Businesses often spend too much time and money on things they don’t need.
Consider this scenario: You go to a technology store and purchase a new item and you end up buying a whole lot of functionality that you just don’t need, will never use and will be obsolete in about two weeks. It’s a very frustrating experience. It’s made more frustrating because you are at the mercy of the “expert” who just sold it to you.
Does that sound achingly familiar? Maybe you experienced the exact same thing when you last met with your website designer. We’ve recently had several new clients come our way because of their disappointment with their previous website partners. They’ve been left holding the bag: sites with a lot of bling and poor visibility/usability, sites half-baked, sites with no clear message.
Just because a person or a company understands technology does not mean they understand your story, your unique selling propositions and your target audience. So, how can you tell and what questions can you ask to ensure your next Website design partner really does know what they are doing?
Questions to Ask a Potential WordPress Website Designer (and what THEY should be asking you)
1) Do you understand what I do? What is my story and how do you intend to tell it? Technology is not the driving force – your story is. Are they gifted marketers first and foremost? Can they articulate to you what your new WordPress Website will communicate and who it will target on your behalf?
2) Why are you using WordPress as the website platform? There are a number of compelling reasons why we use WordPress. Can your potential website design partner explain why they are using what they use and what it will mean to you in actual ROI?
3) Are you going to optimize the site for search engines? Depending on your package, the answer may be yes or no. We’ve found that most companies do nothing with the SEO – they just build the site and send you on your way. Ask about the basics of optimization and then ask them for proof that the sites are doing their job.
4) Who will own the domain and the site, and will I be able to update it myself? This is critical. On more than one occasion, we’ve found unethical designers actually owning a small business’s domain and keeping, in essence, hostage. Ensure that YOU will own the domain and the site once it is complete. Make sure it’s in the contract. Moreover, ensure they offer you a hand-off checklist that will allow you to update the WordPress website if you need to/want to.
5) What sites have you completed and where are the testimonials? When talking to references and testimonials, remember that it’s not about the bling on their site, it’s about the actual results it is receiving.
Finally, what questions should the potential firm be asking you? They should be asking about your objectives, audience, goals, purpose of the site, what other channels you are using for marketing, how they are working, what the analytics look like now, what the mission and vision of your company is…and more! We look at the total marketing package before designing a website, a logo or a simple print piece. Your story and strategy are the most important. Ensure that your next partner understands that.
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