I first starting doing web design mainly because of a bad experience. Some years ago, I was talking to someone who was complaining about the high, ongoing costs for his website. I decided to dig deeper. Not only was he charged a large mount of money for an initial design, but also monthly payments of $500!
When I contacted the designer about what justified the monthly fee he replied with: SEO strategy, and monthly hosting. After our conversation, I researched further and found out that the site was a purchased template, He was using a shared hosting (roughly $150 a year) and the page was nowhere to be found on google.
I have been a web developer since 2007, and since that time have continued to challenge myself to learn new things so that I can provide the best product I can to all of my clients. Anyone that thinks there is nothing to learn should not be in the digital business.
One thing I have learned through all of my experiences is the importance of finding a balance between, charging a fair price but not undervaluing my own services, while also making sure the client is happy.
I urge you to research your web designer before
you hire them. You should know what you are paying for. Through my experiences in this business I have come up with some tips which may help in your search to find the right web developer for you and your company.
8 questions you need to ask your web designer:
Based on my experiences the following is a list of tips that may help guide you in your search for a web designer. Most importantly, know what you are paying for:
Ask for references: Seeing other websites that this person has designed or client list means nothing. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and contact people they have worked with. Finding out what the client’s experience was like may help you decide if this is someone you want to work with.
Price: Is the price hourly based? Project based?
Every cost should be justified.Get everything in writing: Emails and conversations always get lost in translation. Laying out clear-cut terms not only protect you but also protect the designer.
Hosting: A lot of designers will claim they have a dedicated server. If they do then ask them how they maintain it and how it will help you. Unless you are a large company you do not need a dedicated server. Purchase a basic hosting plan and email from hostgator, godaddy, or many other respected host companies. Why? They offer 24/7 support,the price is about $150.00 a year, and rarely has problems.
What does the initial design include? Ask your developer EVERYTHING. Have him or her breakdown what the site includes: pictures, design concept etc.. If a developer is only changing colors and placing in your logo content and pictures then move on.
If your getting a Social media strategy what is their value? Ask what he/she is going to do. Facebook campaigns will gain you “likes” and maybe some web traffic but that doesn’t mean these people are going to become customers. Ask your guru, or marketing expert, or web developer their average return on investment.
SEO Stratgey: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimaztion, and roughly is defined as when someone searches for your business they find it. It does not mean plugging in search terms on Google adwords and having you pay $$$$$. Most consumers don’t realize that 85% of people searching for something click the organic term, or the term below the ad words box.
HTML is old news: Your developer should be providing you with some type of Content Management system. Why? Your content, products, and business will be constantly changing. You shouldn’t have to pay a fee every single time you want to change something.
Check your site on all cross browsers: Sometimes websites don’t always look the same on firefox, and Internet explorer.