So you have decided to hire a web designer. You have decided that you either need a website or that your current website needs an upgrade. Now all you have to do is find a web designer, find out how much they charge, and sign the contract, right? Whoa! Not so fast! There are some important items that you need to consider before you hire (or even talk to) a web designer.
First of all, do you need a new website, an update to an existing website, or a complete redesign of a website? What is the purpose of your website? How often it will need to be updated, and who will be doing the updates? Will the website need to be integrated with an existing system? These are things that the web designer will need to know.
When you contact a web designer, one of the first things that they will want to know is what kind of project it is. They will need to know if you have an existing website that needs to be worked on or if they are going to build one from scratch. They will also want to know if you already have a web host and domain name. This information will let the web designer know where they will be starting.
The next thing the web designer will want to know is what you want to accomplish with your website. Is it going to be mainly an informational site? Will you be selling products and require a shopping cart and credit card processing? Do you want visitors to have the ability to sign up for a newsletter? Will there be a members section requiring a password? It is a good idea to have at least a general understanding of what the goals of the website are. A good web designer will be able to help fill in the details if necessary.
You will need to let the web designer know how often you think the website will be updated. If there are going to be frequent updates, weekly or daily, it may be cost effective to have it set up so you can make the updates yourself. If your website will need less frequent updates, it may be better to set up a maintenance contract. The other option would be to hire a web designer when an update is needed.
The designer will need to know if the website will need to be integrated with another system. An online store may need to integrate with an inventory database. A website for a sports team may need to integrate with a mobile phone app. It is important that the designer knows about this early in the discussions. That way, the designer will know what technologies will need to be used.
The most important thing is understanding what you are paying for. If there is something that you do not understand, ask the designer. A good designer will take the time to make sure you are getting everything you need for your website without paying for anything you do not need. If all you need is a couple of pages to inform the community about a festival that is coming up, you do not need to spend $10,000 for a content management system. However, if you are going to be selling hundreds of products on your website and you need to keep track of it on your store’s database, a $100 template will not be sufficient.
Knowing these things before you hire a web designer will help you get the most out of your website. Think these things through carefully. Don’t hesitate to write down any questions you may have, and make sure you and your web designer are communicating clearly right from the start. This will insure you will have a website that you receive in a timely manner and serves its intended purpose. Good luck!