Getting a new website designed for your small business is a thrilling experience, especially if you hire a designer to work with. Working with a professional to design your online presence opens a world of opportunities and gives you access to expert services and features. Most website designers offer a free consultation for prospective customers to gather important information about the process and to determine if that designer is a good fit. Not all web designers are the same nor do they offer the same services. Consequently, it’s important to make the most out of these free consultation calls so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Here are the top 5 questions you should ask your designer on a free consult call…

How do you stand out from your competitors?

This question will help you determine what’s unique about the designer. Also, you’ll more than likely find out if there is any added value or extra perks you’ll get from working with this particular designer. Answers to this question should also give you and idea of what it’s like working with this designer as they describe what makes them unique.

Tell me about your design process.

This is where you’ll find out how much involvement you’ll have in the process of designing your website. Some customers prefer to give minimal direction while others prefer to be heavily involved in the process. You should have an idea in mind regarding how much you want to be involved in the design process. Hearing their answer to this question will give you a clear perspective on that as well as an idea of how flexible your designer might be.

What is the average timeline from start to finish?

You’ll want to have some idea of how long it’s going to take to get your website up and running. Finding out how long previous projects have taken this designer to complete and getting an average length of time will give you a better idea of how long your website will take to be live with this designer. Additionally, if the designer is charging an hourly rate, you should ask for an estimate number of hours upfront so you can plan your budget accordingly.

What website features do you recommend for my particular brand and audience?

This is a great question because you’ll get to see what kind of experience the designer has with your industry and your target audience. It also gives you an idea of how creative the designer is and what kind of unique features you might be able to offer on your website. Plus, even if you don’t go with this designer, you’ll have some really good ideas to move forward with.

What are your costs and additional fees?

Finding out how much a new website will cost is a common question to ask a potential website designer. However, costs and fees can be unpredictable if you’re not sure what particular questions to ask in this area. While some designers charge a flat rate or hourly rate, there are other cost factors to consider beyond that. Be sure to ask your designer how he/she charges for additional requests such as overtime, extra features not offered in the initial package, monthly maintenance, and future add-ons. These additional fees can often sneak up and cause you to go over budget so you’ll want to consider that when speaking to a designer as well.

Although, designing a new website can be exciting, there are some important considerations to make before jumping into a contract with a professional web designer. The questions listed in this post can help you make informed decisions about which designer to choose. The most important thing to consider of all is whether you feel comfortable working side by side with a designer. The process can often take longer than expected, cost more than expected, or you may need to do a few renditions before settling on a great design. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure the website designer you end up working with is a good match with your personality and style. Also, we recommend that you ask for and check references to help confirm your decisions. Afterall, your website will be the online hub for your business. Finding a designer who is the best fit for you is vital.  



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