1. Can I see examples of your work?
If you are hiring an experienced web developer they should have a website that you can visit with a portfolio of their previous work. Their website should provide you with information to learn more about them, the services that they offer, and examples of work. By obtaining this information you are able to develop an idea if the developer is most suitable for your project and can provide you with the services necessary. An online portfolio proves that the developer is credible.
2. How much do you charge?
Of course, the cost is extremely important. When you are shopping around for a web developer I am sure that you are comparing pricing. This question typically isn’t a standard answer and requires extensive detail of your project for the most appropriate budget. But during your discovery calls, this is definitely the time to ask. It seems like a no brainer but you would be surprised how many times I have had conversations with clients and we just vibed so well that they forgot to ask about what I would charge. They were planning on hiring me until I told them my price and it was not in their budget. After you have discussed the details of your project get a price and make sure it is within your budget before you continue to waste more of yours or the developers time.
3. What services are included in the pricing?
Be sure that you clearly understand what services the Web Developer is offering for the price you are going to pay. On several occasions, I have had clients hire me after discussing their project and agreeing on the services that I would provide then later express that they expected other services to be included such as graphic design, copywriting, or content creation. Which are all services that I do not provide. So be sure to have a clear understanding of what services you are being provided with the price you are paying to your developer. You do not want any unexpected costs later.
4. How will I pay you?
Determine the accepted methods of payment. There are tons of ways to pay people nowadays and everyone uses different payment services. Make sure you know how your developer accepts payments so you can be sure to sign up for the service if need be.
5. How long will it take you to build my website?
You may or may not be in a hurry for your website to be completed. But you should always what the turnaround time will be for your completed project. This will give you an idea of when to expect your site to be live and when to begin directing customers to it. You do not want to hire a web developer without a project end goal because there is no accountability. Also, if you have a specific deadline or need a quick turnaround this is something that you most definitely need to express to your developer upon hire. Effective communication will assure your website development is a smooth process.
6. Will I be able to manage and update my own website?
For some people, they do not want to continue to pay someone to manage and make minor changes to their website. They would prefer to do it themselves. If that is important to you, be sure to discuss this with your developer. This will give your developer an idea of the best way possible to build your website that best accommodates your requirements.
7. Will my website be responsive?
Responsive design is extremely important. Make sure that your developer is able to assure your website will be responsive across all devices and browsers.
8. Will my website be search engine friendly?
Everyone wants to be at the top of Google. But without meeting the necessary requirements, this will not happen. Make sure that your developer has the knowledge of SEO and will able to effectively accumulate it into your site. Every developer should have knowledge of basic SEO. But if you are wanting extensive SEO experience be sure to communicate that will your developer prior to hire.
9. Do you custom code websites or use pre-made templates?
If you are someone who wants your website custom coded from scratch you need to make sure to communicate this with your potential developer. Some developers such as myself use premade WordPress themes and use custom code them to fully customize the theme to meet the client expectations. Either method of development is effective. But if you prefer one or the other be sure to clarify this.
10. How will I be able to view site traffic and bounce rate?
Your developer should integrate services such as Google Analytics for your website. Google Analytics gives you the ability to view tons of different site statistics such as the number of visitors, bounce rate, most visited pages, the method of traffic, demographics, etc. Make sure your potential developer offers this for you so your website can be as successful as possible which in turn will significantly benefit your business.
11. What happens if I do not like the initial design?
If you are hiring a Web Developer, you want to be sure your website is going to turn out how you wish. If you are unsure of what you want, you should find at least three website examples to show your developer. This will give them the best idea of how to bring your vision to life through your style of design and typography. Often times, providing your developer with examples of what you like it will eliminate the result of unsatisfaction with your end result. But in the unfortunate event that you may not like your finished project, you need to know where the potential developer stands and what they will do to make sure you are happy with your end result. The last thing you want is to spend money on something you are unhappy with and then have to spend more money or lose your project entirely.
12. What do you need from me in order to get started? How much involvement will be required from me throughout the project?
Although you are hiring a developer it does not mean that your involvement is eliminated. You will need to spend time preparing the information that you would like on your site such as copy, pictures, examples, videos, etc. The amount of time required is dependent on your project.
13. Do you use a content management system (CMS)? If so, which one do you use?
If you ask the previous questions mentioned, this question should basically already be addressed. But just to double check you want to ask how your website is being built. Majority of websites these days are built using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. When developers use WordPress it gives you the ability to manage your own website make minor changes/updates yourself if you choose. If this is important to you be sure to mention it so your developer doesn’t custom code a website you have no clue how to manage.
14. Will I be able to view my website as you are creating it?
Most developers build websites on a temporary domain and then once the project is completed transfer it to your live domain. Other developers build right on your domain. This can be the case if it is a new website. Either way, you will want to ask when you will be able to see progress and how often.
15. Do you offer web hosting?
Some developers will include web hosting in their price. Meaning they will host your domain on their server. But I strongly advise against this. I RECOMMEND HOSTING ON YOUR OWN SERVER! I discussed this in further detail in another post. Click here to read it.
By now, you should have a solid idea of whether this developer is a right fit for you and your project.