5 questions to ask BEFORE appointing a website designer

If one of your priorities this year is to have a brand new website designed and built, you’ll need to find a reliable and trusted website designer to help make this a reality. 

We’ve put together five essential questions to ask them so you can be sure you choose a website designer who has the experience, knowledge and capability to build you a high-performing website. 

  1. What’s your design and build process? 

You need to have a clear review and approval process with your website designer so that you can give feedback at key stages, and not just be presented with a live website that you’ve had no input in whatsoever.  

Ask them for a clear process, along with timelines so you can keep your web designer on track and make sure you end up with a business asset that you love and that brings in leads for you. 

2. What platform do you build on? 

This may seem like a techie question and you may not even understand the answer, but the important thing here is that you need to comfortable making edits and changes to your website once it’s gone live, so the platform needs to be an Open Source Content Management System (CMS) that you feel comfortable editing.  It’s no good learning to write in PHP just to make a few essential changes to your website! 

At Moorhouse Digital, we build all our websites in WordPress, which is easy for people with no coding experience whatsoever to edit and upload new content whenever they want. 

3. Is SEO included…definitely? 

Most web designers will say they include ‘SEO’ as part of the package, but in my experience, you need a specialist digital marketing expert who really understands SEO to make this work effectively.  

Many websites designers use what I call ‘SEO friendly techniques’ and call it ‘SEO’ which is not going to get you the results you need from Google. 

SEO should be a separate project from the website design, but something that should be considered from the outset so that your SEO consultant and web designer work collaboratively to get the best results. 

4. How are you going to manage the migration of the old website? 

If you already have a website, it’s likely that some of the content will have built up trust and authority in search engines so you don’t want to throw away all that hard work and start again from scratch.  

Your website designer should have a migration strategy to apply 301 redirects to the important pages from your old website to the corresponding pages in your new site. 

This is really important to maintain a good presence in Google, but is so often forgotten in all the excitement of getting your new website live. 

5. What training and support do you offer once the website has gone live? 

Getting your website live is one thing, but keeping it secure and up to date with new content is quite another.  Ask them what training they provide so that you feel comfortable making changes to the website yourself.  They should also offer some sort of support for technical updates and help troubleshoot any downtime you might have.  They’ll also be things on the website that you want to change with the layout etc. over time that you won’t be able to do yourself. 

A support and training package should be discussed to support your business so that you are not left high and dry and with a website you can’t update or control. 

If you have an upcoming website design project that you’d like to discuss, we’d love you to ask us these five questions over a free consultation.  Book a call with us today.