We have all been down that rabbit hole. I often liken it to getting my car repaired…no idea what is happening, no idea what they are fixing or why and therefore no idea what to ask! In my mind there is nothing worse than that feeling of complete and total ignorance, it isn’t always bliss!
Here are some questions to ask your web designer to help eradicate those worries for you…
1. What are the on going costs?
Initially when having a site built, it is much like building a house. Should you have a house built to spec, the doors need to open and the windows need to be right. It needs to be sound, warm and efficient. Although UNLIKE a house, the ongoing costs are usually nominal.
Depending on your requirements you will have annual costs for certain plugins. For example if you have specific local collection/pickup settings on your E-Shop that could be a small fee of approx. £45-70 per annum.
You will also have your monthly hosting fees, this can range from £8.99 to £20 per month depending on your requirements.
You then have your annual domain costs, these tend to be around £10-£20 per domain per annum.
NB. These can be tax deductible expenses as they are covered under marketing expenses/business costs.
2. Who owns domain once the build is complete?
This is a really important one. We have seen clients lose access to their domains as they haven’t made sure that they own this as an asset from the off. On one occasion it was the clients first and last name, the web company had unfortunately dissolved and they were unable to claim back the domain due to loss of contact. The easier analogy is would you buy a car without the log book and keys? All web designers would be happy to transfer ownership, but sometimes it is a case of asking…or even better purchase the domains yourself first from IONOS, Go Daddy, 123 Reg etc.
3. Do they ensure accessibility when building their sites?
In the UK it is a legal requirement to ensure that your site is build to be accessible, ie. designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them.
4. Will you be able to have full access to your website (admin access) once it is built?
Here we stumble across a bit of a grey area. Not all designers will give you admin access from the off, or without training. Again using a car analogy, would you give a swanky new BMW to a brand new driver yet to pass their test? Without some knowledge you can do more harm than good, by accident of course. HOWEVER, it is so important that you are able to have this access to build upon your site, change images, adjust opening hours and the list goes on. More on this here..
5. Does your web designer offer an SEO package as standard or can SEO be added/included in your build?
Search engine optimisation is the process of improving your site visibility when people search for products or services your business offers.
SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing for your company. It is a crucial: more traffic, more opportunities and therefore more business for you.
FINALLY – ALL web designers should be GDPR compliant & fully insured. Ask the questions, transparency is key.
Grab your notebook, scribble down the above questions and then think about other questions that are important to you…Your website, your business. Ask the questions!