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Episode 3 – Top Ten Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Web Design Company

 

 

 

Hello, everyone. This is Vince from Distinct Web Design and welcome to episode three. This episode is going to be about the top 10 questions you should ask a company before doing web design project with them.

This is one of my favorite topics to discuss. A lot of people don’t know what to ask when they’re working with a new web design company. To a lot of people, web design might as well be a different language. They really don’t know what’s going on. We feel it’s our responsibility to help people out whether you’re our customer or not have a resource of what you should ask, what you can expect and what you can expect with us.
The first thing I like to ask is what happens if I don’t like the work? Some companies, they might have you pay a down payment for a design. If you don’t like the design, you can pay more money to change that design, or you can suck it up with what you got, or lose your money and go somewhere else.
Here at Distinct Web Design, we offer 110% money back guarantee on all your web design needs. To be clear, that is a seven day guarantee. Once the website launches, once we hand it over to you, we only give you seven days, but that’s a long time throughout the process. At any point in the process, you can go ahead and redeem that guarantee, especially once it’s live and if you’re getting bad feedback from your friends or your customers.
Another really important question you should be asking is what services do you offer? For us, in particular, we build all of our websites on the WordPress platform. We offer maintenance, monthly maintenance and SEO work that you can upgrade into if you’d like or we can build your site, train you, hand it over, which we don’t recommend, but if budgets are tight or if you really feel technically savvy, we can always do that for you. But, again, we prefer to manage it for you just because this is something we do everyday. We are experts in the field. If you’re not an expert, it might be something you want to let us handle.
A similar comparison would be if you’re not a mechanic, but you want to try changing your engine or your transmission, and you don’t plan on ever being a mechanic. Why would you waste your time trying to learn that to save a few bucks when you could really reinvest that time if you had someone else do it that is a professional that could do it right the first time?
You should ask them what their credentials and experience are. We’ve been building websites since 2010. Our current client base was really established in 2012, and Distinct Web Design has been established as a company since 2015. We’ve done websites for all kinds of different actors, businesses. This will segue us into the next important question is who are your customers? We’ve worked with an HBO actor, Tim Simons. He’s on the HBO’s Veep. We’ve worked with companies that have a national client base like JDH Contracting. We’ve worked with local small businesses, restaurants and flower shops. A flower shop in particular, Eitel’s Florist, it’s been established for over a hundred years. We’ve done work for some people at DePauw University, the Great Lakes College Association and that’s just to name a few of the customers we’ve worked with. Really, we have a great client base all across the US.
The next big question is who are your references? Can I talk to them? What do they say about you? On our website, we have a few recent quotes about the work we’ve done. In the past, we have connected potential clients with clients of ours to talk about what we do and the work we’ve done for them. If someone is afraid to tell you the work they’ve done, then they probably haven’t done much work or they haven’t done high quality work.
The next big question is who are your references? Can I talk to them? What do they say about you? On our website, we have a few recent quotes about the work we’ve done. And, in the past, we have connected potential clients with clients of ours to talk about what we do and the work we’ve done for them. If someone is afraid to tell you the work they’ve done, then they probably haven’t done much work or they haven’t done high quality work, and that should be a red flag. You really want to work with someone who’s established and has a customer base that trust them and is okay, willing to talk about them. Also take a look on Yelp, or Google, or Facebook wherever their presence might be and see what their ratings are.
What are your prices? Our prices vary. We really want to gauge what you need in your site before we give you an estimate. It’s really important to us to not just slap a number on the table and try to fit that number if that’s not your needs. Once we have that conversation, we’ve had to turn clients away before. Their budget just wasn’t going to be enough for us to do high quality work. That’s not to say we’re expensive. We’re really not but we’ve learned from past experiences, if we can’t do high quality work, we really shouldn’t take that on. We’ve also had some clients that wanted way more than we thought we could produce for them, way too much customization, and we’ve turned them away as well. And, for us, it’s about finding that right fit.
