Most businesses have a website these days, but if this is your first time diving the depths of the electronic ocean, we thought we’d run you through the important things to ask before taking the plunge!
Obviously you have many questions but here we cover 8 questions to ask your website developer. Hopefully this sets you up to get an understanding, not only of the technicalities of your site, but also of the people who’ll be working on it. If your website is going to perform for you over a stretch of time, you are going to need them to keep it finely tuned. So for the first time website developers out there or for anyone with an interest in what they already have, here are the key questions we get asked
by clever customers!
- Have you built a website like mine before
Looking at a portfolio of your web designer’s work will give you a good understanding of the quality of their work. You can check our out ours here: https://webjuicy.com/our-work/. Your website should be a true reflection of your business, so whilst looking at a portfolio of work often helps, it’s never as easy as picking a templates or copying something extant. Crafting a website is less like building a house and more like carving a sculpture. The same house design will serve a thousand different people, but if your website is to represent your business … the sculptor will need to get to a deep understanding of what it does and how it looks.
- Do I own my website?
Straight up, the answer should be ‘Yes!’ … but ask it anyway and listen to the answer. Any signs of unwillingness to hand you the keys should be a red flag. If your developer gets hit by lightning or escapes to Bermuda, you will need someone else to step into their smouldering shoes and keep your ship sailing. Don’t let them die and leave you wondering!
- Which Content Management System will you use?
Get used to the CMS acronym. It saves a little time and makes you appear knowledgeable at boring parties. At Webjuicy, we like to use WordPress https://wordpress.com/ because most of our customers find it the easiest to use. It’s a great platform for most businesses as it’s easy to update content and can be managed by anyone with a basic understanding of computers. But there are about a dozen main CMSs that have different advantages depending on the needs of the customer. Once we get to know your business, we’ll walk you through the alternatives and help you decide on the best choice .
- When can you have my website up and running?
This is a function of how long a website takes to build and how much work the designer has in front of them. And both these questions require some thought. The length of build will depend on the quality of the brief, the website’s complexity, the developers’ skill and your availability to answer questions and review. Make sure your web developer covers these four points in their answer!
- What are the ongoing costs of maintaining my website?
Again, a little site specific, but they will include hosting, domain name subscription, security updates, SSL certificates and costs associated with payment processing. The real length of the piece of string will depend on how you manage content remembering that good quality, fresh material is critical for search engine performance!
- What service and support is available in case of emergency?
You’ve all heard of Murphy’s law which suggests that what can go wrong WILL go wrong! But Finagle’s law is probably more relevant for websites because it extends to suggest that it will happen at the worst possible time! Have your developer lay out the costs and fees associated with emergency maintenance and detail their availability over weekends and holidays.
- Can I meet with the people who will be working on my website? This is the to-mayto question. The to-mato is “will my website be made in the Phillipines?” We like to minimise the outsourcing of development work and have our build team in-country for regular construction jobs. We do employ high quality external contractors from time to time with whom we’ve had long term success an we use them for regular maintenance, emergency work and when time dictates.
- How will my website perform on smartphones, tablets and
In the last 10 years, website access via mobile devices has grown from under 1% of total traffic to over 50% of trade. Modern website-hosting systems ensure that your website will adapt adequately to whatever platform is being used, however design considerations ensure a clean and readable result. Have your developer show you examples of their work to demonstrate to you, in person, what you can expect.
The Last Word
We find a lot of our customers are constrained by either politeness and/or a lack of technical knowledge when it comes to asking us about the process. Remember that asking the right questions is not only about getting information and understanding. It is also about getting a vibe on who you’re dealing with and helping us get a bead on who you are and what you need. At Webjuicy https://webjuicy.com/, we are driven by a desire to help small to medium sized businesses get tech savvy and web-visible so, please … ask us ANYTHING!