Choosing a web designer can be like picking a tradesperson. Who do you rely on? Which ones are authentic and which ones will leave you feeling out of pocket? I have actually compiled a list of questions that we feel you must always ask prior to commissioning a website. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re opting for an expensive site that is all singing and dancing or a simple website – you must still anticipate and get a great service.
So here are the leading questions that we think you should ask your web designer or examine their website. Please do not be delayed! There are thousands of sincere, fantastic companies out there who desire absolutely nothing more than to make their customers delighted. Nevertheless, as I browse on Google, some companies aren’t maybe rather what they appear …
1. Do the examples of their work click through to a website?
I have noticed that on some web designer’s websites, examples of work are shown, however it is not possible to click through and in fact view the site they are declaring to have created. I can not think of any factor for this, other than:
a) They have not really produced the site – they have merely taken a screen shot of any website and added it to their “portfolio”.
b) They have actually produced the site, however it isn’t very good and so don’t want you to see it.
c) They have actually created a website with a great looking homepage, so that they can include the screenshot to their “portfolio”, but they can’t show the rest of the website, as it doesn’t exist!
If you can click through to the website, I advise the first thing you do is scroll to the bottom of the page. Many web designers stipulate in their terms and conditions that the site will have a “Produced by …” link at the bottom of the customer’s site. This is the standard in the market. If then, you scroll down to the bottom and you don’t see this, I would be suspicious that the business who claim to have created the website, potentially haven’t.
Likewise, if you can click through to examples websites, check that they are genuine! I have seen “portfolio examples” that are clearly produced. Possibly the phone number of the web designer’s “client” is 01234 5678910, or the domain is a sub domain, instead of a real domain name. Be vigilant – it will be worth it!
2. Do they provide reviews that can be confirmed?
Similar to tradespersons, frequently the very best way to assess a web designer is on testimonials from previous customers. I care about the work I do and I want to guarantee that my clients are pleased. On completion of their site, all my clients are sent a brief survey about the quality of my work, service, price etc and I am proud to show these on my website. Your web designer must enjoy for you to contact previous customers, as this is truly the only way that the testimonials can be confirmed.
3. What does it cost? do they charge for hosting?
When you get a web design quote, you will often find that hosting is consisted of free of charge for the very first year. You need to ensure that you understand exactly just how much your hosting is going to cost after this time. For example, I had a consumer who had a great website that had cost GBP50, however they were being charged GBP30 each month for hosting! This is far excessive (and in my viewpoint dishonest). Their inexpensive web design ended up costing them a fortune.
You ought to expect to pay anything from GBP30-GBP60 per year for your hosting for an average website. More than this and I would walk away. Alternatively, if you are told that hosting is “free forever”, then I would likewise be suspicious. Maybe you will be charged a high cost to renew your domain instead …
4. Will they accept payment from you, without having discussed your requirements first?
I have actually seen some websites that send you straight to a payment page. I would never ever suggest making a payment for a website without having actually first gone over exactly what you desire – either via telephone or e-mail.
Before parting with any cash you have to guarantee that your web designer understands exactly what you desire from your website, the number of pages it will be (you have to understand exactly what makes up a “page”), what you have to supply and what they will source, what would be the very best domain etc and so on. There’s an entire list of factors that ought to be decided before parting with your money. If a business is happy to get payment before this, be wary.
5. Do they have Terms and Conditions?
You are entering into an agreement with your web designer and as such, you need to firstly make sure that they have T & Cs and secondly read them! They exist to secure both you as the customer as well as the web designer themselves (yes, unfortunately often the customer tries to rip the web designer off also). If they don’t have T & Cs and state not to stress, it is all based upon trust, then be wary.
6. Whose name will the domain name remain in?
This is actually essential. The domain name should always be registered in your name, not the web designer’s name. This indicates that you own the domain name. For example, a dishonest designer may register the domain in their own name. If your business is successful (which ideally it is!) and the time pertains to restore your domain if the domain is not registered in your own name, the web designer can charge you whatever they prefer to utilize the domain. This is not a circumstance you want to find yourself in.
Luckily, I think this practice is fading out however I still have the periodic consumer who does not own their domain name – their previous designer does. How do you inspect this? If the business’s portfolio is authentic, you can check out the site http://www.who.is, type in the domain name and it will tell you who the owner of the domain is. The owner of the domain must not be the web design business (although they are typically noted as the administrators, which is great).
7. Just how much will you be credited makes changes to your site in future?
This is a difficult one. Having your website created is normally simply the primary step in. As soon as your site is operating, you frequently wish to make changes to it, include special deals, new pictures etc. Obviously it would be unfair to expect your web designer to perform this work for you for nothing (although some customers do think that web designers ought to do updates totally free!). On the other hand, you would like to know that you’re not going to be swindled each time you wish to change your site.
You can expect to pay around GBP25 per hour for updates and this is around the norm for most ethical web designers. It’s possible get a lot done in an hour, so it generally exercises quite well for customers. Some companies will charge GBP25 per modification however, so keep an eye out for this. For instance, a designer may change some text for a customer, include 2 images and an extra PayPal button. It might typically do this in roughly half an hour let’s say, so it would cost GBP12.50. If you were being charged per modification, this would be GBP100! Again, simply be aware of all the expenses prior to committing.
Something else you may wish to take a look at, is whether or not you have the option to be able to upgrade your very own site in the future. This means that you can log into your site and make changes to your very own site as when you like, without fretting about the expense each time. As technology ends up being more user-friendly, this kind of service is becoming increasingly popular.
I hope that helps in your mission for a Freelance Web Design. Please don’t resent any of the above. Like all industries, you will hear both great and bad stories and as long as you do your homework, trust your instincts and follow some basic principles, you will end up with an enticing, easy to use, navigable, SEO friendly website.