If you need a web designer, but have no clue about the typical web design process, I am quite certain that you must be feeling a bit overwhelmed about what to expect. As web designers, we oftentimes have a myriad of roles to fill when working with their clients, but as the client, you always have a right to know the complete design process up front. Let’s talk a bit about what questions you may want to ask a potential design firm before they get started on your website.
1. ) “How much is this going to cost?” Of course you want to know that! Be sure the designer gives you a consultation, which allows you a sneak preview on what they will be able to do for YOU. You want your designer to be personal with you, not general.
2. ) Your designer needs to know the general PURPOSE of your site. What is your main goal? Who is your audience? Will there be interactivity, collaboration, or e-commerce on your website? You should ask the designer if he or she has the capabilities of designing a site that would suit your purpose and mission.
3. ) Ask for a contract to review. Take a few days to look over the contract before signing.
4. ) Does the designer ask you what YOU like? Your designer should ask you about your favorite colors on the web, what websites you do or don’t like, and why. Also they should make sure they discuss with you any features that you find unappealing and take note of your opinions.
5. ) Who will own the copyrights to the finished product? Make sure you find out whether or not your designer takes full copyrights of the website. Many times designers will also want to use your website designs as part of their portfolio. They should let you know this in advance.
6. ) Will your designer also host your site? Make sure you find out how your site will be published and which company will provide your hosting services. How often will you need to make hosting payments and when? Who will secure your domain name, and does this come with hosting?
These are all questions to consider when working with a web designer. As you become familiar with the person you are working with, it will become easier to detect his or her style, and be able to communicate effectively with them. As a designer, I can tell you that we wear many different hats and work with many different people on a daily basis…but as the client you will ALWAYS have a right to ask questions and expect reasonable answers. In your search for a trustworthy web designer, be sure to ask the questions above, and I’m certain you’ll locate the designer with the right answers for you.
Demetria Zinga is the founder and owner of http://www.faith-media.com , a technology and consulting firm which specializes in web design and hosting, graphics and print designs, internet marketing, and e-training. She is also the founder of http://www.christianladies.net , an interactive ezine, blog, and podcast for Christian women.