When searching for a web development firm to take your site to the next level, asking the right questions during an interview is essential, but sometimes the questions a developer asks you—or doesn’t ask you—can be equally helpful in ascertaining that developer’s qualifications and professionalism.
Some important questions…
During an initial interview, a qualified website developer should ask you questions like this:
- What is the purpose of your website? Another way this might be worded: This is a vital issue that absolutely must be discussed before any work is done on your website. If a web developer doesn’t bring this up, you’re liable to end up with a site that has no real purpose and little potential for a decent return on your investment.
- What is your target market or audience? A site geared toward price-conscious consumers will undoubtedly be prepared differently than a site oriented toward wealthy individuals looking to donate to a good cause. If your developer isn’t aware of the type of people you’re trying to reach, you might as well be donating money yourself.
- What ultimate action do you want your customers to take? Once your site’s purpose and audience(s) have been clarified, the next step is to bring the two together by determining what, specifically, you want your target audience to do once they go to your site, whether it’s to buy a product, contact your office, or download a particular document. Your web developer’s top priority should be to build a website that will encourage and enable your customers to do what you want them to do.
- Does your company have design guidelines? A website should fit seamlessly into and enhance an organization’s identity. If a designer does not request information about your visual communication standards and does not ask to look at your other marketing pieces, you might end up wasting a lot of money.
- What are your ideas for future enhancements to the website? Plans almost always change, but you can save a lot of time and money by anticipating the future. This will allow your web developer to build a more scalable site that will adapt more easily to enhancements down the road.
- What kinds of sites do you like/dislike, and why? Sometimes it’s difficult to convey the type of design you want, but examples of sites with a similar look or functionality can help. This information can be a great frame of reference for your developer to work with.
…and one red flag
This one is an indicator that you’re talking to the wrong web developer:
- Exactly how many pages do you want? The number of pages that make up your site will definitely be a factor in the duration and cost of your project, but the difference between a five-page site and an eight-page site is minimal. (Eight hundred pages, however, is a different story.) The cost of a project depends more on functionality and design sophistication than on content. Do your best to avoid any developer that offers website “packages” based on the number of pages—for example, a five-page site for $800, or ten pages for $1,200. You need a developer that’s as flexible as you are, and won’t nickel-and-dime you.
One final idea—look for a developer that can speak to you in plain English, because you’ll be communicating with each other frequently. To test our speaking skills, request a proposal or give us a call today at (513) 742-9150.