10 Things to Ask your Web Designer

    1) Ask your web designer: Can I see some examples of your work? It might sound like an obvious question, but you wouldn’t believe the number of customers we have that were ripped off by someone else that took their money and either vanished or eventually produced some awful looking website, that wasn’t fit for purpose. They could have avoided all those problems and stress if they had just checked the quality of the web designers work before they used them. Remember there is no reason to believe that the website that the person / company / agency will build for you will be any better than the ones they have built for others. 2) Ask your web designer: How long have you been in business as a web designer? If they have only just started, then save your money. They will be learning on the job, which if fine, but it means they will be prone to making costly mistakes. Let them learn and gain experience on someone else’s pay role. You want a professional, and if you are intending to pay good money for your website, you deserve value for money.   3) Ask your website designer: Will you help me to set up my email accounts? Setting up your email accounts is a vital part of your on-line presence and there is nothing worse than being left with a professional domain name and website like www.mynewcompanyname.co.uk and then having to use a personal free email account like Hotmail, yahoo email or a gmail account. It hugely cheapens the appearance and professional image of your company. Or even worse is being left with no working email account at all. So double check that your website design agency is going to make sure that your email accounts are set up for you with your domain name and that they are going to send you the account details for those email addresses so that you can set them up on your computer or tablet and start using them.   4) Ask your web designer: Do you offer Search Engine Optimisation? Is it included? Just because a designer can make a nice looking website doesn’t mean that it is going to stand any chance of being found and listed in the search engines. Building website and optimising them are 2 totally separate things, as different as writing a book and getting it published. Optimisation breaks down in to 2 main areas, the onsite optimisation, – (which not all web designers will do , or even know how to do properly), and the off site optimisation, which many other web design companies often outsource to us or other optimisation agencies simply because they don’t have a clue on how to do it or if they will get results. If your company offers you optimisation for anything less than a few hundred pounds a month, then run because you are highly unlikely to actually get anything for your money. We have seen anything from companies offering optimisation from a low as £30 for up to 10 keywords a month. But just pause to think realistically for a moment, what sort of work are you actually going to get for £3 per keyword? How much effort do you think you are going to get for a months work for that sort of money? At best they might do nothing at all, at worse you are going to get some black listed automated program running off links that will get you penalised. Be very wary of eBooks on the internet offing free (or even paid) guides to ranking on Google and other search engines. They are always badly out of date and almost always offer really bad advice that can often lead to your website being penalised by Google. If you are unsure of the advice you are reading give a call.   5) Ask your Web Designer: Who’s name will your websites domain name be registered in? This is one that really makes us mad, the number of people that get ripped off and held to ransom over the domain name. And this is a con that even many of the big boys who know better get involved in. If the domain name wont be in your name, walk away. Imagine a little down the line, you want/need to move your website for some reason, or you are not happy with the service that you have received, but you cant because the web designer owns your website name! Imagine that they are either unwilling to let you have it, or they want to charge you a fortune to release the name to you. That is the nightmare that thousands and thousands of business owners face every day. Don’t be one of them. Make sure before you start.   6) Ask your Web Designer: Who will own the rights to the website? Will you own the website, or will your web designer retain the right to the website and possibly have the right to charge you in the future to keep using your own website? There are many web design crooks out there who do this as a regular practice.   7) Ask your Web Designer: Are there any ongoing or hidden costs or charges? You will need to pat to renew your domain name and your web hosting, this is a standard unavoidable cost. But what about hidden costs or charges, will you be expected to pat the designer to renew the website each year? You shouldn’t have to, but plenty of companies out there do charge you again year on year.   8) Ask your Web Designer: Will I be expected to pay everything upfront, or can I pay a deposit and the balance upon completion? This is an important question to ask as many people get ripped off by dodgy designers who will take you money, start making lots of excuses as to why your website isn’t ready yet, and then vanish taking your money with them. Hopefully if you have followed our first 7 steps of our 10 things to ask your web designer and checked the answers to those questions then you are less likely to have this problem. Sadly we have had to assist many clients over the years who were ripped off by someone before they came to us. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.   9) Ask your Web Designer: Do you have a physical address and a contact number I can call you on if I need to contact you? Many fraudulent companies claiming to be based in the UK fail to provide a contact number and insist that all communication is done via email or web chat. This means that if you have any problems they are never going to get back to you, and you will lose your money, so buyer beware. It also means that they are based abroad and are not subject to the UK laws or business practices, and as such if anything does go wrong you have no recourse legally.   10) Finally ask your Web Designer: How long will my website take to complete and go live? You need to get in writing (email is fine provided they are a UK based company) how long the project will take to complete. There are many people stuck in nightmare situations right now, where a project that should have taken no more then a few weeks at most have been dragging on for months and months and are no nearer completion than they were a month or 2 ago. You cant afford to lose time like this. Each week that your website is not on-line and finished you have potentially lost many customers and many sales. Feel free to call us and ask these 10 things to ask your web designer if you have a project that you would like us to quote for. We hope to hear from you soon.