1) Is there any examples of your work I can see?
It might sound like an easy query, but you wouldn't believe the amount of customers we have that was ripped off
by someone else who took their money and either disappeared or eventually created some horrible looking website, which wasn't fit for purpose. They would have prevented all those problems and tension if they had only tested the quality of the work of the web designers before using them. Note that there is no reason to think that the website the person/company/agency is going to create for you is going to be any better than those they have created for others.
2) How long have you been as a Web designer in business?
If they've just started, then save time. They'll be learning on the job which means they'll be susceptible to making costly mistakes if they're good. Let them learn about somebody else's pay job, and gain experience. You want a professional and you deserve value for money when you expect to pay good money for your website.
3) Would you want to help me set up my email accounts?
Setting up your email addresses is a crucial part of your online presence and there is nothing worse than being left with a legitimate domain name and website such as www.mynewcompanyname.co.uk and then having to use a personal free email address such as Hotmail, yahoo email or Gmail address. It enormously cheapens the company's presence and professional identity. And worse yet, there is simply no working email address left. So double-check that your website design firm can make sure your email accounts for your domain name are set up for you and that they can give you the account information for those email addresses so you can set them up on your computer or tablet and start using them.
4) Can you provide optimization of the Search Engine? Is this inclusive?
Just because a designer can build a nice looking website does not mean it will have any chance to be found and listed in the search engines. Creating and optimizing websites are two entirely separate activities, as different as writing and publishing a book. Optimization is divided into two main fields, optimization on-site, (Which not all web designers are going to do, or even know how to do it properly), and the off-site optimization that many other web design firms often outsource to us or other optimization agencies simply because they don't have a clue as to how to do it or whether they are going to get results.
5)Who should register your domain name for your websites?
It is one that makes us very crazy, the amount of people being ripped off, and held to ransom for the domain name. And this is a scam, in which even the big boys who know better get involved. If you don't want the domain name in your name, go ahead. Imagine a little down the road, for whatever reason you want/need to switch your website or you're not pleased with the service you've got, yet you can't because the website name is owned by the Web designer! Think they are either reluctant to let you have it, or they'd like to threaten you with a fortune to release the word. This is the nightmare faced every day by thousands and thousands of business owners. Don't just be one of these. Once you start make sure that you do.
6) Who will own the Website rights?
Do you own the website, or does the web manager hold the ability to access the website and probably have the right to charge you to continue to use your own website in the future? There are many crooks out there in web design who do this as a daily activity.
7) Were there any continuing or concealed costs or expenses?
To renew your domain name and web hosting, you'll need to pat, this is an inevitable normal fee. But what about hidden costs or fees, are you supposed to pat the designer to refresh the site every year? You shouldn't have to, but you are paid year after year by a lot of businesses out there.
8) Will I be forced to pay anything in advance, or will I be able to pay a deposit and the balance at the end?
It is an interesting question to ask because many people get ripped off by dodgy designers who are going to make you money, start making loads of excuses as to why your website isn't ready yet, and then disappear with them. Hopefully, if you have followed our first 7 steps of our 10 things to ask your web designer and checked out the answers to those questions then you are less likely to have this problem. Sadly over the years, we've had to help many clients who were ripped off by somebody before they came to us. Make sure you don't get this happening.
9) If I need to contact you, do you have a physical address and a phone number I can call on?
Many fraudulent firms pretending to be based in Malaysia fail to provide a contact number and ensure that all correspondence is made via email or webchat. This means they will never get back to you if you have any issues, and you will lose your money, so beware buyer. It also means that they are located overseas and are not subject to the laws or business practices of Malaysia, and as such if something goes wrong you have no legal recourse.
10) How long does it take to complete my website and go live?
You need to write how long it will take for the project to complete. There are many people trapped in nightmare scenarios right now, where for months and months a project that should have taken no more than a few weeks at most has been dragging on and is no closer to completion than they were a month or two ago. You can't afford to waste time this way. You have probably lost many clients and a lot of revenue every week if your website is not up and done.
Feel free to contact us and ask your web designer about these 10 things if you have a project on which you would like us to quote. We hope you'll hear from us soon.