Have you met the people who’ll actually be creating your site, not just ‘the suits’?
Do you get a good feeling from them? Trust is key as there’ll be ups and downs as the project progresses.
Will the person or team you’ve hired be in business for the foreseeable future? You ideally want a long-term partner that helps drive your business forward.
Are they passionate about their work and your project or do you sense they are in this just to make a quick buck?
Are they good communicators? Any supplier worth their salt should let you keep track of progress throughout the development of your website.
Are all the major stakeholders and decision-makers from your organisation involved at the start of the project? You don’t want to get a long way down the road of development only for your boss to overrule you and change the course of the project.
Is there one person from your company assigned to signing-off each stage of the project? It’s important to provide collated feedback to your designer so there’s one clear voice from the company.
Have you clearly communicated your business objectives and goals to your supplier? Only then can they provide the most appropriate solution and measure the success of the project.
Have you done your homework? It’s important that you’ve undertaken research about your market and target audience.
Does the design of your site effectively communicate the uniqueness of your company or product (helping to clearly differentiate you from your competitors)?
Has the design been uniquely created for you or has your designer used pre-existing templates or off-the-shelf solutions?
Is the design timeless or does it follow the latest fads and trends? You don’t want your site to look dated in a year.
Is it authentic? ie has it been created by the people you’ve hired, rather than being outsourced?
Has it been tested with actual users from your target audience prior to launch, with time built in to allow for any necessary revisions?
Is it as simple to use as possible with no unnecessary features and a focus on core functions?
Is all imagery used on the site unique to you, and, if not, have you been made aware of any license fees or credits required?
Are there custom-designed error pages so users don’t reach a dead-end if they encounter problems?
Can information on the site be found with ease, with clear and logical naming of sections?
Does the site clearly communicate what your company or product is or does?
Can content be managed with ease by staff with little or no technical knowledge?
Will all admin staff be provided with training on how to update content?
Does all content on the site adhere to best practice for readability and search engine visibility, with a clear and consistent tone of voice?
Is microcopy used effectively throughout the site to add a friendly tone to interactions?
Does your site adhere to the latest accessibility guidelines? If it doesn’t then you could be breaking the law.
Does all website code comply with the latest W3C guidelines for web standards?
Is the site future-proof and easily scalable?
Is the site created using open source technologies? After all, you don’t want to be tied to your supplier.
Does it work on all modern web browsers?
Does it load quickly without the need for plug-ins?
Does it work well on multiple devices and platforms? Eg Mac, smartphone, tablet etc.
Is the data stored on the website and the website code itself secure? Has your supplier taken the appropriate steps to keep your data and IP safe?
Is the site visible to Google and other major search engines?
Can you get direct access to website analytics? You can fine tune your website over time by monitoring site traffic and how people use your site once it’s live.
Can visitors to your site easily contact you?
Can visitors to your site keep up to date with latest developments and follow your updates (if you’re active on social media)?
Is there an easy way for you to capture email addresses of your customers?
Does your site come with a guarantee to cover any bugs or fixes post go-live?
Can you get access to ongoing support once the site is live?
Do you have a telephone contact for when you experience hosting problems?
Will you be alerted if your site goes down for a prolonged period of time (ie more than 10 minutes)?
Do you have a record of all usernames and passwords for your content management system, email and FTP?
Do you have a record of all domains you own, who registered them and when they are due for renewal?
Do you have a record of your hosting arrangements and when this is due for renewal?
Have you been supplied all website source files and a back-up of the pages?
Does your supplier have a policy for disaster recovery? They should keep regular back-ups of your site in case of an emergency.
Have you received a contract with clear terms and conditions?
Have all costs been clearly communicated to you? Make sure you have been made aware of any ongoing costs such as hosting and maintenance. After all, you don’t want any hidden surprises.
Do your payment terms include protection for you in case you’re not happy at each stage of the process?
Do you have to pay an ongoing licence fee for the CMS or technology used?
Do you own the intellectual property rights to all website code and digital assets?