6 Questions to ask your web developer

Jan 26, 2023 | SEO, Website

So, you’re looking for a new website? Great! They are so important in this digital age. A great website is going to be a bit of an investment, so you want to make sure you are getting it right and setting yourself up for success from the word go.

But have you considered that your web developer could be doing so much more than just building and publishing your site? There is a whole range of services which can be bolted on to the web build to stand you in good stead for success.

With that in mind, here are six questions to ask your web developer during your initial consultation.


1. Will you host my website?

For those who don’t know, hosting is essentially where your website lives. It’s your website’s own little home on the internet. Every website needs to be hosted somewhere, as that is where all your files and images are kept, ready and waiting to be called on when someone accesses your site.

There are loads of hosting options out there, and you can organise your own if you prefer, but not all hosting is created equally!

Ideally your web developer would host your website on their own dedicated premium server, just like we do. The benefits of this set up includes:

Knowing exactly who you are sharing your space with.

Bigger hosting companies may put your website on a server with other sites which may not be as friendly as you hope. Bad or spammy websites could have a negative impact on your site.

Excellent speed and performance.

Google loves fast websites. The speed of your site is partly down to the build, but the hosting plays a huge part too. You want to make sure your server is pulling its weight and loading your site as fast as possible.

A local team to help when you need it.

From time to time the server may fall over, it’s an unavoidable part of being on the internet. The perk of being on your web developer’s server, however, is that you can just pick up the phone and speak to a real, local human who will be able to help. And if they can’t help, they can at least keep you in the loop.

A good web developer with a great hosting option will also take regular backups of your site. This means if anything goes really wrong, more than a glitch in the server, your site can easily be restored so you are up and running again in no time. And a very good one won’t even charge you for doing it!


2. Can you help with writing my content?

You may already know this but writing for web is different to writing offline. People don’t read in the same way that they would with a book. They are more likely to skim the content, so it needs to be structured in a way that is quick and easy to digest.

Your content is also the perfect start for getting your SEO off to a solid start. Conducting some keyword research and then tailoring your content to fit is the best way to get traction for the search terms you are targeting.

Not all web developers will also be able to help you with your written content. They may expect you to supply your own which not only takes up your time, but also puts pressure on you to become an expert on writing for web and SEO. Understanding their capabilities in this area is definitely something you need to ask about when choosing the right partner for your web project.


3. Do you offer an SEO service?

There’s no point investing in a really cool new website that you love if no one can find it. It won’t just magically appear at the top of search engines all by itself. That’s where SEO comes in. The aim of SEO (search engine optimisation) is to improve the visibility of your website and make it more likely that people will be able to find you when they need to (take a look at our recent post looking at how long it takes for SEO to work!)

You want to be relevant and show authority. There are so many elements that can be tweaked to improve your SEO. It can get quite technical so you would probably benefit from help from someone who knows what they are doing – being an SEO specialist is a full-time job for a reason!

Ask your web developer whether they set your website up with SEO in mind. Do they offer an ongoing SEO service you can also make the most of too?

Our biggest tip about SEO: it’s a long-term game…you’ve got to be in it to see improvements from it!


4. Will you maintain my website?

It’s important to keep your website up to date, both technically and by refreshing content. Ask your potential web developer whether they update themes and plug-ins as standard, or whether it is a service you can add on to the build?

What about content updates? Is any amount of content refreshing included or will you have to pay for each update?

You may find that maintenance isn’t something that is offered as standard as part of the web build project, but it’s very likely that they will have a maintenance package you can sign up for to keep your website in tip top shape.

Website maintenance isn’t strictly necessary, but we would highly recommend taking on a maintenance package if your developer offers one.


5. Will I be able to edit the site myself?

Your business is likely to change over time, and your website may need to change to reflect that. Not only that, it’s good practice to refresh or add to your site over time to show Google and other search engines that you are active – it helps keep your site up the rankings.

It is important to understand whether you will be able to make those changes relatively easily yourself, or whether you will need to involve your developer every time. If your site is built using a platform like WordPress, for example, you should have access to a content management system that will enable you to change text and images simply, and even add pages in the future.

If you have to rely on your developer for any updates, you may find you come unstuck if your developer is unavailable for any reason.


6. Will you measure any metrics?

You will want to know how your website is performing so you know where to make improvements. There are a few things it is beneficial to monitor on your website, performance monitoring, analytic tools and security monitoring. You can read more about the benefits of monitoring your website in our handy article.

We always set our clients up on Google Analytics, whether through our own profile or on theirs so we both know that we will have a stream of data to analyse and help optimise their website in the future. Ask your web developer whether they do this too. It is valuable information you don’t want to be missing out on.


Example Marketing: Norfolk Based Web Developer

Ultimately you will be looking for a web developer who answers ‘yes’ to all those questions. There is a huge benefit to keeping everything under one roof when building a new website, including:
• No delays waiting on multiple people, so the project timeline isn’t impacted
• You only have to brief in the work once
• A clear understanding of the project at every stage
• Benefit from multiple skills and expertise under the same roof.

Funnily enough, we DO answer yes to all those questions and can build a bespoke package to suit your needs. Get in touch with us if you would like to chat about your web project – we would love to hear from you!

Call: 01362 708500
Email: hello@examplemarketing.co.uk

Sign up to our newsletter

We send out just one email a month stuffed full of fairly interesting marketing and sustainability content. Why not give it a go?