Choosing A Local Web Designer
Are you planning to have a website designed to promote your business online? Are you finding the process of selecting the right web design company very challenging? Yes, choosing a website design company can be really daunting especially when you have so many options right before you. It is challenging because all the web design companies claim to offer the best services and all of them claim to be experts. When you actually set out to select your web design company you are very likely to be left with confusion. Before you start your search, you need to have your own criteria based on which you should select your web design company. This will help you narrow down the options you have and help you select your web design company fast.
One of the major dilemmas business owners have when it comes to choosing their website design company is whether to hire a local web design company or an offshore company. There are many advantages in working with a local web design company rather than hiring a company from an offshore location.
Firstly, when you hire a web design company your service provider is more likely to understand your requirements better than an offshore company simply because you speak the same language as you and your web designer are from the same place. This will make the entire process easy as you need not have to send endless clarifications on your requirements and specifications during the web design process.
How to select the right company?
Look at how long they've been trading, as often you will find a lot of freelancers working from there bedroom while doing another job. If there a limited company have have a VAT number you will be pretty sure they will be working the normal office hours rather than evenings.
Look at the portfolio and ask the company for contact details of their clients as if there excellent at what they do they should have a problem with you calling their clients to find out what kind of experience they had.
It is often best to have a face to face meeting not in a coffee shop but at their offices or at your offices, this way you can see if you gel with the individual going to build your website. Listen to the advise the website designer is offering as remember they deal in designing and building websites daily and will know what is possible and what's not and always give them an idea of a budget.
How much should a website cost?
This is purely dependent on experience... If you want cheap don't expect to get excellent support and certainly not get a Rolls Royce website. Remember a website is your shop window, more users are searching and looking at website through mobile devices. There are over 16,000 different types of smart phone out there and it takes time and a lot of testing. A decent website would be built to be mobile responsive and should have an easy to use content management system. Functionality costs money so if your expecting complex functionality and e-commerce this could triple the costs with ease. Remember your website may cost £3000 to build but you can easily recoup your expenditure within a year if you market it correctly. Make sure you get a brief together and get a contract signed which both of you agree. If it's not in the contract i.e listed don't expect the company to do extra work for free. A local web designer will also know how much the market rate is and should be competitive for the level of experience etc..
Things to consider other than the website itself
Another value-add service that you should look for from your service provider is SEO or search engine optimisation. Your website needs to feature on top of the search results if you want to drive traffic to your website. This does not happen automatically, your website needs to be made search engine friendly.
You need to consider that part of your budget is for marketing and search engine optimisation is critical for you to get traffic to your website. There are many articles about this and SEO is often called Digital Marketing. Have a read through our marketing and SEO blogs as these will help you understand the process and the jargon.
Updated: April 2016.