Anyone who has a business these days is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of having a presence on the web. Be it a photographer, a florist, an accountant or a funeral director; everyone knows that if they want to be found then they’d better get some sort of website up and running. The biggest problem with this is that a lot of people don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing who to design and develop their website. Choosing a website designer is just as important as choosing an accountant, a supplier or some premises. You need someone you can trust with your business, who can provide a good product with a healthy ROI and someone who can make your business look good. Anyone these days can knock up a website if they spend a little time digging around on the internet, and this is why we’ve put this post up. This is our guide for choosing a website design company and what pitfalls to look out for.
- Hidden charges – the number one reason people get fed up with their web development company is because of hidden charges that were not specified or were conveniently “glossed–over” in the initial quote. Hidden charges can include things like: alterations to text on a page, change of colours, upload of images, help & support, etc. It’s for this reason that we decided to give all of our customers a free content management system to enable them to make changes to their website whenever they wish without getting charged. We also developed an extensive support system including an online tracking system and online help via live chat that users can access for free.
- Use of boring templates – many web design companies simply use templates that have been designed and developed by a third party. Whilst you can get a nice cheap site this way you might be sharing the same website with thousands of others on the Internet.
- Hobbyists – probably more than any other industry there are thousands of web designers out there who are simply doing it on the side. They know a little bit and try to earn an extra bit of cash now and then. While there is nothing wrong with this, what assurances do you have that they will be able to support you in a year’s time? What experience do they have? Are they keeping up to date with the latest technologies on the Internet to ensure your site is future proof?
- Restrictive website hosting – website hosting is a bit of a hot potato, you can get many cheap packages just like you can with broadband but obviously there is a compromise. Many of the cheap packages have restrictions on bandwidth (the amount of data that can be downloaded in a month) and web space. With WebMe we decided to simply offer unrestricted website hosting – that means unlimited bandwidth and unlimited web space; that way the customer never runs out and your site will not go down unexpectedly because you’ve had too many visitors.
- Poor design skills – we all have our own likes and dislikes but always take a look at the portfolio of a potential website design company. Compare their sites to others on the Internet. Do they look amateurish? If they do, they are likely an amateur themselves. People will judge your company on what your website looks like, first impressions last. If it’s not nice, or up to scratch, that is a customer lost.
- Poor communication – many web designers will simply do all their communications via email. This is a very bad way to forge a relationship with your designer; they hold the global face of your business in their hands. If they don’t take the time to come and visit you to clearly understand your requirements, how can you be sure that the future of your company really matters to them? We like to be able to brag about the success of a client following the launch of their website – if your website succeeds, we succeed.
Most of these points are common sense but it can be a good idea to form a checklist before you go about choosing a website designer. Any decent website design company should be happy to talk things through with you and clear up any points of confusion.
If you would like to discuss a website design with WebMe then please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.