"handled with impressive taste and style"

Phillipa F, Managing Director, Hattons

useful websites

Questions to ask your web designer

Are you web developers or designers?

Can you get my (new) site high up on Google?

Do I have to host my website with you?
The answer should be 'no'. Which means you're not tied to provider, software or charges. It doesn't mean they shouldn't host your site, which can makes things technically easier.

Can I edit the content of the site myself?
These days, even the bottom-end answer should be 'yes'. Asking your designer or coder to edit the text doubles the work so it's rarely value for money. Ask for a demo of the content management software they use. Our own web page editor is called Pagechanger - we include it with every site. Try it now!

Who owns the site when it's finished?

What have you done for other customers (in my field)?

What services do you offer once the new site is live?
Results-oriented designers will know about search engine optimisation as well as conversion, usability and split-testing, where two similar pages are pitted against each other to identify successful content.

website design for author and publisher

"We received compliments from the moment the new website went live. A daunting task made simple, enjoyable and rewarding!"

Liam D'Arcy Brown
China expert and author of 'Green Dragon, Sombre Warrior' and 'The Emperor's River'
Takeaway Publishing

How is the new site going to help my business goals?
Be clear about your goals, such as...

  • Increase overall revenue generated from our website by X%.
  • Iincrease orders from PPC campaign to landing page by X%.
  • Get X% more newsletter subscribers within X months.
  • Increase average order value by X%.
  • Reduce bounce rate on page Y by X%.

Sometimes the goals can't be easily measured, such as increasing brand awareness.

What sites do you admire and why?

Can you fix this?

What web browser do you use?
The answer should be 'all of them!' within reason. Don't expect guaranteed function on older browsers. Internet Explorer 6 is notorious for causing problems.

bespoke website design for health and safety consultant provider

"The whole process was extremely professional
We are very pleased with the results and have received many positive comments. A quality service with plenty of suggestions when you're at a bit of a loss"

Nigel Billing
Enable Safety & Health

Is your work up to accepted internet standards?
They may well mention...
W3C - international standards for websites
Access for disabled people and the Equality Act 2010
Recent legislation on Cookies

Do you offer hosting, email and domain registration?

What platforms do you use under your sites?
Examples are Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal
+ Platforms can give control and functionality at a low cost and are improved without cost to you
- You're tied to the platform, its limitations and any costs
How long they've been using the system?
If you haven't heard of it, look for support and reviews. If in doubt, don't build your site on the sand!

What other services can you offer?

How long have you been in business?

What do we need to provide?

How long will it take?

bespoke website design

"Jon provided an invaluable service, a wealth of creative ideas and implementation to budget."

Michael Champness
LCS International Consulting Ltd

How will you make my site future-proof?
Make sure they use the latest software and coding principles or risk an undevelopable spaghetti mess! Code should be transferrable to another coder without explanation. It should include detailed notes and be tidy, minimal and well labelled.

No coding knowledge required! Click 'view source' in your browser and see how tidy the code is. Look for notes explaining what code does. If you have server access, look how files are ordered and named.

bespoke website design


"We've used Shine for many years. They are Knowledgeable, supportive, efficient and always willing to go that extra mile. A real pleasure to work with."

Larry Kenny
The Financial Times


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