I’m so confused! Where do I start?

There are many questions that you should be asking when it comes to hiring a web designer – where do you start?  Preparing questions before interviewing your prospective website designers will put you in a better position to gather the information you need to hire the right person for the job. Here are some important questions to ask yourself before meeting with web designers.

It’s very important that you know ahead of time what you want your website to do. The questions below will help you when navigating the confusion that can be a website!

What is my budget?
This might be one of the first questions web designers want you to answer. It is better to answer this question beforehand so you are better prepared when they ask.How much are you willing to spend to achieve your website goals? This will keep you grounded when discussing website features with web designers. Keeping realistic expectations about your budget, goals, and where that fits into your business plan, will help make sure your first conversation with your web designer goes well.

What type of website am I building?
What is your vision? Make it as clear as possible.

  • Is it an eCommerce website with services or products?
  • Are you launching a brochure site that shows info about your business?
  • Are you developing a social media or forum site that targets a specific audience.
  • Are you interested in creating a website that will be the home base for Facebook ads or other social media advertising?

Answering these questions will help guide your choice of web designer. Some web designers specialize in specific categories, so keep this in mind when you review their work and skills. Make sure they are fit for the website you want to build.

What are the goals of my website?
Websites are more than just meets the eye. Questions you need to ask are:

  • How is my website going to accomplish my business goals?
  • What do you want people to do on your website?
  • Do you need an eCommerce site and do you want viewers to purchase your products?
  • Are you interesting in prospects subscribing to your email list or getting people to contact you about your services?

With your goals in mind, you will be able to assess your website based on facts rather than vague notions, web design fads, or subjective aesthetic options.

Do I want to edit my content or have someone else do it for me?
You may already have existing content – perhaps from a previous site or printed brochures –  that you want a web designer to put online. In this case, you can look for a designer that matches what your goals are.

On the other hand, if you plan to have a blog or content that you update on a regular basis on your site, you will need a designer who can set up a content management system (CMS) like Joomia or WordPress. Be sure they include training with the proposal if you are going to manage it yourself. Time is very important when it comes to creating content. If you need graphics or content on a regular basis but you do not have time, it will help you to hire someone who brings those services to the table, or provides consulting advice on where to find them. Some web designers provide content as part of their services.

Who is my target audience/how do they get to my website? 
Think carefully about who your ideal customer or client is before hiring a web designer. Your main objective is for your website to be a magnet for your target audience. In order for you to understand your target audience, ask yourself the following question.

  • What are they looking for?
  • What problems do they have that I can help them with?
  • How do they search for solutions?
  • What answers are they expecting to find?
  • In what ways will they best respond?

You will also want to track your performance based on how your audience behaves on your website. The more information you can gather the better!

  • Which pages do they visit?
  • How long are they on each page?
  • Which devices do they use to access your website?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you better market your website…which of course is the main goal!

How will I drive traffic to my website?
Once you have established your target market, you still need to figure out how you will get them to visit your site. You will need a strategy that will grab their attention, even though the internet can be a noisy place. You do not just want to put your content online and hope that people will come across it. You have to drive traffic to your website on a constant basis!

  • How will people learn about my site?
  • What will I offer to keep them coming back?
  • Can I do this on my own or will I need professional help?

As you figure out how to grab your target audience’s attention, your website goals will become a lot clearer. It is OK if you do not know how to drive traffic to your site. It is just one more thing to keep in mind during your hiring process.

Did I carefully review the information on the designer’s websites? 
A lot of information from web designers and web agencies can be invaluable to you. However, here are a few things you can learn by simply browsing their websites:

  • The services they offer
  • Project management tools and process
  • Previous and current clients
  • Onboarding process for clients
  • Portfolio of work

Final Words of Advice for Hiring a Web Designer

Each of these questions will help you identify and hire the best web designer for you and your business. However, they are only human. Unfortunately, there is no bulletproof way of knowing how you will work together. Make sure the relationship works for both parties.

Communication is key!! Do not hesitate to ask questions. If you feel like it is not the right fit, move on until you find the right web professional for the job. Once you are confident in your decision, let the website designer know and you are ready to get started!

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