8 Questions to Ask Your Next Web Company

Every day I hear a lot of different questions when talking to potential clients. It is important that you ask the right questions before you start a project to ensure the project is a success for both you and the company. Here are the 8 most important questions I get asked.

1. What services do you offer?
It is important to understand the complete offerings provided by your website firm. Most of the time website builds are not the only service offered. A lot of firms will also handle marketing, SEO, PPC, and much more. Having a company who can handle your website and marketing needs can save you dollars in the long run because the team works together through it all. Make sure you get references or portfolio work on the side services to make sure you are getting a company with amazing talent and not one that just throws the other on to make money.

2. Do you have examples of your work?
If a freelance, firm or really anyone you want to work with does not have a portfolio of some sort it is a good idea to question them a bit further. Everyone does have to start somewhere, but if the price is top dollar make sure you like the work you see. Look for things like a varying style, different industries and the flow of the sites.

If a freelance, firm or really anyone you want to work with does not have a portfolio of some sort it is a good idea to question them a bit further. Everyone does have to start somewhere, but if the price is top dollar make sure you like the work you see. Look for things like a varying style, different industries and the flow of the sites.

3. Will you outsource my project overseas?
I know of a lot of firms that outsource their projects overseas. We are not one of them. If this is a concern for your business ask. There are several industries that the law does not allow the work to leave the US and if you are in one of those make sure outsourcing (or the lack thereof) is in your contract. One other area to consider if you are okay with the idea of outsourcing is that this model may end up costing you

4. Do you use a CMS or allow access to me after the site is live?
More and more firms are developing in WordPress, Drupal, or even Joomla. Know what you are buying ahead of time and make sure it fits your needs. A good firm will have an explanation as to why this fits your business and how much access you will have upon completion.

5. What ongoing services do I need?
If you are using a CMS such as Drupal or WordPress you will most likely need ongoing maintenance services to keep everything working smoothly. Keep this in mind when you are discussing your budget, and don’t be afraid to ask what is needed, best practice, or even best for your business. These 3 things can be different. I always recommend doing your research to ensure that the items on your list of monthly services meet your needs and budget. If you know you will want monthly content updates to the site make sure that is part of your package pricing or you might end up with a bill at the end of the month.

6. What Kinds of Clients do You Prefer to Work with?
There are a lot of possible answers to this question, and all of them can be illuminating. Some web designers only work in certain industries or geographic areas; others prefer certain types of businesses or situations that represent a unique challenge. If you are interviewing a creative team that specializes in one type of client, make sure their capabilities overlap with your needs.

7. What Happens After my Website Has Been Launched?
Some web designers just put together layouts; others consider the launch of a website to be a first step, and then devote themselves to things like Internet marketing and search engine optimization. Depending on what level of assistance you need – and can pay for – it’s a good idea to make sure everyone has the same expectations. At a minimum, you’ll want to know what happens after your website has been launched, particularly if things don’t go as planned or you need ongoing support.

8.Which Projects Are You Most Proud of?
When you look at an item in a web designer’s portfolio, you only see an image or website. You don’t get to learn about the work process, or the bottom line results that were generated. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask this kind of question during the interview. It gives your creative team an opportunity to highlight their strengths, and to let them fill you in on their biggest triumphs and capabilities. That way, you can see if the things they are best equipped to do match your situation, or if you need to keep shopping elsewhere for the expertise you need.

These aren’t questions business owners and marketers typically ask at the start of a web design project, but they can help you narrow in on the perfect vendor for your project. So, whether you plan on hiring me or working with one of my colleagues, I hope you’ll ask away and get the answers you need.

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