7 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Web Developer

Your business website is often the first thing new customers see when searching for local services or shopping online. Despite the importance of a business website, 46% of small businesses in the U.S. still don’t have one.

Not having a website or having one that doesn’t look professional, impacts your online presence and the perception of your brand.

Does your site represent your brand in a way you’re proud of?

If not, investing in a web developer is one way to improve your site. Learn what you need to ask your developer before you dive in to get the most out of your money.

1. What Services Do You Provide?

Some developers offer different packages with various services, while others want to discuss your situation first. Often, talking one-on-one with a developer is the better way to express your goals for the website.

Once you discuss your visions for the future, your developer should walk you through their different services and how those features can lead you toward meeting those goals.

What SEO tactics do they use? Do they offer any social media promotion services?

If you can’t find a list of services on their website, ask about them when you request your quote.

2. How Do You Conduct Research on My Brand?

Find out what kind of research this web developer does on your business and industry. For instance, how well do they know the industry?

If they don’t understand your business goals and your target audience, this negatively impacts the success of your site design.

Developers should do keyword research since this affects SEO. They should also study your company’s mission and goals, as well as your target customer demographics.

If you need a site redesign, talk about your current metrics and what wasn’t working.

3. What Is Your Build Process Like?

Established companies know their build process inside and out. After all, they’ve worked on so many websites that it should be easy to explain the process to new clients.

This question lets you glimpse their work process and gives you an idea of their confidence level. If it seems like they can offer you the solutions you need, and they know what they’re talking about, this can help put your mind at ease.

If you don’t understand everything, ask them to clarify. An experienced developer should be able to break down complex terminology into simpler explanations.

They should also be able to walk you through the overall process step-by-step. Perhaps they start with a sitemap. From there, they might discuss your goals and any custom features the site might need.

4. Do You Have an SEO Strategy?

Having a website created for your business is only one step toward success. You also have to consider how this site is going to help your digital marketing strategy.

Discuss search engine optimization with your developer and ask about their different SEO services.

How will those services help your site rank better? Will they help you generate leads, increase sales, boost engagement, or raise brand awareness?

Ideally, an SEO strategy should help with all this. You should also ask about their mobile optimization process since you’ll want your site to be mobile-friendly.

5. Can I Make Changes and Edits?

Make sure to ask your web developer if they use a content management system (CMS) and which one they use.

A CMS lets you manage the content on your site and includes the option of making changes and edits yourself. If they give you new tools or software to make changes, they should also walk you through how to use those tools.

Some custom content management systems limit what you’re capable of changing on your own. An open-source CMS like MODX lets you make changes to your site when necessary.

You’ll also want to ask about support for e-commerce if that’s something you’ll need. Inquire about the e-commerce system that they use and how easy it is to adjust to if you’re unfamiliar with it.

6. Do You Have Past Work I Can See?

Sometimes, the best way to get an idea of whether a web developer is right for you is to look at their past work.

See if your developer has a portfolio of past clients on their site you can look at. This lets you see the different industries they have experience with and how the completed site looks and feels.

Do the websites have a good UX or web design experience? Are they easy to navigate and professional looking?

You should also consider online references and reviews when making your choice. What do past clients have to say about them?

7. What Are Your Rates and Timeline?

Lastly, you’ll want to consider your budget and the rough timeline for the project.

This will likely vary depending on your goals and the scope of the job, so there isn’t an average rate you can look up. However, your developer should be able to provide you with a cost estimate when you get your quote.

If you have a deadline, make sure to mention this as it will affect both cost and availability.

If your development team isn’t able to finish the work before the deadline you have, you’ll either need to rework the timeline or find an available company.

Finding a Web Developer That Fits Your Needs

Make sure your developer considers all your needs when designing your new site.

There’s a lot you need to consider before you hire a web developer, but these questions should get you started. Write them down before you talk to the company, and feel free to add any that we may have missed.

Are you in need of a new business website and looking for custom web development services? If you’re in Murrieta, California, schedule an appointment with us or reach out with any questions you have.