When hiring a professional web designer to help grow your business online, there are a few questions you should always ask early on (other than “how much does it cost”, which we cover in depth here).


It’s not always something business owners think to ask but it matters more than you may think.

Everything we build at Tenpine is custom designed and built from scratch. This means we can customize everything to be exactly how you want it to look and work.

Just as important, this also means your website can be moved to practically any hosting providers server should the need ever arise.

On the other hand, web designers who use third party tools like WordPress, Wix etc,. can sometimes face limitations in terms of design choices and capabilities. It also means that who can work on and host these websites becomes limited to those who know the software well enough.

It may not be top of mind when you’re having your website built, but it’s important knowledge to at least have in your back pocket.


These days, 99 times out of 100 a professionally built website will be responsive.

However to make absolutely sure you’re not that unlucky 1 of 100, confirm with whoever is building your website that it will be done with a mobile first approach and that your website will automatically adapt to whatever screen it’s being viewed on.

Important to note: “mobile friendly” does not always mean “responsive” because non-responsive websites can still be classified as mobile friendly in the eyes of Google.

While being mobile friendly but not responsive is not a death sentence for your website, you want the ideal outcome so it’s smart to make sure your website is both mobile friendly AND responsive (because being responsive doesn’t necessary mean being mobile friendly either if your web designer really messes things up).


This isn’t important until it is.

A lot of times your web designer will register and manage your domain name for you, especially if they’re offering an all inclusive package that includes domain and hosting (like we at Tenpine often do).

However sometimes it’s best for you to register the domain name directly yourself so that no matter what happens in the future, you will have full access and control over it so you can have it pointed to a new hosting provider.

We call this the hit by a bus scenario.

We have contingencies in place for ourselves if this ever happened to Myles (knock on wood), but not all designers do.

NOTE: regardless of who actually handles the registration of your domain name, the domain name is your legal property as soon as you cover the registration costs. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!


This is an important question to ask for a number of reasons.

First, you want to make sure there is even a plan in place for hosting.

We’ve heard horror stories about people paying for a website to be built with no where to host it afterwards.

Second, you want to make sure your hosting provider is reputable and uses a top quality server.

Our website hosting service comes with unlimited bandwidth, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, weekly backups, SSL protection and 24/7 malware monitoring.

Having the worlds best website won’t matter much if a poor hosting environment causes it to be slow loading, constantly offline and infected with malware.


A website is rarely set in stone when it’s launched. It’s usually an ever changing living thing as updates are required (e.g. staff turnover, pricing updates, new services etc,.).

For us, we offer 2 options for website maintenance, depending on your needs.

The first is for websites that require frequent updates by offering a custom built backend management system that the client can use to login and make changes to designated areas of their website themselves. This requires no HTML knowledge. If you know how to edit a word document then you’ll master this quickly.

Examples of website sections that may require frequent enough edits include a home page announcement box, meeting minutes updating or a news blog.

The second and more popular option is to have changes done by us using maintenance time. This is more common since many websites do not require frequent enough updates to justify having a backend created. It’s often more cost effective and will usually save you time.

Plus, having the website managed professionally through a maintenance service allows for maximum flexibility in terms of style and layout.

Depending on your business needs there are likely many other questions worth asking your web designer, but no matter what we’d say the 5 above should be at the top of any list.

Tenpine has been offering Niagara web design and digital marketing services to businesses of all shapes and sizes since 2010. Please reach out anytime if you have any questions about this or any other topic.