’t know a lot of information about how websites and web design works, it’s OK, you can relax.
As long as you know the right type of answers to ask your developer when getting a quote, you won’t be taken for a ride. However, taking some time to research what things you would like on your website–specialized text and images, video, slideshows, ecommerce etc.- is extremely beneficial to you so that you have an idea of what you’re looking for and an idea of how to ensure that’s what you’ll get.
This brings us to the first and most important question to ask a prospective developer:
1) Show me your work
Hiring a developer is like hiring any other type of employee, you must investigate their past work, references, and have access to current projects they have contributed to. If your developer tries to give you a link or PDF file of websites that are not in use anymore, you need to tell them you will only look at websites that are currently operational. Have the developer point out and discuss specifically what they worked on with each of these websites. Many times this will reveal if the developer was just a designer for what you see and the back-end programming was all completed by someone else.
2) What will you do for me?
The second question that you should ask should be, “if I give you the opportunity to build a website for my business, what will you do for me?” A sure sign that a developer is in tune with your needs and wants is if they respond back by asking you more details about how your business functions. If a developer immediately starts rambling off all the elegant designs, website headers and web banners they can offer you, they are simply rehearsing a speech used many times before and are offering you the same generic website all their previous customers have received. A developer that is genuinely interested in what your business does, how it works, what you represent, what your short-term and long-term goals are and more, is going to be able to offer you a custom website that is completely tailored to your business’ individual demands.
Once you’ve established the basics and have some insight into your prospective developer, it is now time to pinpoint all the costs and extras that will add up to success or failure such as:
- How much will hosting cost me?
- Is the website hosted in the country I’m running my business out of?
- What is the expectable speed my website will load in?
- Do I have to renew my domain or will you do it automatically?
Getting a very specific picture of how all the components of your website will work together and how much it will cost you will allow you to determine if this developer will suit you and your business’ needs the best. Your developer should be proud of their previous work and should promise to keep your website effective by offering to keep your content refreshed, delivering a clear message of what and who your business represents, have easy navigation, fast loading time, promotional tools, and ensure you technological support during your training (if a Content Management System) and after. You don’t have to be a website developer to understand what your website should have that will meet your wants and goals. Just figure out exactly what to ask and have specific examples of what you are expecting your website to look like, and you will be able to find a perfect match for a web developer in no time.