17 questions to ask when hiring a web design company in Orlando
A well-designed, comprehensive website is essential for good business. Most potential clients or customers will visit a company’s website before they talk to an employee or visit their physical location.
What’s more is that websites are an essential component in establishing brand authority—75% of people say that they make judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website design. 
If your business’s website has a severely outdated design or lacks a structure that allows you to consistently update content and information, it’s crucial for you to invest in a new website. Once you’ve decided you need a new site, the most important step to take is choosing the right web design company to partner with that has both the design prowess and technical marketing expertise to help you take your business to the next level.
We’ve compiled a list of the top questions to ask to choose the right Orlando web design team for your business.
#1: What website services do you offer?
As with any project, you have to start by considering what you need: Are you searching solely for web design? Do you also want web development, a content management system, hosting, copywriting and other services from your potential Orlando web design team?
Once you decide what website services you’re looking for, make sure your prospective partners offer those services—this is also an easy way to begin narrowing down your list of options.
#2: Will you review my current website and analyze its performance before making design recommendations for my new website?
If your business already has an existing website, a smart web design team will start by assessing and analyzing your current site before laying out plans for a new one.
While you may understand that your website looks outdated, for example, a potential design team will likely be able to point out other weaknesses—as well as some strengths—that you’ve yet to consider about your current website. They might be able to suggest additional pages or sections to include on the new website that could enrich the user-experience and better engage your potential customers.
The team may also find that certain portions of the website such as your mission, vision and values statements or team photos could be used on your new website instead of needing to collect new content. They should also check Google Analytics to see what pages get the most page views and look for insights that could help with planning and strategy.
#3: What is your process for creating a website?
Every web design team has a different process for creating a website. While there’s no right or wrong way, it is important for you to be clear about a prospective team’s process so that you have set expectations about milestones, revisions, time frame, and more going into the project.
The basic stages of designing a website most commonly include:
- Development, and
Be sure to ask how you’ll receive progress updates throughout the process and if you’ll have a specific point of contact to direct any questions you may have about the project.
Understanding a team’s process will also give you an idea of their web design experience and general strategy. If they have a clear process, they likely have more experience than a team who stumbles to answer the question in a concise manner.
#4: Is all of your web design work done in-house or do you outsource?
When it comes to web design, learning if a company outsources any aspect of the project—design, coding, writing, photography—is extremely important.
Generally, it’s best to work with a team who creates all aspects of their websites in-house to end up with the most cohesive, highest quality website possible.
When a web design team outsources, it can cause the project to go slower and potentially cost more if they need help from another company, but can’t reach them soon enough or need to charge you more as a result.
#5: Do you have any website design experience with any other local Orlando businesses?
If you’re searching for the best Orlando web design team, it’s important for you to ask if they have experience designing sites for any other local businesses. Local expertise and experience can be a huge asset in most small and midsize business projects, and this is no different for website design.
Once you’ve collected a list of sample websites of their local experience, also ask the team how they think their Orlando expertise can help them bring your website to another level.
#6: Do you build custom sites or use templates?
Most websites are designed one of two ways: custom built or from a template. Custom websites are built from scratch and coded to fit precisely what your business needs, while template websites are pre-structured with a layout and display features.
It’s important for you to learn which option your potential Orlando web design team uses when designing websites. For most businesses, a custom web design will provide the greater flexibility and scalability that your brand needs as it grows over time. A custom website is unique, just like your business, so it’s essential for any companies that want to stand out from their competitors and make a good first impression on their customers.
#7: Do you use a content management system (CMS), if so which one?
If you’re in the market for a website that will allow your business to evolve and grow post-launch, it’s essential to work with a web design team that utilizes a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. A CMS will allow you to manage important aspects of your website, such as content and pictures, after it’s gone live without using any type of coding, providing the best flexibility and control possible to your business.
Ask the team what CMS they use and whether they’ll provide training for you and your employees on how to use it.
#8: Will you provide or help with the assets needed for the website—text, photography, videos—or do we have to provide those items?
If you’ve never been involved in the development of a business’s website, you may be surprised to learn that many web design teams will expect you to provide all the content for your new website, including the text for all pages, photos, and videos.
While there’s nothing wrong with this practice, it is essential for you to understand what assets you’re expected to provide to your web designers before they can begin the project. However, if you don’t have the time, marketing experience, or desire to develop or manage the content needed, you should work with a team who will provide or help you with gathering and developing all of the assets needed for your new website.
Ask if the web design team has copywriters that can create the copy for your website and if they use high-quality stock images or offer photography services to supply the site with photos of your team.
#9: Will the website be SEO ready?
