When it comes to websites, every two years marks the need for an update. From changes to graphics, content or navigation, to a new database or backend system, it is important to make the changes you need to keep your website current. If it’s been more than two years since your last update, it’s time to look into website development!
Here is a list of 12 questions to ask prospective web developers before selecting one to hire:
1. What are your thoughts on the future of web development/where it is heading?
There are a handful of trends taking shape in today’s website development world. By asking prospective developers where they think things are heading in the industry, you can see how well they fit with your marketing strategy.
2. Do you design websites for different audiences or are your websites one-size-fits-all?
Web development is time-intensive, so some companies use standardized template sites to save time. Though these sites can be completed quickly, they cannot provide a one-of-a-kind page. This makes it important to make sure your developer offers the kind of web design you are looking for.
3. How big is your company?
It is best to select a company small enough to make your project a priority but big enough to handle your needs and respond to your questions in an efficient manner.
4. Do you have your own developers on staff or do you outsource any of the work?
It is important to hire someone you can sit down with, look in the eye and talk to one on one. U.S. based companies with U.S. based resources tend to be the best.
5. Do you have a graphic designer on staff?
Hire an agency that has an in-house graphic designer. This allows the graphic designer to work hand in hand with the programmer to build your site. If the designer is freelanced, the site will be less cohesive.
6. Do you have search engine optimization (SEO) expertise on staff?
Firms with SEO staff will make SEO a priority in building your new site. The SEO specialist works with the web developer to make sure your site is ready for internet searches.
7. What computer languages do you use to build websites?
The three main web languages are HTML, CSS and Java. Each one has unique structure and attributes, and a good web developer will have thorough knowledge of each language.
8. Do you separate the presentation from the data?
This answer should be a yes. You should be able to freely change your site’s presentation without changing data. Make sure you will be able to update the website yourself, and that you won’t be stuck paying the company for every change.
9. In addition to responsive design, do you know any other ways to make browsing easier for the mobile visitor?
Consider this for your users and make sure content can be delivered in an easy, efficient way for all devices.
10. What will my URLs look like?
Long and complicated URLs are displeasing to people and search engines. Make sure they are user and SEO friendly.
11. If I need to add a feature to my data-driven website, how much time will it take?
The ability to add a feature is called extensibility, and it is very important. You should be able to add or change applications and features easily and without a high cost.
12. What other services can you offer me?
Aside from SEO and graphic design, find out the other services the web developer offers. If a company offers other services you are looking for, such as social media, blogging, public relations, etc., it will make the most sense to hire them.
To learn even more about questions to ask web developers, check out the original blog post from mRELEVANCE here.