Ten questions to ask your website developer before building your website
Some points to consider when selecting a website design company
- Have you built this type of website before?
Ask to see examples. Call the owners of the examples to see how they found working with the potential supplier.
- Who is on your team?
Find out if the company has project managers, designers and developers in-house. Outsourcing isn't necessarily a bad thing (it keeps overheads down), but it's good to know what you are getting yourself into from the outset.
- How stable is your business?
Find out as much as you can about the company. For those in the UK, the Companies House website has some useful research tools.
- Who will be my main point of contact
A project manager with a real understanding of your sector, plus a deep understanding of design and development would be ideal.
- Is it safe?
What security measures will the company take to protect you and your users? Will any ongoing support be given once the website is launched?
- How will I update the website once it is launched?
It might be worth investing in a Content Management System from the start, to avoid commissioning costly updates in the future. It's a good idea to try out the CMS that'll be used before you embark on the project.
- What technologies will be used to build my website?
Make sure you understand the implications of the various technologies employed so you can plan for the future. If your developers will be using a Framework (a pre-written library of code), make sure it's one that has been well-tested and documented. Most frameworks have their own websites where you can see examples of how they have been used.
- How do you deal with copyright and IP?
Make sure you understand exactly who owns what.
- Can I host the website on my own server?
It's worth knowing where the website will eventually reside. It's not necessarily a mistake to let you website developer host your website, but you should discuss costs and what happens if the relationship breaks down.
- What are the costs for ongoing support and development?
Don't be seduced by a cheap initial build, only to find updates are prohibitively expensive.