So you’re looking to hire someone to build your website for you, buttttt maybe you’re not quite sure what you should be asking them.
I mean, you’ve probably never hired a website designer before, right?
And to be quite frank, you’re just itching to find the right person already because clearly website buildin’ is not in your bag of tricks and you’re ready to hand it off… like, yesterday!
All you need now is to find “the one”, but you reallllly don’t want to mess it up and hire a total dudsigner…
That, my friends, is why I’m here…
I am here to arm you with the ultimate list of “interview” questions to ask your potential website designer, so you can go into your Consultation Call with confidence, and make sure you’re hiring someone who’s truly going to deliver. Because hiring a website designer shouldn’t be stressful, but having to do it a second time will be! 😓
So let’s dive into some important questions to ask your website designer, so you can make sure you hire the right person, the first time!
“Can I see some examples of your past work?”
If you haven’t already done a little stalking on your website designer before first contacting them, you will definitely want to ask them for some examples of past work (aka. their portfolio). This is important for two reasons:
- To make sure their websites look professionally designed, and
- To make sure their style and your vision are aligned.
Just like an artist, all website designers have their own “style”. By checking out the designer’s portfolio you can make sure that their style and your vision align.
If a designer can’t show you multiple examples of past websites they’ve built, it may be a sign you should move on to someone else. 🙅♀️
“What is included in your website package?”
Packages are something that all website designers should offer. A well thought out, robust website package shows that the designer has experience in creating websites and knows the key components that should be included in yours.
It’s important to ask about what’s included in their website package so you know exactly what you’re getting (and what you’re not).
If you had an idea for some super cool fancy shmancy fun features, this is where you should mention it so that the designer can be sure to work it into the package as an add-on.
Your designer may be able to outline the main details of your package over the phone on your Consultation Call, but more than likely they will provide a full, complete outline of all the details in a written proposal after the call. Which is why it’s important that you mention anything you want included, so they’re sure to include it in the proposal.
“What is the timeline from start to finish?”
This is a question that might not seem important, but it’s actually one of the most important ones you should be asking.
When going into a website design project, you want your designer to be able to tell you exactly when your website will be launching before you start. In other words, before you sign anything saying you want to work with them, they should be able to tell you when you’ll be starting and when your website will be done.
The reason this is important is because you don’t want your website build to drag on and on longer than you anticipated. You want to make sure you’re working with a designer who values and respects your time by setting a timeline and sticking to it.
Related Post: 6 Things to Look for When Hiring a Website Designer
“How often will we communicate during the process?”
This is a good question to ask so you can get a feel for how much input you’ll have in your website design, as well as how much of a time commitment you’ll be expected to make to your website build.
Depending on the timeline of your website build you may be in communication with your designer every day (for shorter, quicker paced timelines) or every couple of days (for longer, slower paced timelines).
You want to make sure that you’ll have as much input in your website as you want, and also that the frequency of communication with your designer matches your expectations.
“How much will my website package cost?”
Let me offer you a piece of advice: Do not be the first to name a price.
Some designers (like me!) include “Starting at” prices on their websites, so you can see if their packages are even in your budget before hopping on a call. If they list prices on their website – be sure to check them out.
Unfortunately, more often than not, designers don’t include pricing on their website. *womp womp womp* 😩
If this is the case, you may be able to reach out via email and ask them their starting prices for a base-level package before scheduling call to make sure it’s worth your time. But sometimes you may have to get on a call and chat more about your needs first.
Once you’ve talked more about what you’re looking for, the designer should put together a proposed package with an estimated cost.
“Do you have a limit on revisions? If so, what happens if I exceed them?”
Limits on revisions are a very common thing. More likely than not, your designer will have a limit on the number of revisions you can request to your website design before incurring additional fees.
The reason it’s important to ask your designer if they have a limit on revisions is so you know what the limit is (i.e. how many revisions are included for free) and what the fee is for requesting more.
If the designer does have a limit on revisions, an important follow-up question is:
“How often do clients complete a website without needing additional revisions?”
This is important because additional revisions can end up being a big surprise cost. By asking this follow-up question you’re better able to gauge how often clients are paying for additional revisions (and how many rounds of revisions), and thus how much extra money you should estimate into the total cost.
“What are your payment terms?”
When it comes to paying for your website, you want to know what to expect. Most designers will break your total project fee into multiple payments, the first one being a down payment required to get started.
It’s important to ask what the payment terms are so that you know how many payments you’ll owe and when they’re due.
One important thing I do want to emphasize is that it is not typical or standard to pay for your entire website project up front. If a designer asks you to do so – that may be a red flag.
My advice: Do not EVER pay for your entire website up front, before the work has been done.
You should expect to pay a deposit, but should not be paying for the whole shebang right from the get-go. Like I said: Red flag!
Sadly scams do exist in the website design world, like the rest of the world. And paying in full is something no legitimate web design would ever expect a client to do.
So expect to put down a good chunk of the project fee as a deposit, but then check with your designer on when you’ll be expected to pay the remaining balance of the project.
“What information do I need to provide or gather?”
Make sure you know before starting with any designer, what exactly they’ll need from you. Typical things you should expect to provide include: copywriting, images, brand guidelines & assets, login information to relevant accounts – plus specific, thorough details about your brand, your offerings, and your business goals.
Check with your designer to see what they would need from you for a website, so you can be sure you’re fully prepared when you start.
Related Post: 4 Things You Need to Do Before Starting Your Website
“Are there any recurring fees I’ll owe you after we’re done?”
Some designers will require you to sign a contract for a maintenance plan or other retainer plan after you complete your website with them. This would then be a recurring expense for you.
If you do want someone to do website maintenance for you, this can be a great option! However, if you’re not interested in that, you’ll want to ask your designer if it’s a requirement of your package.
“Will I own my website when it’s done?”
There are two types of websites: ones owned by the business owner, and ones owned by the website designer. You want a website that’s owned by you, the business owner.
Back in the day, many website design agencies put clauses in their contracts that THEY owned the websites that they built for their clients. The websites were still built for their clients (the business owner), but the design agency legally owned the website.
The reason they did this was because the design agency would take care of all the behind-the-scenes work for the client, and the client would pay the design agency a monthly maintenance fee to do so.
While there’s nothing wrong with signing on for a maintenance package with a designer, you want to make sure that YOU own your website – not the designer.
The reason being: If you and your designer part ways down the road, you want your website to go with you.
If your designer owns your website, you will lose access to your website if/when you ever decide not to work with them any longer. Then you have to start from scratch and build a whole new website. 😩
Nobody wants to do that, so make sure that YOU own your website.
“How will I edit my website in the future?”
Last but not least, is understanding how you’ll make edits to your website once it’s all up and running.
Some designers may offer a maintenance plan where you pay them monthly and they’ll make changes as you need them.
Other designers may not require a monthly agreement but will make paid changes on an as-needed basis.
And yet other designers may provide you a basic training on how to edit your website yourself, so you know how to make changes whenever you need without needing to pay them.
Be sure to ask your designer how you should go about getting edits done to your website in the future, so you know whether you’ll be editing it on your own or if you can rely on them to make the changes for you.