Finding the right person when you are hiring a webmaster to create or modify your website is crucial. Here are some of the questions to ask a person you are interviewing.
First, start with explaining what your business is about and who is your target audience. I saw one site done by a man who thought the LNC was an attorney, not a nurse working with attorneys.
1. What kind of websites have you created, and can you show me examples of your work?
Look at the sites the webmaster gives you. Do you like the look? Are the sites easy to navigate? Are the sites widescreen, the most current design? Are they mobile responsive (change shape to fit a mobile phone)?
Call the site owner and ask about his or her experience with the webmaster. Look for details about adhering to projected cost and how long it took for the webmaster to complete the work.
2. How long have you been creating websites?
When you are hiring a webmaster, you will want someone with some breadth of experience, not a pure beginner.
3. What will you do to help ensure the site attracts visitors?
Your site should be designed for search engine optimization. The webmaster should make sure Google Analytics is working with your site so you can get feedback on the website activity.
4. How easy will it be for me to make changes in the site after you build it?
In my opinion WordPress is the only platform you should consider. It is versatile, well supported by developers and pretty easy to master. Expect when you are hiring a webmaster for your site that you will get some instruction on how to make changes.
5. Who owns the site?
You might think that is obvious that you do, but that may not be the case. You do NOT want to be in a position of not owing your site and having to pay a person for every change you want to make in the site. Be sure that your webmaster understands you will own the site.
6. How will you make sure the site is secure?
Determine if your webmaster will install the necessary plug ins and monitor your site for security. In addition, your webmaster should be able to quickly take action if your site is hacked.
7. How will you ensure that the images on my site will comply with copyright law?
Your webmaster should use either Creative Commons images or purchase images for your site. I have heard several vivid stories of webmasters who did not own the rights to the images they put on a client’s site, and got caught.
8. What do you do when you encounter a problem you’ve never seen before?
Listen for the ability to do creative problem solving and tap colleagues for advice.
9. What do you charge, and what are your payment terms?
Be clear on what this project will cost, and what happens if you change your mind about what you want.
Pat Iyer was first involved in hiring a webmaster, who was her brother, in 1996. She was able to gain control of her sites a dozen years ago and has been maintaining them since.