Topics for questions
During the conversation, work in the following topics:
- your budget, as this has an impact development and the time that the development may take. It also means that if there are many stages to your site development. Scalability of the site will need accounting for.
- what resources you have in your business. Is there enough to maintain content after the website has launched? A website and social media presence require attention once launched. Does the web technologist have any strategies to help you with this attention so you can flourish or not?
- a portfolio of work done for other clients like you, to show abilities
- what is in the contract terms and what copyrights do you hold after the site has launched? This is important. I have seen several businesses find out at launch the web technologist ‘owns’ the rights. Depending on your countries Copyright Law. Any images or content are, either owned by yourself outright or, under license (in the case of media).
The terms of the contract also means that there will be a specific payment plan. Take this into account with your budget.
Do they actually have a contract for you to sign? BIG warning flashing signs if you do not get a contract or proposal/contract to sign. The contract is to protect you and them.
- What is their development process? how involved will you be? do they need you to provide content and when would that need to be available?
- Ask when the possible start date is as well as letting them know when the launch of the website needs to happen. Who will they need to liaise with to keep everything on track.
- Do they provide any after launch care or support? Is there a maintenance fee or a one off fee? Is it included in your initial budget?
Remember, ask what is their point of difference compared to others in the industry.
The web developer/designer/agency may have information on their website. Have a read of it before you get to a meeting. Take a look at it whilst you are researching who to work with.
Accessibility, SEO, User testing, and web standards, include these in your meeting. A topic to cover these is the Development process.
The main reason I prefer to have a discussion with potential clients is all about value fit. I like to work with clients that have projects that fit my values. This is not always possible.
I have experienced clients who, I gave contracts to that they have not signed (or read). Clients pay late and/or asked for extra development, not in the original website scope. This was not a good value fit. Discuss all extra work. Let the web technologist re-pitched so that you can look at your priorities and budget. Web technologists do not like working for nothing.
After decision made
After the first meeting, you received the proposal. Make your decision about who will build your website. Sign the contract and send back to them. When sending email confirmation:
- do restate the start of work date
- put in that you understand the payment requirements,
- request the invoice and
- PAY them according to their terms.
It always seems a struggle to get the right web technologist to build you website. Once you have found them then you will never have to find another one. Keep in mind the points made in this article, and you will find a web technologist that works with you. Not their own agenda or for you.
Remember, just because there is a list of questions doesn’t mean that you get the right web technologist.
If you like what you have read then do not hesitate to contact me to start the ball rolling on your next digital project. I can help you with all of the above and then some more. Or DOWNLOAD the Free Conversation Visual Checklist for getting your website started.