Having a website is essential to any business. Websites need to be attractive, functional and easy to update. They are also a significant investment for most businesses and therefore it is important to choose your website designer carefully. This article outlines five questions you should ask a website designer when looking for a new business website.
Can They Build The Type Of Website You Need?
Websites vary, as do website designers. Think about what you need from your website and check with the designer that they are able to build you a suitable website. Not all website designers can build e-commerce stores, for example. If you are likely to require stock images, check whether your website designer can source these for you, and at what cost. Websites that require members’ areas or login portals may not be available from all website designers so if this is something you are looking for then it is worth checking with the designer first.
Look for other examples of your website designer’s work. Do they have their own website? Can you see examples of other websites they have built and testimonials or reviews from their clients? This is particularly important if you are looking for a website for a very niche business or one that requires complex functionality.
Who Is Actually Completing The Work?
Some website designers will complete the entire project themselves, start to finish. Others may only do part of the work and some may sub-contract the whole project to a third party. Ask who will be carrying out the work and how closely you can expect them to work with you and with each other. It’s important that you as the client feel comfortable entrusting someone else with something so vital to your business.
There is nothing innately wrong with having multiple people or a third party building a website. For example, one person might take care of the technical “building” stage, whilst another chooses the colour scheme and images and another manages the copywriting and SEO. This can work really well where each person is an expert in their particular area and they all work together and communicate effectively.
What is really important is that you as the client feel you can keep in touch with the individuals working on your website and that you feel confident that the designer or company you have chosen will provide you with an attractive and functional website at the end of the day.
Does The Website Designer Include Initial SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is vital to ensuring that your website works for your business. SEO is what makes your website visible to potential customers when they search for key terms relevant to your business on Internet search engines like Google.
Some website designers will include initial SEO with a website build, but others won’t. Remember that although you may be able to get a cheaper website without SEO, the chances are that it won’t give you such a good return-on-investment and you are likely to end up paying someone to SEO the website at a later date. Ask your website designer if SEO is included with the build, and if so, how much. You will also want to understand whether your website designer is knowledgeable of SEO. Ask them if they will include meta descriptions and which keywords they will optimise your website for.
Do You Need To Supply Your Own Images And / Or Copy?
The answer to this question will depend on a number of things, including how well the website designer understands your business and industry, the type of website design package you are getting and how the website designer usually operates. In some situations, you may be asked to provide your own copy and / or images for the website. In other cases, the website designer will do some or all of this for you.
Don’t be put off completely if your website designer asks you to provide images and / or copy. There are a number of reasons why this may be the case, including:
- You plan to use images from your business instead of stock images. Most website designers don’t offer photography services so you are likely to need to provide your own images in this case.
- Your business is in a very niche industry, which your website designer is unfamiliar with. In this case you may be asked to provide your own copy, but it’s still worth checking whether your website designer will be able to to SEO it for you. Some website designers will only require a skeleton of the copy, which they can then pad out and SEO for you.
- You are only paying for a basic design package. This will most likely consist of the technical side of actually designing and constructing the website, leaving out the more creative elements such as copy and images.
The amount of work you have to put in will vary based on your budget, industry and chosen website designer. There’s no need to necessarily be put off by this, but you will want to understand what you are getting from your website designer before you agree to anything. Remember to factor in the cost of a professional photographer if you think this is something you might need.
How Easy Or Difficult Will It Be To Edit The Website Once It Is Completed?
This final point is really important. Websites inevitably need updating every so often, and the last thing you need is for your website to be difficult or near-impossible to edit once it’s been completed. Ask your website designer how easy it will be for you to edit the content and images and add or remove pages to the menu.
Some website designers will offer free updates for a limited amount of time. This is great, but make sure they are confident that someone else would also be able to update the website. If they insist on you returning to them, or say that the website remains their property even after it is complete and paid for, then that should set alarm bells ringing. Make sure they give you the login details once the website is completed and paid for as well – this includes logins for the website itself as well as the hosting provider.
VIP IT Are Trusted Website Designers For Businesses Across Many Sectors
VIP IT have been building websites since 2015. All our websites come with initial SEO and are built by us from start to finish. Our websites are functional and easily edited and updated, and come with a year of free updates. If you are thinking of getting a new website built for your business, book a free consultation today to discuss your requirements.