10 questions to ask a top website design company
A website is your online presence and you don’t want to be going wrong with it. If you want to get a website designed, you need to choose the right web design company for the job. This, essentially, is the most crucial part of getting a successfully website up and running – choosing the right company to work with.
While making your choice, it is critical that you ask the right questions, these are the kind of questions that help you get a handle on how the company works, their experience, expertise and whether their work can meet your expectations.
So without wasting any time, let’s take a look at ten important questions that I believe you must definitely ask a company specializing in website design.
1. What is the strength of your website design portfolio?
This question takes care of two essential requirements. Firstly you get a chance to look at their website design portfolio (you might have already taken a look at it, while going through their website), it makes sense to take a look at it sitting with the people who have actually designed the websites; Secondly, they tell you why they decided to work on a particular design project, what factors made the decision to take up a project, and why is it that they think, their body of work is really very good. You get this information straight from the horse’s mouth.
This will also give you an idea whether they have actually designed the websites that are up there on their portfolio.
2. How long has the company been in business?
This question gives you an idea about their experience; again this is the kind of information that will be mentioned on their site, but asking this question face-to-face might get you a detailed answer, in terms of their experience in website designing. It’s not that you ask this question and they give you a figure like 5 years, 10 years, and that’s it. Good companies always qualify their answer with associated details, a question on their experience can lead to their talking about specific experiences, learning gained etc.
3. Who will handle my project for me?
Usually, as a client you don’t get to talk to the team, the designers and developers who are working on your project; what you get is a point-of-contact in the form of a team leader or manager, who keeps you posted about your project, and answers any queries you might have. So, you need to know who is that is going to be put in charge of your project, and the experience and expertise that particular person will bring to the table.
4. How many people are going to be a part of the team and what is their experience?
You know who is going to be your contact person, but you still need to know who will be part of the team that’s going to handle your project; that is how many programmers, designers and copywriters are going to be put to work on your project. What is also of importance is their level of expertise and experience. Sometimes, a team will be a mix of beginners working with hardened experts; are you looking for such a composition in your team? Or you only want experienced people to handle your project. The answer to this question will help you make a decision.
5. How will the project manager communicate?
This is ‘The’ question isn’t it? Your face-to-face meeting while you are asking all these questions shouldn’t be the last and final time you can communicate with the people handling your project. Your design company might be handling ten different projects at a time, but for you, it’s just that one project and you will want to keep tabs on its progress. You will want to know whether it’s coming good on your expectations, and for this the company that you choose must have a solid communication process in place. You need to know how you are going to keep in touch, whether it’s through telephone, email, instant message or if you are in the same City, a face-to-face meeting. Also, if you and the company are operating in different time zones, you need to know whether the project in charge can be contacted at a time that is suitable for you.
6. Can I contact your past clients?
I am sure the design company that you are talking to, has great testimonials, but it’s always a good idea to talk to some of the clients that it has worked with previously. Now, there are some companies who might be comfortable with the idea, but there are some who might not because they have signed non-disclosure agreements with their clients. So, asking this question might not always get the answer you are looking for, but it makes sense to ask all the same.
7. What are your Charges?
Obvious question, if there was one. You must have already received a quote for your project, so, you need to take that quote and discuss the why and how of it. You must ask them how they zeroed in on the quote and all the charges that are a part of it.
Another thing, it’s important that you are aware of the number of revisions that the company allows in the quote given to you. Some will offer you the chance to make plenty of revisions, while some just offers a few rounds of design changes.
8. Will the domain name and hosting account registration be in my name?
It is an absolute must that your domain name registration and hosting account are in your name and not that of the website design company. So make sure that this is the case, what’s more you can get a domain name for yourself and give the details to the company. As far as hosting is concerned, the company might host your site on their server or set you up with a third party hosting agency. In any case your name should figure in the registration and hosting account.
9. What is the Delivery Time Frame?
A good website takes some time to design. If you want a quality outcome, you need to have patience, but you still need to know how long it will take for the company to design your website. Here, it’s important to be wary of those companies who promise a quick draw McGraw kind of delivery date. Of course, you want a fast turnaround, but you don’t want an unrealistically fast turnaround do you? So, ask the company for its estimated time frame and check whether they are cutting corners or not.
10. Will I be able to make changes to my website?
Do you want to be able to make the basic updates to your website yourself? If yes, then you must make this clear at the onset. In this case, the company will give you a content management system that helps you make the common changes that you usually need to make, to keep your site updated.
These are by no means the length and breadth of the questions that you need to ask a website design company. The trick is to ask the right questions, the kind of questions that will help you make a decision regarding that company. Also, don’t shy away from asking as many questions as possible, after all, you are going to make a substantial investment in your site, and you want to get the best returns on that investment.