Where you should have questions

Regardless of who builds your web site, there are a variety of questions you should ask. The answers will give you a better understanding of what to expect — and, in all likelihood, a more accurate picture of the service you'll receive. As we like to say, the answers should never be cheesy.

When work is done, will I receive all of the source files?

This is particularly important if you have a live web site, and find yourself unhappy with the service you're receiving from your designer. The design files used in creating your site should be available to you at any time, so that you are free to terminate the relationship — any time you see fit — if you determine that your needs aren't being met.  

What are the reasons behind the technology, and methodology, used to build my web site?

Your designer should always be able to provide details on why they chose a particular approach in building your sites. Here's a good example of why you should ask this question: we find that many designers are fond of building entire web sites in Adobe Flash. This is great when you need to present animations, lessons, product or concept demonstrations, or require exact control of fonts and certain other attributes — but online Flash content is inaccessible to iPhones, iPads, and many search engines. Could that affect your audience? Your marketing efforts? If so, it's an important consideration.

How easy will it be to make updates to the site at a later date?

Even if you're happy with the designer who builds your site, will it be easy for them to make changes a year later, if your needs evolve or you decide it's simply time for a refresh?

A site should be designed in a modular way, with reusable components — so that changes to certain universal attributes like link colors, fonts, or navigation can be made without starting over from scratch. This makes it easy, and less expensive, to keep your site up to date... And the easier your site is to maintain, the more likely it will be maintained.