9 Things to Ask your Designer Before the Creation Process Begins

When you are ready to get your website going, there are a lot of thoughts running through your mind. It’s important to discuss all these thoughts, questions and concerns with your web designer before the creation process begins. Here are some key questions to ask.

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What do you need from me?

Before we can begin work on your website, there are a few things we need from you. We would need your budget, when you’d like the project completed, who you want your audience to be, your brand guidelines (i.e., colors, fonts, logo), your ideal style and if you are supplying graphics/photos and if not, would you like our help in that area.

What can you do for my budget?

It is critical for both the designer and client to agree on a budget and what can be included in that budget. The budget can determine whether or not it is okay to splurge on expensive photos done by a professional photographer, or if stock photos will do. It can also determine any additional add-ons or long-term maintenance.

How quickly can this be done?

This is the question to be asked right away. Some clients have more time to have their websites done and are willing to take it slow. Others need the site done on a quick turnaround time frame and will need to work with the designer by supplying all relative information very quickly. In either case, it is important to set up a deadline right away.

How much experience do you have?

Some clients may be too embarrassed to tell you this, but an experienced designer is afraid to give an answer. It is not unreasonable to want to know what your designer has done before or even if they have a degree in the field. Plus, knowing past experiences will help you as a client understand the cost of the web designer's service.

Do you have a portfolio?

A portfolio practically goes hand-in-hand when wanting to know more about a web designer's experience. Asking for a portfolio will (literally) be more than just what the web designer says, but will actually show you what the web designer does. You can see from a portfolio the different types of companies and brands that they have worked with and see how they can work to find your wants and needs.

Do you have a process/plan in mind?

Everyone has their own process for going about their line of work and web designers are no different. Web designer want to work with their clients in a way where the client knows what the web designer is up to. This can be as simple as weekly email updates on how the website is coming along, to sneak peeks of the website in process. Every web designer is different and it’s good to talk with the designer to know where you both can feel comfortable about how the designing process is coming along.

Will you supply the original graphics/photos?

If the designer is the one gathering the photos and graphics on your behalf, it is a good idea to get the original copies of these graphics. If for some reason something should happen to your designer, it’s important that you have the files you paid for to give to a new designer.

Does your service include maintenance?

Similar to the question about, the client and the web designer need to come to a contractual agreement on whether or not the website design package they agree on includes site maintenance. Site maintenance includes updates to the site, but also monitoring any broken links, missing information, or even analytics.

Can I contact you for updates?

Before you begin your process with a web designer, you and the web designer need to agree with what you can expect from one another. Before you begin, you need to determine not only a deadline but whether or not it is included in the original price (or if you need to add on some additional costs) to be able to send updates to the web designer to update your site. For example, will the designer be able to update your store hours or post photos from a recent photoshoot, or if that will be your responsibility once the site is live?