Digital marketing is always changing, but one thing that won’t change anytime soon? The need for your website to be SEO optimized.
Your website has to be well designed and functioning, but it also needs to pop up during relevant keyword searches, so that your prospective clients can find you during their Google searches. While continued SEO efforts will be required, the coding, keyword-rich text, meta descriptions and alt text on your website impact SEO as well.
Be sure to ask your potential web design team what steps they take to ensure your website is optimized for search and if the website is set-up for future SEO efforts.
#10: Will the website be optimized for mobile users?
Mobile devices have generated roughly 50% of global website traffic since the beginning of 2017—a number that will likely only grow over time—so having a mobile-friendly website is no longer a luxury, it’s a requirement for good business. 
Any well-versed Orlando web design team will understand that you need a website optimized for mobile users, but it’s still important to ask.
#11: Do you offer hosting and domains?
As part of website services, some web design teams will offer hosting and domain services. If this is a service that your company needs help with, be sure to ask the company you’re interviewing how they handle hosting and domains for their clients’ websites.
Some teams may use a dedicated in-house server while others may utilize a virtual hosting platform to allow for large increases in site traffic to be handled easily. It’s important for you to have someone on your team understand hosting, so that you know what you’re looking for.
If the prospective web design team does not offer hosting, ask if they will help you get connected with hosting services and set-up your new website there, so that you know what the plan is before the website is developed.
#12: How long will it take to complete my website design and development?
Once you’ve reviewed specifics, it’s important for you to know how long website design and development typically takes for your prospective web design partner.
While turnaround time will often depend on the scope of the website, the web design team should be able to give you an expected completion date if they have all the information and feedback needed on time. That being said, if you want your website done by the timeframe provided, it’s important that you as the client respond to their communication about information they need from you in a timely manner throughout the project.
It’s also important to remember that you’ll need to carve out time for a website presentation once the site is designed for you to review and provide feedback before it’s fully developed.
#13: Will I own the website and all of its contents once it goes live?
If you’re unfamiliar with websites, think of it like this: on social media you own the content you post, but you don’t own the platform itself. The same goes for a website: you own your company, but you don’t automatically own your website unless your web design company ensures that you do.
Ask potential teams if they register domain names and web hosting in the name of the business owner, and if you’ll own the completed site after it is launched. It’s also important for you to own any logo or branding files that are created for your business by the graphic design team as well in case you need them in the future.
#14: Can you share samples of recent websites you’ve designed and developed?
Any talented, experienced Orlando web design team will have samples of recent websites they’re proud of to share with you to explore and review before deciding to partner with their team.
Reviewing sample websites that were both designed and developed by your potential team is truly the best way to assess if they’re the right fit for your business. As you look through the samples consider all aspects of the site: Do you like the layout? How do the colors and fonts make you feel? Is it immediately clear what the business does? Do you think the copywriting fits the branding? Is it unique from other websites you’ve seen before? Is there anything from these sites that really stand out to you?
#15: After the website is ready, can you also help maintain the website (i.e. content, search engine optimization, digital marketing)?
Your website is often a prospective client or business partner’s first impression of your company, and if designed and developed by the right web design team, it could be one of the best lead generators for your business.
However, it’s important to understand that your website shouldn’t be viewed as a standalone marketing tool, but as a part of your comprehensive digital marketing solutions like search engine optimization, blogging, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
When searching for the best web design team for your business, consider partnering with one who also offers digital marketing services that will understand the importance of designing a website that works as a powerful marketing tool.
#16: Are we philosophically aligned?
As with any business partner, it’s important to work with an Orlando web design team that’s philosophically aligned with your company’s mission and values.
Search your prospective web design partner’s website for their mission, vision, and values statements and carefully analyze them to consider if they align with your own. If you’re still unsure after reading them, talk to the web design company about their values and ask questions about their day-to-day work, company culture, and relationships with other clients.
#17: Are you available for in-person meetings?
With modern day technologies and the increase in companies working from home, it’s easy to default to only digital meetings for their speed and convenience.
Even though digital meetings are often simpler, in-person meetings are still the most effective way to foster engaging, productive collaboration and conversation. When choosing a web design company, ask if they’re available for face-to-face meetings.
If frequent in-person meetings aren’t realistic for you and your team, consider visiting the web design company when reviewing the proposal to see where they work and meet the team that will bring your website from vision to reality.
Looking for the best web design team in Orlando, Florida?
We’re here to help! With over 17 years of experience, the Different Perspective web design team is ready to design and develop a website for your business that helps increase your visibility, convert leads into customers, and properly represent your business online.
Contact us today to learn more.