It’s not uncommon that I get website design or SEO inquiries from someone that has been burned by their previous designer. It breaks my heart to see the stories — being ghosted, money taken, their time completely wasted.
Can you always prevent this from happening? Unfortunately not. But, let me give you a few questions to ask BEFORE you hire your next website designer so you can hopefully avoid the awkward conversations and get the best results!
- Which website platform do you recommend for me?
Not all website platforms are created equal — nor should ANY designer “specialize” in “all website platforms”. Discuss the goals of your website with your designer before you commit. Whether that is selling services, e-commerce and/or product sales, or making sure that you can upkeep the website content after the design is finished.
- How will website updates happen after your design work is done?
Make sure you’re prepared to either pay the designer to update your website OR that they train you how to update your site when the design is finished. For example, I always record a customized walkthrough video of how to manage a website going forward after my design or SEO scope of work is completed, so my clients feel comfortable with future updates without the need to pay me.
- Do you have a contract that I can review?
It’s a big red flag if your designer does NOT have a contract. The contract in this case should protect both you AND the designer. Make sure the contract includes a scope of services so you’re both on the same page as far as deliverables go. We all know life happens and sometimes emergencies come up that need to take priority over work. How do you make sure that both you and the designer are protected? Are there fees and penalties for certain specifics like timeline?
- Have you done a project similar to mine? If so, can you show me?
Make sure your designer has a legitimate website WITH examples they have done. And, even an added bonus if you can talk with people who have worked with them. We happily provide our inquiring clients with testimonials from previous clients and have even asked previous clients if it’s okay if inquiring clients reach out to them to ask questions. We have yet to hear a no to that request and it makes the inquiring client even more excited when they hear just how much fun that previous client had working with us!
- What am I specifically responsible for?
This may sound obvious, but really make sure you understand what your responsibilities include. Make sure you have time to dedicate to the project, so the timeline stays in tact. Of course, you’re hiring this designer, but a part of that is also respecting their process and what they need from you! C’mon, don’t be that client. 😉
Ready for some informal advice? Make sure you actually get GOOD vibes from that designer! If things feel too formal or too stuffy, or heck, even if it seems like they’re speaking way too much tech jargon at you, it’s okay to chat with other designers you click with more personally. Check out their About Page on their website to see if you have anything in common! Little things like that make SUCH a difference for both you and the designer.