Hiring a web designer or agency can be a complex and overwhelming task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. It's crucial to know what questions to ask to ensure you make the right decision and avoid any unexpected expenses or complications down the line. You need to ask the right questions to avoid ending up with a website that doesn't meet your needs or even harms your business. But what questions should you ask?
1. Will you spend time on research and discovery?
This is a vital question to ask and aims to discover the time the website designer will spend on understanding your business and customers. This is needed because you are building your website for your customers rather than yourself. The designer should be able to find solutions to your customer's problems.
Any good web designer will conduct deep research and analysis of your market, competitors and customers. In doing this, they will identify key customer personas, analyse competitors' websites and digital presence, and explore industry trends and best practices. This is exactly what we do at Paddle Creative…
As part of our award-winning website design process, we take the time to fully understand our clients' businesses and customers. From this, we can create custom web designs that effectively communicate our clients' brand messaging and meet the needs of their target audience.
QUOTE: "We design websites that work, rather than just look good."
So, when asking a web designer if they will spend time on research and discovery, it's important to look for someone who understands the importance of this process in creating a website that truly meets your business goals and speaks to your customers.
2. How do you approach the design process?
One of the most critical aspects of the web design process is how the designer approaches the design process itself. As you evaluate potential website designers, be sure to ask about their design process and what steps they take to ensure that your website is tailored to your needs and objectives - the ideal keywords you need to hear are ‘customer’ and ‘usability’.
Look for a designer who emphasises the importance of customer-centric design and usability. A good designer will want to know your customers and their needs, preferences, and behaviours so that they can create a website that meets their expectations and makes their experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
At Paddle Creative, we approach the design process by putting the customer and usability at the forefront of our work. We take a user-centred approach to design and focus on creating websites that are easy to use, intuitive, and aesthetically pleasing. We do this by creating a website wireframe and sitemap that you’re happy with, and then we dive in and create a high-fidelity wireframe.
It's important to understand how the designer manages revisions. A good designer will work with you to ensure you are satisfied with the final product. Ask how many revisions are included in the contract and the designer's process for making changes. Ideally, the designer should be willing to make changes based on your feedback until you are completely happy with the final result.
In summary, the design process is critical to the success of your website, so be sure to ask potential designers about their approach to ensure that you find a partner who can create a website that truly reflects your brand and meets your business goals.
3. How will my project be managed?
When it comes to working with a web designer, one question often overlooked is, "How will my project be managed?" This question is crucial because without proper project management, the website's goals may become lost, and the project may veer off course.
When asking this question, one important keyword to listen to is ‘project management software’. A good web designer should use tools like Monday.com, Jira, Asana, or Notion to keep track of tasks, deadlines, and progress updates. This ensures everyone involved in the project is on the same page and knows what stage everyone is at and what needs to be done. At Paddle Creative, we use Monday.com to manage all of our projects no matter the size.
Another important keyword to listen for is ‘regular meetings’. People say communication is key, and they couldn’t be more right! A good designer should regularly communicate throughout the project to keep you updated on progress, discuss any changes or issues, and ensure that the project is moving in the right direction.
By asking how your project will be managed, you can also gain insight into the designer's overall approach to the project. A good web designer should have a clear and organised process, value transparency and communication, and prioritise setting and meeting clear goals and deadlines.
Paddle Creative understands the importance of staying organised, transparent, and communicative throughout the entire web design process. We provide a clear project plan roadmap with milestones and deadlines to ensure that the project stays on track and meets your expectations, and our super team is always on hand for any queries.
Ultimately, asking about project management is an important step in ensuring your web design project succeeds. It can help you avoid unnecessary revisions, stay on track, and ensure that the end result meets your expectations.
4. What services do you include?
When it comes to asking a web designer about their services, it's important to understand exactly what you'll be paying for and whether those services are necessary for your project.
One important keyword to consider when asking about services is ‘customisation’. Some web designers may offer pre-designed templates or packages that don't allow for much customisation, which isn’t always the best option. At Paddle Creative, we design and develop your website completely from scratch using Webflow. Look at our Webflow vs WordPress blog to discover why we choose Webflow over other website builder platforms.
The strength of Webflow is the amazing power it brings to design flexibility. This flexibility means the site Paddle Creative builds for you will be bespoke to your business. And you can rest assured knowing that you and your business's online presence is secure because we are Webflow Experts - a title reserved for the most trustworthy Webflow developers.
Another keyword to listen for is ‘responsive design’. In today's digital age, it's crucial that your website works on mobile phones and adapts to different screen sizes. User experience is essential and is highly benefited from responsive designs, so make sure your designer offers responsive website design as part of their services.
It's also important to understand what specific services are included in the designer's pricing. Some designers may offer additional services like copywriting, SEO, or graphic design, while others may only offer basic web design services. You should determine whether these additional services are necessary for your project and if they are included in the overall cost.
It's essential to know if your designer offers fully customised designs that can be tailored to your specific needs and goals. By asking about services, you can ensure that you're getting exactly what you need for your web design project and that you're not paying for unnecessary services.
5. What happens after the project is completed?
So your project is complete, but what now? Will the designer provide ongoing maintenance and support? Will they train you on how to make updates to the site? You don’t want to be left scratching your head, so it is essential that you have a clear understanding of what is included in the post-project support and how much it will cost.
One important keyword to listen for is ‘ongoing maintenance’. Knowing if your website designer provides ongoing maintenance and support after the website is launched is vital. Some designers may offer a limited amount of support, while others may offer ongoing support for a set period of time. This includes things like regular software updates, security monitoring, and bug fixes. You should also ask how much ongoing maintenance and support will cost, so you can factor that into your budget.
Another important keyword to listen for is ‘training’. A good website designer should provide training on how to update your website, so you can make changes on your own without needing to rely on the designer. This could include training on updating content, adding new pages, or making design changes. Ensure you understand what kind of training is offered and how long it will take.
Much of this is simple enough to pick up, especially when your site is built on a low-code CMS (Content Management System) like Webflow. Understanding the ins and outs of your website's CMS will allow you to efficiently manage your website - without fear of breaking it!
At Paddle Creative, we take post-project support seriously. We offer a range of ongoing maintenance and support options to help your business grow, and vitally, we teach you how to use your website CMS so you can add and remove things from your site with ease and without having to rely on anyone else. This saves you time and money and gives you a little extra technical knowledge which is always nice.
By asking about what happens after your project is completed, you can ensure that you clearly understand what kind of ongoing support and maintenance you can expect and what additional costs may be involved. So, be sure to ask your designer about post-project support and training to ensure you have all the information you need to maintain your website and keep it running smoothly.
In summary, hiring a web designer is an important decision that can significantly impact your business. By asking the right questions, you can ensure that you find a designer who will understand your needs and create a website that reflects your brand and helps you achieve your goals.
Remember that finding the right designer is not just about finding the most affordable option; it's about finding a designer who can deliver high-quality work that aligns with your business objectives. Understanding the designer's approach to every step is essential, from research and discovery to post-project support. By doing your due diligence and asking these questions, you'll be able to make a more informed decision, avoid any unexpected surprises down the line, and ultimately help your business succeed!
If you have any questions or are interested in a Webflow Website of your own, get in touch today, we’re always happy to chat!