1. How do you solve our problems?
It is important for you to understand your underlying interests in building or redesigning a website and then to effectively communicate your wants and needs to a web developer. A web firm should be doing more for you by looking to help solve these underlying interests rather than just putting a website up for you on the Internet. You should come prepared to your consultation with these underlying interests and ask your web developer for their plan of action.
2. How much support do you offer?
Many developers charge different prices based on a flat rate, hours worked, or both. Most web developers know about how much time it should take to design your website but will put a cap on the number of hours they will work on it. This is to prevent clients from abusing their time. Any additional time is usually generated because the client is indecisive, unprepared, and therefore decides to make timely, substantial changes throughout the web development process.
After your website is built you need to understand how it is performing and how you can improve upon it. Your website should include analytics and a way to track performance of different pages. This should be a natural process to be expected. You should also decide up front who will continue to do updates and how these will be managed. Your website can be built on different platforms giving you the ability to edit your website or you can go for a more customized format.
3. How quickly can you provide a first draft of the site and how long does a job like this usually take?
The development time for your website really depends on the type of site and features that you want, how specific you can be in laying out what you would like your website to look like, and how quickly you can communicate with and provide content to your developer.
The best way to reduce the time and cost of your website is to have a clear and concise vision for your website. Again this starts by explaining your interests behind building or redesigning your website and developing a plan with your web developer. When you are unclear of your vision, projects often go over budget and take a lot longer to complete. Show your developer websites that you like and then ask your web developer for examples of sites they have created which are similar to your requests. This will help them give you a realistic time frame and budget assuming that you can provide content on time with clear intentions. As you progress and make changes to your website, your developer should communicate approximate times that it will take to make the changes you request. Make sure to set up a communication schedule with your developer and provide them with the best times and methods to get a hold of you.
4. How do you construct websites for search engine optimization?
There are many different ways in which a developer can implement SEO into your website. You should be aware of many of these and ask your web developer which techniques they plan on implementing. Developing a blog, developing a social media campaign, setting up a Google Places page, creating simple and readable content, creating meta data, creating heading summaries, image summaries, interior page analysis, domain expiration dates, number of links pointing from other sites to yours, mobile optimization, RSS feed, conversion forms, and marketing automation are all tools which can and should be used to build you search engine optimization. This is a crucial component of your web development as you don’t want your site to sit on the internet under-performing.
Go ahead and test your developer on their SEO ability. You should request to see previous clients and Google the keywords which they tailored their websites to.
5. Are your websites tested for multi-browser compatibility?
Every browser renders your website differently. With four different major web browsers and each version of Internet Explorer displaying your site differently, your developer needs to test your website on multiple web browsers to ensure uniformity across multiple platforms. This is a time consuming process and thorough testing is often skipped by some developers charging discount prices.
6. What type of specialties or languages does your team have?