5 Questions to Ask a Web Developer Before Hiring Them

Building a website can be challenging for the non-technical person. Naturally, there’s a lot of jargon and costs involved in the process. We’ve built over one hundred websites for our clients, and each project has its own needs. One thing every client needs when commissioning an agency or developer to build their site is a set of questions to ask. These questions help guide the process and ensure you’re left with exactly what you envisioned.

Here are 5 questions to ask when hiring someone to build a website.

1. Can I see your portfolio?

When choosing a company to build your website, it’s important to see their past work. This will allow you to see their functionality capabilities and design abilities. Ask which websites were designed in-house, and where the artwork came from. If you’re asking for your website to be built in a specific programming language, ask for past examples of work done in that language.

Also, if you’re looking for a complex solution, be sure that the development team can handle it. Ask them to provide instances where they accommodated such requests.

2. Do you understand my expectations?

This is crucial. Lay out all of your expectations for the build, and go over each of them in detail. Once you’ve gone over all of your expectations, reiterate them once more. Ask for the expectations to be drafted into a contract, and only sign once you’ve been assured that they’re fully understood.

3. What is considered a revision, and how many are included in the price?

The word “revision” will certainly be used when negotiating your new website. Be sure that you understand exactly what is considered a revision. It’s important that you understand whether a minor revision like font size is included in a full revision.

You also need to know how many full revisions will be included in the cost of the website. Typically, three to five revisions are standard, but if you’re the type of person who has to have everything an exact way, you may need to negotiate for more rounds.

4. When is the deadline?

Do you have a fixed date that you need the website launched by? If so, you’ll need to get this in writing. This deadline helps the development team prioritize different aspects of the site, and work through any time-consuming tasks immediately. Be vocal about your timeline, and check in to make sure everything is on schedule.

5. What is the cost of (and who will provide) the domain, hosting, and maintenance?

Know who will be hosting, purchasing your domain name, and doing the maintenance on your website. Often, companies opt to do all three of these in-house, while at other times all three are done by the development team. You can always secure a domain name on GoDaddy and host the website on BlueHost (or any other number of providers), and ask for maintenance upon request. Negotiate the maintenance rate, so you’re not surprised when the bill comes after changes are made.

We hope this article will help you ask the right questions when commissioning your website to be built. If you’re interested in working with Cave to build your new company website or blog, fill out this form, and let’s start a conversation.

What do you think? Will you be building a new website this year? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.


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