There are close to two billion websites in existence right now, some of which were built by their owners alone. But unless you’ve taken a computer-related course back in college or learned how to program during your spare time, you might find it difficult to build an entire site from scratch. You’ll probably need to ask a few website developers and builders to work for you. However, to ensure that you find one who can meet your needs, you should make them answer the following questions first before hiring them:
- What previous websites have they built?
The biggest mistake that you can make when asking for help with building your website is getting someone who claims to be a web developer but has nothing to show for it. You should ask every web developer that you plan to hire to provide you with a portfolio of all the websites they’ve built in the past. But if a majority of past sites that a certain web developer includes in their portfolio all look like they belong to a bygone era when Geocities was still around, you should look for one with a more modern take on website development instead.
- What kind of website can they build for you given the budget you allotted for it?
How your website turns out will mostly depend on the amount of money that you plan to put into its development. If you’d like to have a fancy website, the web developer you’ll hire will most likely ask for a higher pay compared to if they built a simple yet functional one for you.
Keep your expectations about your website grounded in reality. Don’t ever expect any web developer to build a quality website for you if you aren’t willing to spend thousands of dollars for it.
- How long do they estimate it would take to build your website?
Some websites only take a few weeks to build. Others take months before they see the light of day on the Internet. But one thing’s for sure: it shouldn’t take too long for a web developer to build your website, regardless of its complexity and scope. They should be able to divulge to you even just a rough but realistic estimate of how long it would take them to create your website. If they can’t give you a straight answer as to how many weeks or months before you can see their finished product that is your website, don’t hire them.
- How would they ensure that your website will land a place in a search engine’s top ten results?
You may have the most beautifully designed website in 2018 and beyond. But if it isn’t listed in a search engine’s first page of results, you might eventually decide to shut it down instead and save yourself the embarrassment of having an aesthetically pleasing yet low-ranking website.
You’ll want to ensure that the web developer you’ll hire should build your website and optimize it for search engine rankings at the same time. How exactly do they plan to use SEO best practices is entirely up to them, but they should have at least a basic understanding of search engine optimization and why your website needs it. Don’t hire a web developer who doesn’t know anything at all about SEO.
- How can they make it easy for you to do minor changes to your website without you having to hire them again?
Your website won’t stay that way forever. You may move to a new location or change your phone number. You’ll most likely want to update your contact details or amend a blog post in the future. Similar to something like resume templates, you’ll most likely want to keep the website the same but make small adjustments in the years to come.
Unless you have a vast pool of funds available at your disposal, you might not want to rehire the developers who built your website, especially if any changes that you plan to make to it are so small that you feel you can do it all by yourself. So before hiring a website builder, ask them if they’ll use a content management system, or CMS, such as WordPress, Squarespace, or one that they made just for you. With a CMS, you can make updates to your website’s content without needing to learn how to code.
Constructing a website from the ground up can be a worthwhile solo endeavor if you have the patience and programming skills to pursue it. However, if you neither have the time nor the know-how when it comes to writing code, you should make use of the services of a web development company with website builders and developers under their employ. But first, you should ask them the questions listed above so that you have a fair idea of what to expect once you hire them to create your website for you.