When deciding on an agency or designer to work with, it is important to make sure they have the skills and experience to deliver a successful website.
What we mean by a “successful website” is, quite simply, it achieves the goals you have set out for it. Your website is one of your most important marketing tools, and it shouldn’t be left to chance.
Here are 5 questions that you ought to ask your web designer:
1) Who will be working on my website?
It is important to have a team work on a website to ensure that every area gets specialist attention. It is unlikely that a single person will have every skill needed to deliver a successful website, so it is worth checking if your agency has a graphic designer, a website developer and a copywriter with a specialising in SEO and sales conversion.
2) How long will it take to complete?
This question helps you set realistic goals on how the website fits around your marketing strategy. Most small websites will take between 4 and 8 weeks to complete with larger and more complex sites taking longer.
If someone says they can produce a site in 48 hours, move along. A good website should have a suitable time investment and I would question if their research stage is long enough to produce a website that actually reaches any of your goals.
3) Do you offer maintenance packages?
Like any large investment, such as a car, regular maintenance will keep your site running in tip-top condition. Most of the time, an agency will offer monthly maintenance packages. Ask how much these are what they include.
4) What CMS will the site be built with?
A Content Management System (CMS) allows you, or someone with limited technical coding knowledge, to be able to edit the website. On top of this, it also makes editing a website much quicker than hard coding every detail.
If your agency is using a bespoke CMS or one which isn’t very common, you will be limited on who can work on your site in the future, leaving you tied to your current developer or receiving expensive bills for small changes.
Unless you are looking to build the next big social network, for the majority of SME’s a commercial CMS like WordPress or Craft would be a wise choice.
5) What is your process?
Having a website built can either be a smooth process or one with a headache attached!
A processed system will show that each stage is set out and everyone knows what, and most importantly when, they should be doing each task.
Do you offer SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (making sure you’re actually getting found on Google) isn’t directly related to the initial build, but working with a company with a strong background in SEO is more likely to get the site right from the start compared to someone who can make a site look great but has no knowledge of what Google loves.