Which one to hire and when.

Before you start building a website from scratch, it’s important to think about both the design and development of the overall project. Keeping in mind that these two things are very different. It’s important to find the right person to work with to ensure you get what you want out of your website. 

Website Designer

Website designers are typically creative in nature and have a knack for picking aesthetically pleasing color palettes, high quality photographs, and user-friendly layouts for the website. User Experience is a huge part of this stage, so it’s important to make sure the Web Designer you’re looking to hire understands the important “touch points” of your user flow.

Website Developers

On the other side of the spectrum lies website developers who put it all together. They develop the functionality of the website and ensure that every piece of the site works on the Front-End and the Back-End.

Depending on your needs, you could simply hire one or the other. If you’re building a website from scratch, you’ll need both of these skill sets for the best results. It’s best (but not necessary) to hire an agency or someone who has experience in both areas to achieve a cohesive flow between design,development, and navigation. Working with an agency will also ensure it’s updated with the latest tools so technology stack is on point!

Before hiring either a designer or developer for your website, be sure to go through the questions below.  These will ensure you’re getting all of the information needed to make a confident decision.

Questions to ask your Web Designer or Developer

  • What hosting platform do you suggest?
    • There are many options that will get your site on the web. However, each of them cater differently to your website’s needs. So it’s important that the platform they suggest matches your needs.
  • Will my site be a template or a customized site?
    • Their answer will help you determine if you want to work with that designer / developer based on how you want the final product to perform.
  • How many hours do you anticipate being put into this project?
  • What is your estimated timeline?
    • This gives you an idea of when you could expect having a finished website (assuming no issues come up). Having a timeline in mind ahead of time will help them to backtrack to a good start date as well.
  • How do you handle unexpected technical issues while developing? Do you have time allotted for these?
  • Can you explain the milestones for this project?
  • Do you have any examples of LIVE websites you’re developed?
  • Will I own all assets? Domain, themes, plugins, etc?
    • Some developers like to offer assets to you under their own license to save you money. It’s definitely not a bad thing to NOT own all of your assets, but make sure you’re protected within your contract just in case.
  • How many months of maintenance do you offer?
    • Maintenance is a MUST! Issues and changes are bound to come up after the website is completed. So making sure you will have access to the original designer / developer for help and continued maintenance is smart.
  • Will you connect analytics to my site? If so, which analytics will you use?
  • How many edits or iterations do you offer?

Answers to have prepared for your Web Designer or Developer:

  • What is your primary goal for this site?
    • Some answers to this question include:
      – To bring awareness to your brand
      – To increase sales
      – To capture qualified leads
  • What are your long-term goals for your business?
    • This will help determine the hosting platform that will be suggested.
  • Who is your target audience? Would a low-end website work for the audience you’re targeting?
  • Do you want your site to be template or custom built?
    • This goes back to your audience, your goals, and skillset of your designer. A good designer can make a template look great! However, a custom-built site is the way to go if you want to stand out among the crowd.
  • Do you have a logo, branding assets and original photos?
    • These are all items typically incorporated into a website so having them available will save you time and, in turn, money. The designer/developer should have the means to create these for you as well if you don’t have them.
  • Do you need help maintaining the site after it’s live?
    • Again, this is usually highly suggested as something you add on since things will be changing frequently and will need updating.
  • What CRM are you using? How do you see your website leads or customers being added to your CRM?
  • How many pages do you anticipate needing?
    • To determine, think about your user’s overall experience and “touch-points” that will occur. This can always change, but it’s good to have a range in mind.
  • What is your timeline?
  • What is your budget?

With these additional tools to help you have the answers prepared and questions ready to ask you should be able to go hire with confidence and achieve beautiful results.