Questions to Ask When Speaking to a Web Design Firm


January 24, 2011

Frequently, as I’m on the phone with prospective clients, they ask me “Should I be asking you something I’m not?”” ”  The fact of the matter is that all web design firms do things their own way.We’ve all got different processes, different services we offer and anyone who has spent any amount of time researching firms can tell you that there is often a wide range of price points from firm to firm.” Obviously, you will want to review the firms’ portfolio, and if possible speak to any references they may have.But, in addition, here are some questions that will help to give you an idea of the firm’s style and your compatibility:

  • Tell me about your process. Do you start by interviewing us, and learning a bit about what we do, and then create the design? ” Do you start with presenting multiple design mocks?
  • Do you work at an hourly rate, or on a flat fee?” ” ”  If hourly, how is it tracked, and how will we be notified of the progress/price?”  What is the frequency of these notifications?” ”  If on flat fee, is there anything that is specifically excluded from this fee?
  • What will be required of our team as part of the process?
  • How long does your average design project take from beginning to end?” ”  Can the firm provide an estimated timeline with anticipated launch date for our project?
  • How many rounds of revisions will we be allowed to make to our design without an additional fee?
  • Will we own the design outright at the end of the process?” ”  If not immediately, when?
  • Is content writing included?” ”  If so, will I own this copy when the project is completed?” ”  If excluded, what would it cost for writing, editing, proofing etc.?
  • Do you have any required ongoing service/maintenance fees?”  How much are they?” ”  How long will the fees be required?” ”  What are they for?
  • What happens if in a few months down the road I need to make changes to my site?” ”  What is the process for this?” ”  How much will it cost, about how long can I expect these changes to take?”  Do you have any support timeline or guarantees?

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