Whether you’re having a website built for the first time, or refreshing your business’ current website, here are a few question you’ll want to ask your website designer / developer :

(Side note: if you’re not sure the difference between a designer and a developer,  you’ll want to find out which you need before starting your project: The difference between a website designer and website developer.)

 1. What’s your website address?

desktop_64pxI’m surprised how many designers / developers I meet that don’t have a website themselves… this is like the plumber with an outhouse or the realtor who doesn’t own a home… there are some things that just don’t jive, and this is a big one for me.

2. May I see your portfolio?

pictures_64pxThis is a great follow-up question to #1.  Do you want to be this designers’ guinea pig, or do you want to know that their style matches your style?  Would you trust a hair cutter with a “Half-Off Grand Opening Sale!”

I’m not suggesting you don’t deal with a new designer – you may be comfortable with that and we all had to start somewhere.  As long as you’re prepared for a bit of a longer timeline (You’ll probably need more revisions for them to figure out what works and they’ll need some extra time as they’re developing their systems and there will likely be some technical issues that take an extra hour here and there to resolve) you may be able to discuss a lower rate than a seasoned professional.  (You can check out our portfolio here.)

3. Have you done work for others in my industry and what did you find that worked well?

browser_64pxMaybe you have confidentiality that needs to be addressed with your potential designer, or are you just interested in seeing what work they’ve done for similar businesses?  Do they bring solutions to your problem (reaching more people, providing information to your clients in an organized way, portraying your image for your target demographic) or are they going to be learning from scratch?

This is a great way to get a feel for this designer’s style and what they may bring to the table.  Again, like question 2, your comfort level will determine if they might still be a fit, even if they haven’t done work in your industry before.

4. Are you a freelancer, or are there others who work for your company?

chat_64pxYou may think it’s more economical to hire a freelancer than it is to hire a company with multiple players, but often with multiple players, you’ll get a well-rounded perspective on what works… the team may have someone with a marketing background who writes copy and integrates social media strategies, someone who’s a developer and someone else who is a website designer. (Yes, there’s a difference between a designer and developer… find out here.) and these people all working together may speed up your timeline, give you more flexibility in the future when you need changes made if your freelancer is sick or on vacation, and each person brings a different perspective that a single person can’t.

5. How much will future changes costs, and how fast are changes made?

gears_64pxYour website is only as good as the currency of the content.  You will need to make regular changes so your website doesn’t become stale or outdated.  If your hours are wrong, or your menu pricing has changed, or your list of services or supplies has increased but your website isn’t updated, you could be turning away potential customers, or frustrating your current customers.

If you have images of people, you’ll need to update those as clothing and hair styles change, and from time-to-time, even if you don’t have a major change to your content, you’ll want to give your website a fresh look.  How much will these changes cost, and what’s your timeline for making these changes?  If you have a sale coming up at the end of the month and you’d like it on your website, do you need to give 2 weeks notice, or will 3 days be sufficient?

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that once your website is built, you can leave it “As is” for the rest of your career and have it still be effective – that’s just not true. Factor those ongoing costs into the cost of doing business.


Would you like to ask Fresh Idea Websites those questions?

Fresh-Idea-websites-logoWe’d be happy to show you our portfolio, explain what we’ve been able to do for others in your industry, introduce you to others in our team that will help make your project a success and explain why our service-style website packages may be best suited for keeping your business’ website fresh.  Click here to request a quote

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