Questions To Ask a Web Developer

If you're starting up an online business or setting up a website for your new business venture, you'll want to read our Web Development Advice. You will also need to bone up on what questions to ask a web developer before you sign a contract to create your website.

Start making a note of pertinent questions to ask to make sure the developer has the ability and competence to meet your website needs.

Now, draw up a list of 10 possible web developers by looking at their work and case studies. Before you approach them for quotes, you need to ensure your brief is complete. Also, outline the ideas and suggestions you need to explore in more detail and make a list of web design questions to ask.

The company’s track record is key. Ask for some references and contact their clients. Be sure to enquire about the company’s ability to solve problems - this is way more important than if their work appeals to you on an aesthetic level.

Meet with the freelance designer and developer. You need to establish a rapport and start a good working relationship.

This checklist is an amalgamation of various experts’ advice on web development.

Start making a note of pertinent questions to ask a web developer in an interview

Web Development Question Checklist

There are several categories listed here and you may even find more of your own. These are questions to ask a web developer in an interview. By knowing the best questions to ask developers, you will gain a strong understanding of the final result. Some of these are web design questions, ensure you gain clear answers before starting up a business site.

 

Initial Concept

Make sure you've done all your website planning and business planning before you dive into the conceptual planning.

  • Are they specialists in your sector?
  • What is their confidentiality policy?
  • Can you have a CMS?
  • Is there access to a test admin section to explore how it works?
  • How long will development take?
  • Do they have similar projects?Are there any other timescales involved?
  • Do they have standard contracts to avoid the cost of legal fees?
  • Can they give you references for other client sites? You want names and contact details to call and discuss theirservice with their other clients.

 

Design Questions for Web Developers

This is really fun and can be an ongoing task if your site is big and complex like iHubbub. As it evolves, so does your design so find a good freelance designer who is there with you from the start and will see it all the way through to the end (if there is an end).

  • Will you be included in brainstorming sessions?
  • Will you own the IPR on the logo?
  • Who owns the Intellectual Property and copyright?
  • When will you get the initial designs?
  • How long will it take to revise them?
  • What if you don’t like the designs?
  • Do you get a breadcrumb trail? This may not be necessary now but it could help in future and is good for SEO.

 

Implementation

The nitty gritty of functionality and how your website actually works and is seen by both search engines and visitors is vital to having a successful website.

  • When will they fit your site design and build into their schedule?
  • How long will the first draft take?
  • How can you remain in control of the overall process?
  • Are they SEO experts?
  • Will your site have all the vital SEO architecture built in?
  • Do they offer any guarantees?
  • Will there be regular progress reviews to keep you up to date?
  • Can they outline review stages?
  • Who owns the coding IP? Be sure to understand what you own and what you don’t own.
  • Can they meet your launch date? Will they guarantee this?

 

Testing

Follow these steps when you start testing your website and quality check every area.

  • How long is the testing period?
  • Do they provide hosting? And is it included in the cost?
  • What happens if the site does not meet deadlines?
  • Although you trust your designers to use their own skills and judgement, what measures are in place for critiques?
  • How should you point your domain to their servers? You can either give them access or ask them how to do it.

KEEP CONTROL: Don’t let them buy the domain in case it goes pear shaped and they won’t release the domain when your site is successful.

Sign Off and Go Live

Now comes the really exciting bit, but don't get too 'yippee' just yet, be sure you have all of this knuckled down before your party shoes are shined.

  • When do you expect to go live?
  • Who will sort out the server?
  • What happens if your site gets so big it keeps crashing?
  • If so, will they supply a dedicated server?
  • What will that cost?
  • Can they provide regular backups?
  • What happens in the event of a crash or downtime?
  • What if you want to transfer the site or host it elsewhere?

 

Web Development Payment

Finally on web developer questions, you will need to talk through payment plans and options of how to pay for your new website being built for your new business start up.

  • What do they charge?
  • Is there a fixed rate for the job?
  • What about extras?
  • How do they expect to be paid?
  • What happens if you pay late? Beware of this as they may hold you to ransom.
  • What happens if they don’t deliver the full brief?

Take a tour around our Business Advice area where you will find loads of good articles to learn more about marketing your business venture and how to get free publicity when your new website is set up.

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