When it comes to your website, you want to be the best you can be. It's usually the first point of contact visitors have with your brand, and you want their first impression to be a positive one. Your site can make or break your business and how it performs. It's important that it reaches your target market, gives them what they want and reaches company goals.
That's why it's essential to ask the right questions when choosing a web developer. By being prepared with what you'd like to know, you have a better chance of working with someone who understands your vision and is willing to give you the website and user experience you want.
Here are 10 questions you should ask your next potential web developer.
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1. Have you worked on projects with goals like my own?
If your developer can't see your vision, they'll never have the ability to create the website you want. You need to make sure they understand what you're looking for and can execute a process centered around it. If you need an e-commerce site but your developer hasn't worked on a lot of these projects, or doesn't have experience at all, you're in trouble. It'll take twice as long to create because of the extra research and planning that'll be required for lack of experience.
2. What's your research process like?
Getting a look inside how your potential web developer works to gain perspective on their projects gives you an idea of how well your brand will be represented on your website. You want consumers to visit your site and understand your image, mission and goals. If they end up confused instead, your developer hasn't done their job. Do they research your target audience so they know who to appeal to? Do they know all about your brand and its identity? Going the extra mile to answer these questions is essential to building a website that represents you accurately.
3. How long does one web development project take from start to finish?
If you have a deadline for your website's completion, it's important you work with someone who can complete your project within that timeframe. Developers take different times to complete their tasks – and there's nothing wrong with that, but you have to make sure their schedule and availability aligns with yours. You want to get the most for your budget, and being on the same schedule will ensure that.
4. What services are provided?
Different developers offer a different range of packages and services. It's your job to find out which package works right for your business. Do they implement SEO tactics? How far do they go with design? Do they offer social media services for promotion? Make a list of the services you'd like included in your agreement and go through each one with your potential developer. See if there are any features you absolutely need that they don't provide so you're not wasting your time.
5. What does your SEO strategy look like?
How will your developer utilize search engine optimization so that your website ranks in search engines? How will they increase its visibility? If your developer doesn't plan on using keyword research and other optimization strategies to boost your business's lead generation and engagement, it's best to go with another option. The whole point of your website is to act as a hub where visitors explore, gain interest and convert. A site without SEO is a site that's set up for failure from the start.
6. Will I be able to make edits on my own?
It's inevitable that websites change as time goes on. You need to figure out how your developer is going to make the editing process for you. Are they setting up easy access for you to update your website and make necessary changes? Find out what tools or software they'll give you, if any, so that you can gauge if this endeavor with them is worth your time and money. It's up to you to decide how much editing access you want to your site once the developer's job is done.
7. Do you have a content marketing package?
Just because your web developer is creating a website for you doesn't mean it's guaranteed to generate leads, convert visitors or increase ROI. Ask them if they provide content marketing as part of their package for a boost in business. Adding a content marketing package reaps tons of benefits, including optimization of all content, improving visitor engagement and creating quality content that ranks in SERPs. If you already have a content marketing strategy for your business, then you don't have to pay attention to this.
8. Can I reach out to your references and/or clients?
If you want an honest, unbiased opinion on what it's like to work with your potential developer, talk to their references and previous clients.
9. What is your expectation of my involvement?
Think about how much you'd like to be involved in the web development process. Do you want a say in the major decisions being made, or do you want to leave it up to your developer? It's also important to gauge what their expectations of your involvement are, because if you aren't on the same page, you won't get the results you want.
10. What do you charge for a project of this scope?
Every developer's rates are different, so do your research beforehand to figure out the budget you want to set and what you're willing to pay. Don't opt for the cheapest developers you can find; you get what you pay for, and what you'll end up with is a website you aren't proud of. It's better to spend extra on a job well done than to skimp and have to pay more down the road to make up for the lack of quality work.
Wrapping it up
Find the right web developer for your business takes time and research, but by knowing what you're looking for and always keeping the consumer in mind, you have a much better chance of hiring someone who suits your needs. It's important to have a developer that understands what will best represent your brand and fulfill its goals, and asking the right questions will help you find the perfect one.