Our prices will vary and we’re always willing to talk through the project with you and figure that out. But, I would say it’s a red flag if someone gives you a price before they even know what you want and they kind of set packages … They’re really just going to try to fit your budget into a mold rather than really figuring out the best way to serve you.
On that same note, what are your hidden fees or recurring fees? A lot of people might include that all on a package. Then the second year, hit you with a fee. Maybe their initial estimate has it all tied into one. I’ll tell you, for us, our mandatory fees are your domain name and hosting, which currently are combined for a $150 a year. We also offer SEO work and monthly maintenance on your site to maintain your site, back your site up as well as some of our packages involve unlimited edits to edit your page and maintain your website. Those all come into monthly fee depending on really what your website looks like and how it fits.
For those of you that don’t know, SEO is search engine optimization. It’s really a fancy word for how to get your website to the top of Google, or Bing, or Yahoo whenever someone searches for it and that’s something that’s really an ongoing process that we work with you on a monthly basis if you’re interested in.
Another question is can you do custom work? The answer for us is yes. We can do custom work although we really focus heavily on WordPress websites that are built using the WordPress platform. However, we have done Android and iPhone applications in the past. We’re currently building out a custom … We can’t talk too much about it, but it’s basically an eCommerce platform for a specific group of people. The website will go national here hopefully by the end of the year. The client is looking for some funding right now, but it’s fully custom web app. It’s not using WordPress at all, but it’s something we’re able to do. Custom work might not be important for you, but if you think it might be, definitely find someone who can integrate that with the website you’re doing and not have to find out last minute that they can’t.
Ask them how you measure results. Our answer for that, it depends on how you want to measure your results. What are you looking for? Do you want a website out there that’s basically a business card that you can refer people to to get your contact information? Then, we’re going to see how many people are landing on your page, how many people are actually going once you tell them and viewing your page and what they’re doing on that. If you’re trying to sell a product, we’re going to measure it based on your sales and find out what your cost per customer acquisition is and how much money you can invest in a site. Maybe that means some Facebook advertising so we can find out, if you put $5 in the Facebook, how much money can you expect to be made from those ads?
For us, it ties back into what our prices are. It really depends on what you need and we’re going to fit that need and tell you what we think it would cost for us to fit that need and go from there. Similarly, we’re going to find out what your goals are and then build the site around what your goals are. We’ll make that very clear what we expect and what we hope to see the website grow into and the results that you expect.
Another really important question is if they’ll train you how to use their website. Ask them this upfront. You don’t want to be halfway through a process and have them say, “It’s too complicated for you to learn,” and they have to manage it for you. That’s a red flag.
Again, we don’t want to let you manage the site. I’m being honest because we know problems might come up. If you make a mistake and then ask us to fix it, that can get expensive. But, if you want to manage it, we’re going to let you and we’re going to warn you. We’re going to have you sign an agreement letting you know that we tried to tell you not to, but we’re not going to hold you hostage from your own site. If a company says they can’t train you, definitely run away. We do offer training with all of our websites and we also offer support packages that we’d love to set you up on. If you’re listening to this and we didn’t build your website, but it is a WordPress site, we can still get you on a support package so feel free to contact us.
I hope this was useful. There’s lots of questions you should always ask. These are the most important ones in our eyes, but there’s always questions that will come up. We hope you can refer back to this. Contact us if you need. Hopefully, you’re going to contact us and ask us these questions, and we can go in a much deeper conversation one-on-one about your needs. But, even if you’re using this to grill someone else, I’m happy to resource.
If you do find this useful, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram. We’d really appreciate if you would rate us on your podcast app of choice, whatever you’re using here. It really helps us get the word out and get the podcast out there to more people who might not have found it otherwise. If you give us a five star rating, leave us a comment, I would greatly appreciate it. Please share this resource with anyone you think might need it. Again, I’m Vince Aguirre, president of Distinct Web Design. Thank you for joining me for episode three.

 

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