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Questions to Ask a Website Design Company

19.04.2014 | 12:02
Questions to Ask a Website Design Company

Is it better to hire Freelancer or Professional Company for your business website?

Web Design and Development Project is quite complex. Quality of your website determines a big part of success of your business. Therefore, always engage a company for your web site project. You can trust to one person, to look after your baby (qualified babysitter) and, you can put your health in hands of one person (qualified dentist), but, never, let your website in the hands of one person (student freelancer or even not a specialist). To organize professionally your website project you need a serious company with highly qualified professionals.

Your website is very important for your business, to entrust to one person that has no office, and can go out of project, at any time. This person can change his phone number and you can not contact him or her, so, this is not a good solution.

Therefore, you need a serious company and let’s talk, how to find one?!

We at Albasoft, suggest you, using this questionnaire or similar, before you make a decision about hiring a company to design and develop your website.

1. Who does your programming and development?

If a company does programming and development, unexpected delays are less possible. Almost any website project need programming, your website, as well, could need a sign-up, feedback form, calendar of events, shopping cart, subscription, a forum, or some other little gadget. Some web design firms outsource programming; still, this could be a gap in your project. Quality control is also much easier when everyone is sitting same workplace with each other, and, if the members of team want to talk at their desk on their computer, it’s much easier to communicate what they want and get their ideas across.

2. Can I update the website myself?

If it has been built as a static website, then no, you can't update it yourself; you will need a professional website designer to do this for you. Therefore, ask if a company offers websites with CMS (for example Albasoft CMS), and then, you can update the information yourself.

3. How long does it take to build a website?

If you are quick to respond and can get things approved quickly, the project will take much less time.

We highly suggest breaking the website project into phases that can be accomplished more quickly.

The Proposal Phase – you get an offer, singed agreement etc.

The Design Phase – you get a mockup, approve design etc.

The Coding Phase – developers get the prototype and use them to create the functional site by coding, testing, and implementation.

The Publication phase (to take it live phase) – after testing, site is ready for delivery, uploading content and publishing.

If you have a website with more pages that need to be written, or you want additional features, like a shopping cart or forum, the project will take more time to complete. An average 20-30 page site can be accomplished in two or three weeks.

4. How do you price your services?

An experienced company possibly will have higher prices for their services then freelancer, however, you should buy a professional service, where a team of experts should design, develop and manage your project. Get informed does the company makes available a flat project price that match to a detailed contract, and which of their team members will be working on your project, and what their qualifications are. Is there a clear procedure for billing for extra features? Request to have a price list for maintenance services, hosting and feature services. Pay attention if there are any hidden prices. Some companies include low Initial price, to start a project, but, you will pay a big monthly fee for maintenance, after initial phase.

5. I want a website, but I also want help marketing it, do you do that?

From the first day you publish your website, you need help marketing it. If they don’t provide Internet marketing services such Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social media marketing, Online advertising, E-mail marketing, SMS Marketing etc. it is not a excellent company for your business. A good web design company should be competent to help you marketing your website. They should be able to provide you with a detailed search engine optimization plan, content strategy, advise on banner ad position and propose other ideas like social media, create and manage a paid search campaign, etc.

6. Can you send to me some references or Case Studies and can I ask some of your clients about your service?

Find out what projects they've done and what types of clients have they worked with. Have they done system integrations or customized web projects that require advanced problem solving skills. You can contact one ore more clients to see what they thought of the service and what kind of results have company delivered for those clients.

7. How big is the company and what are their core services?

Ask what their main services are and if a company has enough qualified people for search engine optimization, copywriting abilities, graphic designers, programmers, software architects, internet marketing expert, quality assurance tester etc. If the company is too small, you may run the risk of delays. A company that has the capability to handle your entire project, from planning, to design, to development and marketing success is a company you should look for. Like I mention, a website project is complex, but, you can make it simple by finding a company that offers all services. All in one is the best solution for website project. Ask, have they developed any special applications, or, are their key players recognized as industry leaders. If not, do not contract such company.

8. Is there a project manager and how do you manage a particular project?

Building a successful website require a skilled project manager, a qualified team, and solid objectives. A proper team consists of software architects to plan the site, web designers to design the user interface, web developers to code the site, quality assurance engineers to test it, and SEO specialists to implement an efficient online marketing strategy. This team should work under an experienced project manager to ensure a successful product.

If a company does not offers you a Project Manager as a contact person to you, ready for visiting you in your office or having a long Skype talk with you about your project, forget that company.

9. Is the company financially stable?

If you ask this question directly, you will get false confirmation that, they are financially stable and have a long experience. However, you should ask other questions to get this information. Ask which year they started a business, and, if they are more then 5 years in market, it is good, if they are more then 10 years as Albasoft Group, even better. You want to entrust your project and the future of your business to a stable company that will be around next ten year.

Author: Lulëzim Shishani

CEO at: Albasoft Group

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