Finding the right web designer for your business can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack. There are so many factors in choosing your web designer, from price to their portfolio. However knowing what to ask when having your website designed is something that many businesses struggle with. Here at The Unite Group, we have taken over the maintenance of many websites where businesses have had issues with things they never knew to ask about!

1. How much time will the web designer spend with me initially planning the design of my website before proceeding?

Firstly will your website designer spend time with you looking at websites? Secondly, will they look to incorporate elements you like into your own purpose built website theme? Will your web designer check with you that you are happy with the initial design of your site before proceeding with the build? And probably most importantly, will your website designer check in with you mid build to show you what work has been completed and ensure that the design and functionality is to your requirements?

2. Will my website come with a fully installed SSL Certificate?

Security is a huge concern for businesses, clients and customers alike. People are less likely to do anything on your website if your do not have that secure padlock in the address bar. Will your web designer source and install your SSL certificate on your website before handing it over to you?

3. What about a domain name?

If you already have a domain name, the likelihood is that you own the domain name and will continue to do so – or so you should! If you do not already have a domain name, will your web designer assist you in sourcing this and if they do who owns it?

4. Where is my website going to be hosted?

Web Hosting is important – without it, your website is just a collection of well designed files! Where will your website be hosted? Will the hosting be on a shared platform with millions of other websites and will you have access to your website hosting’s CPanel after they have handed the website back over to you?

5. Will I get any Website Maintenance after the initial build?

Sometimes when you receive a final product, there may be things that you are not 100% happy with. Will your web designer maintain your website after its been handed over to you? Will there be someone logging into the website and updating plugins?

6. What about Copy Writing?

Sometimes businesses have all of the information written word for word for each page of their new website. This is great for a web designer! However sometimes – finding the right words to make your website as accessible and user friendly as possible is tricky. Do they have a trusted professional copywriter they can call upon to help you with this? Or are you expected to find your own?

7. Privacy and Data Security?

GDPR – its still mind-boggling to the best of us! But its written into EU and UK law! Its not going anywhere! Websites need privacy policies and statements to tell users how their data will be used. Analytics software and cookies are a big part of GDPR. So do not be fooled if someone tells you that a privacy policy isn’t necessary. Does your web designer work alongside a specialist in Data Privacy who can write a personalised privacy policy for your business? Or again, are you expected to source this yourself?

8. What about linking up with Social Media?

A huge part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is Social Media. Do all of your social media business accounts link to your website correctly? Does your website link to your social media accounts correctly with Schema and Open Graph Protocol set up correctly? Audits we carry out on websites usually show that there are issues with Social Media account linking, so it is always worth checking that your web designer has factored this in!

9. Will you set up my Search Engine Optimisation?

Probably the second most important one on this list of things to talk about. We always say to website clients, there is absolutely no point in being online if your presence is unknown, if you can’t be found! SEO is an area which needs to be set up and maintained properly for it to be effective. You need to ask your web designer if they can set up your SEO initially. As well as what the costs are to maintain it!

10. Are there any hidden costs?

This is the big one. We have had so many conversations with business owners where they have paid a large sum of money (sometimes running into thousands of pounds) for a website they are not 100% happy with. Only to find out after paying the initial upfront costs, that there is a cost to purchase an SSL certificate, there is a hosting fee, they have nobody to turn to for maintenance unless they pay an hourly rate. In addition to this they have been told that they will need to pay an additional large sum of money for their SEO Set up.

The reason that the majority of business owners outsource a web designer is because they do not know how to do it themselves or have no desire to want to do it themselves. This can be exploited at times. Often the hidden costs can sometimes add up to as much as the cost of the initial website design.

So why are The Unite Group different?

We approach every website in exactly the same way – we answer all of the above questions without being asked them! We break down our quotes and lay out all of the costs upfront so that you, as a business owner, can choose which parts you want and which parts you don’t. These costs are not inflated if you choose to add them at a later date either! If we quote you for web maintenance and you decide within 6 months of the website going live that you wanted it, you’d pay what we quoted initially.

If you would like more information or to discuss a website project with us, just send us a message on our Contact Us page