Transcript: How to Hire a Web Designer For Your Small Business
Again, this is one of those videos that comes off the back of one of my clients receiving some historical bad advice. Now they’re in a bit of a mess, but ultimately, this video is all about asking the right questions. The question is, how do you hire a web designer, and how do you make sure the hiring process of your web designer works perfectly? Well, in this video, I’m going to break down the things you need to guarantee before any web development starts on your small business website because it’s such an important part of your business and your marketing future. You’ve got to ask the right questions and you’ve got to get it set up right in the first place. In this video, I’m going to break all of that down coming up.
Darren: Hey, guys. Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.com here. My job is to teach you all about digital marketing. Now, if that sounds like something up your street, you should consider subscribing to my channel. In this video, I’m breaking down the things you need to guarantee, the things you really need to check before you sign a contract with a web design agency and go ahead and get your small business website created. Let’s start off with the very first thing you need to guarantee and check.
The first question you have to ask your potential web design agency is, “Do you own your own website domain?” This might sound like a silly question, but ultimately, a lot of web design agencies speak to businesses who have never had a web site before, and as part of the process, they typically buy the domain on the behalf of the business owner. Once that happens, what can happen sometimes, that some web design agencies do is they own the domain outright. Your business has a website, is online. You’ve got a great domain name for your business, but guess what? You don’t even own it because you didn’t ask that question. You didn’t make sure they transferred ownership of the domain to you, or even better, the best way to handle this is for you to buy your domain name first.
Once you’ve bought your domain, the web design agency can work on the website and then connect the two together. Therefore meaning you still own and control your website domain. This is really important, guys. Make sure you own your website domain because it’s the– It’s the glue that holds your whole business together in a digital fashion. Own your domain, buy it at first. If you haven’t bought it and your web design agency have bought it, get clarification on who actually owns your website domain. It will save you a lot of trouble in the future.
The next thing to ask your potential web design agency is whether or not they’re going to use a CMS. A CMS is essentially a content management system. A good example of a CMS would be WordPress, which is one of the most common, the most widely-used CMSs out there. Using WordPress would be a good start, but there are tons of others out there. Some bespoke, some mainstream, but ultimately, you want to be able to, once your website goes live, make changes and edits to your website in terms of the text content.
Imagine if you had to just change a title on a page and you had to call your web design agency up. They make the change for you, and then all of a sudden you’re lumbered with a bill for $50 or $100 just for changing a title tag or just a heading. Make sure you have the ability to make minor changes to your website. Wholesale changes like layouts and images and things like that might be an issue. It might cost you more, but in the long term, if you set the expectation with the web design agency that you need to use the CMS so you can make updates to your website, then that is really important.
The next point is really important as well. That is not to get ripped off on web hosting. I’ve built websites in the past. I’ve hosted websites in the past. I take the point that I’m not a web designer first, I’m a marketer, but ultimately, I understand how hosting works. If you’re paying top dollar for your hosting on a monthly basis, then you’re getting ripped off. I know a lot of web designers are probably going to get really angry with me right Now, because ultimately, web design hosting doesn’t cost that much.
If you’re paying over the odds for your hosting on a monthly basis, and, yes, I know web design agencies want to make a retainer and maximize the revenue per customer and have an ongoing passive source of income and hosting is a great way to do that as an add-on, but ultimately, hosting shouldn’t cost you too much. If you find yourself paying hundreds of dollars a month on hosting your website, then you’re being ripped off.
Make sure you have clear expectations around how much hosting is going to cost and make sure you really understand what you’re getting out of that retained fee that web design agencies often charge. That can include things like uptime and downtime. It could include things like maintenance, it could include things like security. If you’re getting all of that, then the question could be different, but ultimately, if you’re looking at pure hosting fees, get a breakdown as to what each of the fees are. What’s hosting, what is security, what is uptime and downtime maintenance? All of those different things. Get the quote from the web design agency to break down what all of those monthly fees are going to be.
Now we’re moving on to the last two points of this video. One of the things that you really need to make sure you check is that you own all of the files of the website. This might sound crazy because you’ve paid a web design agency to build a website on your behalf. They launched the site, and you think you own the website. A lot of web design agencies– To be fair, I won’t say a lot, but some web design agencies restrict access to your web files. They make it very difficult for you to access the raw content and the raw files of your web site.
Even if you don’t want to go through your web design agency to make changes or whether the web design agency might feel bad about giving so much control away because it means you could move your hosting elsewhere, it doesn’t matter. Your files are yours. Your website is yours. If you’re having problems accessing files or getting access to your website itself in terms of the files, then there’s a problem. Make sure expectations are set from the very beginning that you are allowed access to everything on the server. It’s yours, you’ve paid for it. It’s definitely yours.
Finally, of course, the last point will tie into marketing. That is make sure that you have analytics installed as part of the process. Even better than that, get them to install the Google Tag Manager. Even if you’re not analytic savvy, you never set analytics up before or you’re looking at a marketing agency to potentially manage your analytics, having this done in the first instance is really important because it means you’re future-proofed. It means in the future, whenever you’re going to launch a marketing campaign or deciding on what marketing platforms to use, then the Google Tag Manager is installed. Whichever agency or freelancer or maybe you’re learning yourself how to do these things, you can go on and straightaway start implementing campaigns. You can add a Facebook pixel. You can add any kind of tracking you want. That is going to future-proof your marketing for your website.
As part of the build, make sure they install the Google Tag Manager as part of it because it saves a lot of money in the long run, believe me. Asking developers to add pixels can add up to costs, so make sure you avoid that by asking them to put the Google Tag Manager onto your website.
That’s it. That is exactly how to hire a web design agency. These are the questions you need to get clarification on. Now, I know most web designers aren’t rogue operators. You’ll probably be fine, but if any of these questions are issues or snags during the process, then work with a web designer who will work with you and help you through these problems and make sure we have the rights to your own web property.
Thank you, guys, so much for watching this video. If you liked it, please leave a like below. Let me know if you’ve had any web design nightmares and any issues with your websites. I reply to every single comment I get, so leave me a comment below, I’ll be more than happy to discuss it with you there. More important than that, check out the other content on my channel. I look forward to seeing you guys on my next video.