You've done your research and settled on your site's web designer. Now what? What should you expect from your web designer? Not knowing what comes next can be both frustrating and deflating. However, we have gathered a little information so you will not feel like you are in the dark about the next step in the process.
There are several phases, if you will, involved when hiring a web designer. The first of which is the pre-hire or onboarding phase. With this phase, there are a few things you can expect:
- The designer will provide a consultation, usually free of charge, before offering a quote or any type of proposal. If the designer offers you a price without an idea of what you want, then chances are you are being offered a pre-packaged solution that will not be right for your particular needs.
- The next step will be the web designer offering a contract or an agreement for service. This agreement will contain a payment structure and a schedule for delivering different phases of the work provided. Not only is the contract for legal reasons, but also a guideline of expectations for both parties.
- Once the contract terms are agreed upon and set, the onboarding process will typically begin with a questionnaire or interview by the web designer. It is in your best interest that you remain suspicious of a designer that doesn't appear to be taking into account key information about the job and your target market.
The next phase will be the build-out phase. Remember that the build-out phase will often vary between web designers. However, no matter how the web designer decides to handle the specifics of this phase, the most crucial key is communication.
Next will be the testing phase. The testing may include browser testing, multiple device testing, and functionality testing. The first two are pretty self-explanatory. However, the last one has yet to be widely understood. With functionality testing, the web designer will ensure that those areas of the website, such as a contact form, are functioning correctly. It is suggested that the entire testing phase be conducted on a test server and the live server. The testing is done in this manner so that the client will not spend a large budget on their website launch only to discover that the site is either broken or not functioning entirely.
When the web designer hands off the completed site to you, you must ensure that you know the type, or types, of maintenance required, the individual responsible for performing the maintenance, and the anticipated costs involved. A professional web designer will not simply send an invoice via email without ensuring that the site meets your expectations and needs. The web designer will also make sure that any follow-up processes are in place, such as redirection of URLs or that forms have been tested to ensure functionality.
- Your Domain/domains – register any domains you intend to use, and do not leave this up to the web designer. Domain registration requires sensitive personal information, so conduct this step yourself.
- Google Analytics – the account for this step is best set up under a generic company email, such as email@example.com, with the web designer having permissions as a user or admin.
- Hosting – handling this step yourself is more for restoring your site down the road or if you choose to have it rebuilt and redesigned at some point.
- Answers and feedback – when given the requested set of specific criteria, a web designer can typically give you a good idea of the length of time it will take them to build out yoursite. Keep in mind that the longer you make the designer wait for any requested feedback, the longer it will take to receive the end product.
- Ideas and examples – most often, when starting the process of having a site built, we may not know exactly what we want, but that doesn't mean we won't know it when we see it. Ensure that you provide any ideas or examples of other sites that best represent what you are looking for in your site.
When deciding on having a site built to further market your business, being on the same page with your web designer will make the process easier and help it run more smoothly. And the smoother the process runs, the faster you will have your site up and running.
Here at Skratch Creative experts in Web Design Houston, we are driven to help your business build the most potent brand possible by using industry-leading technology and marketing strategies. We combine our custom-tailored approach to brand management with award-winning content writing to elevate your brand beyond your competition.