Best Questions to Ask a Website Developer

6 replies
A friend of mine publishes a financial newsletter, predicting stock and options plays for a large subscriber base. He has been working for a large publisher for over 20 years but is now breaking out on his own.

I will be handling his internet marketing.....seo.....list building etc.....but he is having a professional web developer build his new site.

He knows how he wants the site to look and the basic functionality, but is wondering what questions he needs to ask before selecting a company to do the job.

Just wondering if anyone out there has had or heard of a horror story or two about web design companies who might be able to share some of your knowledge and point out questions that should be ironed out prior to giving someone the job to help avoid issues down the road.

questions such as ownership rights after the site is designed......his ability to add new content to the site without having to pay an arm and a leg every time he does so and pretty much everything else anyone can think off to keep his a## covered before signing a contract with someone

thanks in advance for your help.
#developer #questions #website
  • Profile picture of the author BBryanB
    My horror story is this.

    Had a "professional " build my web site, Paid around 12,000.00 and after about 2 months of posting religious on our blog and doing a massive amount of article posting, link wheels, forums, the usual mix, we found out to our amazement, that the blog was not even hooked up to our actual web site.

    How to protect yourself is the actual moral of our story. As fundamentally scarring as this sounds , you need to get as much down on paper as you can, BEFORE they start to build your web site, then get a third party to see if they have it right.

    Its a scary situation to be in, when your business is in the hands of someone else. Check and check and check again is all I can say.

    Good luck !
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  • Profile picture of the author christogonus
    The questions I think will be very helpfull to your friend includes:
    1. Would the website design firm offer support after the website development after
    2. Would he (and his team) be able to manage the website (Does the website require the tech people to be manage)
    3. Would the website be mobile friendly (alternatively, mobile apps could be built)
    4. What kind of hosting is to be used for the website (Let your friend learn about Shared Hosting, VPS and Dedicated Servers and make his own decision)
    5. On the part of ownership, the owner should have the full license. If you search the domain name on who.is, his information should be seen and not the information of the developers. From my country, developers like to add credit andn link back to their website after the copyright notes at the footer of the website, but it is on agreement with the owner of the website.

    That is all for now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Operman
    I lost a couple thousand on a site, chances are greater that you are going to get ripped off than that you are doing to get what you paid for I think if you are just going out and hiring some company you don’t know.

    Best bet is to use a company that someone else has already used that you know and trust and has a good relationship with.
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    • Profile picture of the author todd40fla
      Originally Posted by Sarah Operman View Post

      I lost a couple thousand on a site, chances are greater that you are going to get ripped off than that you are doing to get what you paid for I think if you are just going out and hiring some company you don't know.

      Best bet is to use a company that someone else has already used that you know and trust and has a good relationship with.

      thaks sarah. one of the companies we are talking with has developed a site for an attorney friend of his and so far no problems. still want to make sure we dot as many i's and cross as many t's as we can.

      his friend's site is not nearly as active as far as adding content as his site will be.
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  • Profile picture of the author threaldeal007
    Hi Todd,

    I used to be a web developer, full time IM now, but they are not all bad. Get some examples of jobs they have done and try to contact them to ask their experience. Ask a few of them. If the potential developer won't give you examples then walk away, if they are not 100% proud of their work then they are no good.

    Also some things to consider when getting a site built is
    1. FIRM PRICE.
    2. Strict delivery date
    3. Make sure they have a testing team
    4. Have a CMS to cut future costs
    5. If you are going to try for organic search traffic then BUILD IT WITH SEO IN MIND. There is a big difference building a site with seo in mind and building a site that looks pretty( this also goes for big difference between these and a site that converts)
    6. MOST IMPORTANT get a company that has marketing people as part of the team because they will know THE BEST WAY to make it look.
    At the end of the day the site is there to make you MONEY so you need input from a professional marketer.

    There are a lot more things I could go on about but it is Friday night and I am half cut.

    Hope it helps.

    Damien
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    • Profile picture of the author todd40fla
      Originally Posted by threaldeal007 View Post

      Hi Todd,

      I used to be a web developer, full time IM now, but they are not all bad. Get some examples of jobs they have done and try to contact them to ask their experience. Ask a few of them. If the potential developer won't give you examples then walk away, if they are not 100% proud of their work then they are no good.

      Also some things to consider when getting a site built is
      1. FIRM PRICE.
      2. Strict delivery date
      3. Make sure they have a testing team
      4. Have a CMS to cut future costs
      5. If you are going to try for organic search traffic then BUILD IT WITH SEO IN MIND. There is a big difference building a site with seo in mind and building a site that looks pretty( this also goes for big difference between these and a site that converts)
      6. MOST IMPORTANT get a company that has marketing people as part of the team because they will know THE BEST WAY to make it look.
      At the end of the day the site is there to make you MONEY so you need input from a professional marketer.

      There are a lot more things I could go on about but it is Friday night and I am half cut.

      Hope it helps.

      Damien

      thanks for the excellent advice Damien.....

      a major concern is that once the site is built......let's say my friend has issues with the developer and wants to take it over and move it to his own server or to a different web company.

      I want to make sure it is written into the contract that he owns the site and all intellectual property and that the designer must make the files available for transfer upon notice.

      I have heard stories where people spent over 10k to have a site built....and were completely unhappy but when they tried to take their site and hire someone to fix it for them the original company would not give them admin privelages to do so.......is there a way to prevent this from happening and to put it in writing BEFORE payments are made and work is started so things are clear from the start?
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