5 Questions to Ask a Website Designer
Hiring someone to spruce up your website can cost a pretty chunk of change, especially if you’re intent on making your website look absolutely perfect. To save your web developer (and yourself) weeks of wasted effort, It’s important to work with your business attorney to ask the following questions and lay out your project requirements in a contract:
1. What is the project?
It’s important to set clear expectations early on, and this starts off with even the most basic of questions: what’s your project? You first want to define the goal for your website (whether it’s to get people to sign up for your newsletter or buy something off of it, etc.) in a simple statement that ensures both you and the web developer are on the same page. Then you can tack on any must-have deliverables: for example, a chat box feature or a gallery of specific images.
2. What is the milestone schedule?
Avoid the trap of paying up-front, especially if the web developer doesn’t have an established reputation. Otherwise, you risk getting into messy disputes about project delays or non-completions. Break the project into specific milestones for them to accomplish by a certain date with a percentage of the payment due on completion of the milestone.
3. Who owns IP?
More often than not, the website developer actually owns the website they’re creating for you, and you’re paying for the license to use it. If you don’t correctly spell out website ownership in the contract, you can have serious IP infringement problems in the future. Make sure that you own the design elements and the code that’s created. That way, if you choose to break off your working relationship with your developer, he/she won’t jump ship along with one of your prized assets.
4. Will you have access to your login information?
Some website developers like to withhold login info from customers to make sure that they keep coming back to them for updates. Make sure that you get your login information so you can fix things yourself or take your website maintenance to another professional if you want.
5. How long do you have to inspect the website?
After the website is up-and-running, you’ll need to test each function and make sure that it’s working correctly -- nothing sucks like a 404 page! Since you only have a limited amount of time to relay feedback to your developer and fix the problem, make sure you allot enough time to test the crucial features.
Looking for a Web Designer Contract?
You can download our Sample Consultant Agreement to protect you from the most common problems.