5 questions you must ask before you hire a website designer
Are you a business owner and you realize the importance of having an online presence?
Do you desire to have a website that can represent your business well online?
Are you wondering what exactly should your website project for your business and brand?
Are you looking out to hire a website designer to build your website?
In this post, you will discover five important questions you need to ask him or her to identify if they are the right fit.
Because your business website is not just an isolated part of your business, in many case, it is your business forerunner, the canvasser of your brand.
It’s what most people will see first before they meet you or pick up a phone to call you.
Therefore it’s important that your website delivers the right business goals and objectives you’re aiming for and your ability to understand what these things are would help you when you need to hire a website designer.
Your goal is to make sure you communicate these needs to the website designer so you both can be on the same plate before the contract even begins.
What I’ve found business owners ask is “send me portfolios or examples of your past work?
Wow… just that?
A portfolio of past websites don’t represent much. It only says enough of what that site and that client wants.
And besides you will only be looking at it based on outer design. The physical look so to speak, which would not in any way prepare you in the building of your own business website based on your own unique need, business goals and marketing objectives, more so, the very core things a website should have.
So bust the portfolio thing! Why?
That a website designer builds beautiful websites that look good on the outer part doesn’t mean they’re taking due diligence on other key parts of a website that’s even far more important as you would soon find out.
So what are the five questions you must ask before you hire a website designer?
First, what content management system are you going to build my website on?
Your goal here should be to identify what platform the website designer will implement to design your website.
Why do you want to know this?
For two reasons, will you love to be able to manage this site by yourself or someone on your team aside the designer?
Is the contract with the website designer on a retainer basis?
If the answer to the first question is a yes, and the second a no, then you don’t want to have the designer build your website using platforms that can only be understood by programming and coding gurus.
Because it’s likely you know nothing about online languages, coding, HTML, CSS, and other programming jargon and you don’t want to mess with that, rather you want to focus on your business, you want to be able to manage the minimum parts of it to reduce the cost of keeping a designer on retainer.
So, the answer you should be looking out for is this: a content management system like WordPress.
Why because it grants you access to login in to the back end and manage your site yourself or by someone on your team.
A website is not a build and forget property, there would be need to constantly update and put out fresh content especially since a blog can live on the website built with WordPress, you want to make sure there is constant fresh content on your site. This not only helps your brand, it also helps your website appear on the first page on search engines like Google. The jargon word for that is search engine optimization, or SEO for short.
Number two, “how can we measure website performance like site traffic and visitors’ behavior?”
The answer you should get should sound in some way like this:
“I’m going to implement or install an analytics tool within your site to help you measure and analyze your website performance”
A free tool that can be used to achieve that is Google Analytics, it’s free but it’s worth it’s weight in gold and of course it measures beyond site traffic and visitors behavior. It can measure conversions based on how you set them up.
Third question is “How will you make my website mobile responsive?”
Don’t get put off by that word responsive, what it only means is how will someone on a mobile phone access your website and have same clean experience like someone on a laptop or desktop?
If you didn’t know this, it’s important your website is accessible to mobile phone users and the experience they have counts.
I said this over two years ago that mobile is taking center stage.
Not much business owners cared. Now the almighty Google has made it a critical factor in ranking websites.
With the report released recently, Google says that if your website is not great on mobile devices, it won’t be featured on the search engine. So if you want your website to be among the top results on Google first page in the search engine, you must take mobile responsiveness “mega” seriously.
So what response should you get to that question? Don’t try to get a response.
He or she may tell you a bunch of stuff, but don’t take their word for it.
Remember the portfolio and example of websites you’ve done question that business owners are fond of asking which I mentioned earlier, now is the time to put that to valuable use.
With your mobile device, iPad, iPhone, Android, whatever… check out one of those sites with your mobile browser. If the person has no previous work, go ahead and check their sites.
What experience do you have?
Do you have to zoom and pinch with your fingers to get the information you would need if you were a customer checking out that site?
Would you like visitors on your site to have such experience?
That is your answer right there.
Share a tool, that can be used to test mobile responsiveness of a website for YouTube video.
Fourth question, ” how do you make sure my website is in the least bit secured and prevented from malicious hacks or loss?”
Now, please note that you may not be able to 100% prevent a site from terrible hacking technologies and hackers out there, but you can do the very best based on your resources to ensure preventable occurrences are stopped or nipped in the bud.
You see, in the question I said “in the least bit secured”
You need to take the your website security very seriously, this is your data, your business, your world and if you run an eCommerce business anything that could go wrong with your could hamper your business.
Even for your host server to go down, that affects too.
So be mindful of your website security, don’t say, you’re not a big brand like Sony and Target that we hear most of the time being hacked.
When you see such malicious attack on a huge brand, that should spark up your concern for small businesses without so much resources compared to what those big brands can pull, and if they can hit them, how much more you.
So in the least bit you need to make sure when you hire a website designer, he or she can clearly tell you the various website security measures put in place.
If your website is built on the WordPress CMS, there are pretty good plugins that you can install to help secure your site at least from suspected logins and attacks.
Ithemes WordPress plugin is a popular one I use.
Finally, the fifth question. “What is the monetization funnel like?” Simple English: ” how do you monetize your site?
How do you move visitors to becoming paying customers?
How do you set up engagement touch points and channels within your site to make sure that making money from your site happens?”
Am not just talking about accepting money via your site through a merchant account.
Now, I don’t expect a web designer to give you this, if he talks off with all kinds of blah, blah blah, watch out. A lot of web designers out there are now parading themselves as glorified online marketing companies, or digital marketing companies.
Creating a monetization funnel is not a one off approach, and a web designer can’t figure that out for you.
You need a qualified digital marketing strategist.
Because it entails strategic marketing communication propelled via different online channels like email marketing, social media, Public Relations, customer relationship management and driven by the principles of lifecycle marketing and automation.
Now don’t get too confused, it starts step by step.
If you want to put together the right strategy that fires your monetization funnel, let’s talk. CLICK HERE to schedule a 20 minutes call with me where I can better understand your business and provide you with a clear road map on implementation of your marketing strategy. On the page you will see the times am available for a one on one strategy call, choose one and I will be notified. We will talk via Skype or my other online meeting app. You don’t need to worry about having Skype.
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