Choosing a web designer or agency can be challenging. One designer may say she can build your perfect site for $500 and another for $5000.

How do you know what you’ll get for the difference? How do you know if you need the additional bells and whistles? Furthermore, how do you know you’ll be getting what you truly want and need?

Getting apples-to-apples comparative bids can be tricky. But if you can review the answers to most of these questions from bidders side-by-side, the right designer for your website will emerge from the answers. And you’ll feel confident you made the best decision for your business.

If the options seem overwhelming, I’ve narrowed down the criteria to consider into two short lists to evaluate competing bids. One list provides a snapshot of each bidder’s services, costs, terms, etc. The second list of questions addresses more details and technical aspects of site design. To review my recommendations, just click on the red link below the question to see all the details.

Basic Parameters for your Website and Web Designer

1. Is the designer available to complete the site by your deadline?

2. Will it have all the components you feel are necessary?

3. Is the cost within my budget?

4. What are the payment terms?

5. What are the guarantees or warranties?

6. Am I comfortable working with this designer?

7. What are you going to need from me? What’s the process of conveying the site content to you, the designer?

Website Technical Requirements and Details

1. Have you reviewed approx. 3-6 websites in the designer’s portfolio to see if you like the designs?

2. What platform is the site built on?

3. Will the site be built in Responsive Design?

4. Does the designer do all the work (site construction, testing) him/herself, or is the design “look” turned over to subcontractor?

5. Can you update the site yourself? And/or How difficult is it to make updates to the site?

6. Can you easily add a blog, a sign up form or a page, photo gallery or video in the future? Or change the navigation menu?

7. Does the site include Google Analytics and tracking code?

8. What SEO (search engine optimization) is provided?

9. What type of security is built into my site?

10. Is my site compatible with all the major browsers?

Website construction is a substantial investment in your business. To give yourself the best probability at successful results, it’s crucial to obtain the answers to most of these questions before beginning the project, particularly if you are attempting to make an apples-to-apples comparison between designers and their pricing scenarios.

You may have other questions to ask that are pertinent to your particular site. Other questions you may incorporate to your criteria may be found here: