I recently visited a soon-to-be launched website, and was shocked to see it was being developed with Adobe Flash – an outdated platform that will not display your website on smart phones or tablets. Even worse, most of the content that is developed with Flash cannot be indexed by search engines, so you are not getting organic search engine optimization from your website. You can click here from more information on Flash from Wikipedia.
That got me thinking. There are a lot of firms out there that are really behind the times and are doing a fantastic job at selling their outdated services.
Here is a very basic list of questions to ask before hiring a web developer:
1. How many years’ experience do you have with web design?
2. Can you show me other sites you’ve done in the past 6 months?
3. What technologies/languages do you use?
4. Will my site work with mobile phones and tablets?
5. May I speak to a couple of the clients of the sites you showed me?
6. Will my site have a content management system where I can make minor edits?
7. What experience do you have with page ranking and search engine optimization?
8. Do you integrate our site with other sites, such as social media and community pages?
9. What are my monthly maintenance costs and what will that do for me?
You shouldn’t have to be a techie to hire a web designer. A good firm will educate you and answer your questions in a manner you can understand. If you get answers that don’t make sense, I would suggest you ask Google and see if you can find a better answer. In other words, if you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed about what your web designer is up to, it’s probably not you – you may just need a second opinion.
A big red flag I see in today’s web and mobile market would be any firm that suggests they use Flash to create your web site.