Questions to Ask When Looking for a Web Developer
Building a web site can be a daunting task. The finished result might look like what you had in mind, but when you go to look for it in Google, want to make changes to it, or try and move the web site hosting elsewhere you might be surprised by what you find. Here are some questions we recommend asking when going to meet with potential web developers to design and build your web site, to help you find the best match for your project.
- Can I see examples of live websites you have developed?
It's always a good idea to see live web site examples a developer has worked on, as these will give an indication of what yours will look like. At c4.net we showcase many of our live, featured web site designs on our company web site. If you don't like what you see from looking at a portfolio, you should keep looking.
- What programming languages will you use to build my site?
What options do I have for updating my web site once it is live?
Web sites are not meant to be static over time by nature. Information can and should change on a regular basis, to keep your web visitors up to date and give your visitors a reason to come back. If editing web site content on your own appeals to you, make sure to inquire about this before engaging in a project. At c4.net we can provide solutions for updating your own web site or performing this service for you.
What will you do to make my website perform well in the search engines?
There are numerous ways web developers can help make your web site as visible as possible to the search engines. At c4.net we organically build web sites from the ground up to be as search engine friendly as possible, and make sure our approach is in line with search engine standards and guidelines. Be wary of a developer who tells you they will guarantee placement in any search engine.
What kind of testing will you perform on my web site?
To the eye, many web sites can appear to be status quo. When looked at using a different web browser or different operating system, these same sites can look radically different and even not work in some cases. At c4.net we run our web sites through a series of tests prior to launching them, to make sure they appear and function similarly across different platforms and web browsers. We also test your web site using the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) validation tools, to check for standards compliance.
Whose name will be on the domain name registration?
This question is so important, yet many people new to web sites are completely unaware of what this means. The registrant, or primary contact, is considered the legal owner of the domain name. A domain name should always be registered using your name and contact information. It is fine if your web developer is listed as a contact on the record, such as the Technical Contact, but your name should ALWAYS be the primary contact, or "registrant" listed on the registration.
Can I move my finished web site to another host without losing any features or functionality?
Depending on how your web site is developed, your contractual arrangement with the original web developer's company, and what services are provided at the new host there can be vastly varying answers to this question. In some cases you will find moving your entire web site content and functionality is not an issue and in others you may find only portions of your web site are able to be moved and still function at a new hosting provider. It's a good idea to have a conversation with your web developer to inquire about what aspects of the web site you own and whether there are any potential pitfalls to consider along these lines if you were to move your web site at a future point in time.