Before contacting a web designer/developer for your website, you normally have to go through series of questions and answer sessions, some initiated by designer, others by you as the site owner.
These questions arise as both of you negotiate to get a clear message on your website requirement, it’s features and the designers offering. As a business owner you must have asked him some of these questions
- Examples of sites he/she has built before.
- What technology/tools will he/she deploy in building your site.
- Will your site have these/that features ( responsive, blog, forum, newsletter, optin-form, payment processors etc )
- How long will it take for your site to be ready?
- The cost and other extras like maintenance SEO and the rest
And more. The list can go on and on, the designer will in turn ask you some familiar questions with the most important one being.
- What kind of website do you want ( simply informational site, dynamic/database driven site ( with user generated contents ) e-commerce website, forum, community/NGO or even just a blog website)
With the above question, the designer can then tell what possible technology to deploy, how long it will take for the job to get done and the possible cost.
After all said and done and your website is delivered to you, is now your turn to ask post design questions so you can re-validate your earlier agreements and for you to confirm that your site had all the needed required features.
1) Is my site optimized for search engine?
The internet is filled with so much information on search engine optimization and it’s important to any personal, professional and business website on the internet to make sure that this is done and done right.
SEO allows you to grab free organic traffic that’s around your business themes, phrases and keyword putting you in front of your target audience.
And when we talk about optimization, we are not just talking about the right keywords mapped to the right pages. But we are also talking about
- Your site assets ( images, videos and other media files )
- Its speed
- It’s structure
- It’s responsiveness and accessibility features all optimized as they should.
So it’s important that this becomes part of any website design process for any web designer who knows his/her onion. Here you can find out more the right SEO steps to take for our sites using 20 Actionable SEO Techniques you can use to rank higher today and 5 things you can do to make your website more visible to its target audience.
2) Has it been submitted to relevant search engines?
This is not far from the first above and not absolutely necessary. Yes not necessary in the sense that search engine robots finds and index website pages/posts as they craw around the web following links and searching for contents that matches uses search queries.
if you have done your part well, taking all the right steps to make sure your website/it’s content is not just hiding at one corner of the web, then be certain that you will be found sooner than later.
But as a new website owner, you need to take that extra step of submitting your site to relevant search engines like Google and Bing through their respective search console.
3) is it mobile friendly and responsive?
With everything driven by mobile interactions as we do almost everything with our mobile devices, one wonders if this question is actually necessary.
But from experience not all business owners has the technical know how to understand what mobile first and the responsiveness of their website means as their only understanding of their business website looking good and ok, is just about it being good on their various laptops and desktop computers.
Be it as it might be, you expect any modern web designer cum developer to build website with mobile first approach and also those building with CMS like (WordPress, Joomla etc ) to build with themes that are mobile and responsive.
So don’t just ask test your site starting with your own mobile devices and with existing mobile testing tools like this one from google and to be certainly sure that’s the mobile and responsiveness of your site is taken care of.
4) Is my site secured?
This is another important question and when we talk about security, the first thing that comes to mind is the green key signs on https:// designated sites. That being part of it, but your website security goes further from that especially if built with Content Management Systems like WordPress. Your website being secured requires you to.
- Take advantage of any existing security features of your website host. whatever they have like inbuilt sitelock etc that you need to activate, please do activate.
- Regularly keep your installed plugins/scripts and the CMS itself updated. Every available update tends to resolve one security issue or the other so it’s important you regularly login to your CMS dashboard and keep your files updated.
- Delete any un-used plugins installed.
- Install security plugins when necessary and needed starting with free ones like BulletProof Security to add extra layer to the security feature of your site.
- Use https://: Having an SSL certificate on your site which ensures your users that they are on the right site and their activities on your site is secured is no longer the exclusive preserve of online stores and the rest of them, it’s important for every site to have this as it is now an important part of SEO for your site.
The above points are just a scratch on the surface of how important security is to your site especially if your website requires heavy hits, you have to take extra measures to ensure that all identifiable security loopholes are taken care of.
5) Do i have any Newsletter signup attached?
One of the sole purpose of building a website for your business, is to attract the right set of audience to it and not just any audience, but audience that can pick interest in what you have to offer, stay with you and ultimately buy from you.
This becomes easier when you have a means of communicating with them on a regular basis and proffering solutions to their needs which is where the newsletter signup comes in.
With your newsletter and any other optin tool on your site, you will be able to capture their details like email and use same to show your expertise, cultivate them and build trust with them.
6) Can i track my site visitors?
Following on the heels of newsletter is the ability to track your site visitors. By this I mean knowing where your customers are coming from, how and what they do when they come to your site. You need to know
- What keywords/phrases they used to land on your site
- What devices ( phones, laptops)
- What pages they spend most of their time on when they visit your site etc
- And for how long
This is where your Google analytics, Google search console and the rest of them comes in. So your web designer needs to show you evidence that this has being done and grant you access to this analytic on your request.
Data’s and intelligence deduced from your site analytics can help you make needed changes on your site.
7) Do i have a blog and can my users easily read and share my site content online?
What ways can you really show that you’re an expert? How can you tell the world that you know what you’re doing if not through your blog? With a blog you can
- Show your expertise and grasps of your business to your existing and potential customers
- You can provide fresh content on a regularly to search engines robots to feed on and much more and lots more.
And not just a blog, but one that’s shareable, once users land on your blog are they able to like and share your content with ease?
8) How can this website be updated and maintained? is there an agreement to do by the designer
This is an important question to ask so that you both don’t have issues on the long run. Depending on what the website is built on ( Content Management System or coded from ground up using HTML,CSS, JS or any other Front End Framework ) a proper agreement should be in place on the maintenance and management of the site.
- Is there a grace period whereby your site will be updated by the designer at no extra charge?
- Will you be shown how to update it yourself especially if it’s a CMS built website?
It’s good to work out these details from the beginning and re-affirm them at the end of the business transaction for the interest of peace.
9) My login details, can i have them?
The last on my list and the most simply/difficult one for many crocked reasons. Now before i proceed on why this is both simply and difficult let me list the possible login details to ask your site designer
- For those whose’s site was built with CMS like WordPress, then your dashboard login details. With this you can login and update your site pages and posts, most importantly update your site plugins.
- Your Site Cpanel details
- FTP login details etc
The story about how this is both simply and difficult, will be for another day. Hope with these 9 questions, i have provider a site owner or a new to be website owner an important information to better deal with his/her webmaster and ensure you get the full value of what you paid for.
10) Bonus: What we do for our clients here at Doers Technologies
Here at Doers Technologies, we don’t just build your site, we make sure we understand what you want and reflect are that are important on your site making sure that
- And Security issues are all taken care of
Most importantly we make ourselves available to be at your service for any required changes/updates and total refocusing of your site long after your site has gone live.
With us doing your job, your job is on assured ground. Learn more about our webdesign services here.
By Rutherford Ejimonu
Rutherford Ejimonu is a Frontend Webdeveloper/SEO Specialist and Content Strategist for Doers Technologies.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com