Today anyone who wants to provide information, sell something, or promote a business knows that a web presence will help them reach their goals. Your website is one of the most important marketing tools your company can have. It can make visitors sit up and take notice, and can set you apart from the competition.
An experienced web design firm can implement your ideas and help you understand the process so that you come away not only with a website, but with a greater understanding of the Web and online business. Clients want the best value for their money now more than ever and choosing a competent web design firm can bring a great return on your investment. With everyone calling himself or herself a web designer these days how do you know if you are making good choice?
1. Do they understand the target market?
Often times, businesses prioritize price at the top of their list leading them to an agency or an individual overseas. Hiring in your local area or at least in the same hempisphere is important because the designers will UNDERSTAND local attitudes and concerns towards your product or service. Colors, navigation, use of imagery, and even content layout change from each locality. Knowing these intricacies about the local market can truly make a remarkable difference.
2. Beware of the cookie cutter
When assessing the agency’s portfolio, keep an eye out for a diversity in clients and design. Are the websites innovative or do they all generally look the same? If they all use the same basic visual principles, chances are your website will likely resemble their portfolio and won’t offer much room for innovation.
3. What can they REALLY offer?
It used to be that your business could have a website developed and you’d place it on your stationery and marketing material and that would be enough to get a good amount of traffic. In this market of a 100,000 new websites every day, you’ll more than likely, also need a social media, internet marketing, and/or launch strategy to help drive viewers to your website. Pick an agency which specializes in more than just getting you on a search engine and designing your website, pick an agency which will make your website a success.
4. Pay by project and not by hour
Designing a website requires plenty of communication, online or in-person meetings, and the initial mock-up is redone a few times before the project is actually made live. Don’t be restrained by an hourly budget and hope the project will come right within your budget. Control the price from the get go and agree to what all is involved from drafts to meetings and have it in writing. Free your mind and your wallet with a fixed cost.
5. Price determines quality
In this industry, you truly pay for what you get. The lower you pay, the less effective your website will likely be. A good agency, will charge competitively and offer additional support services to ensure your success. Getting the lowest bidder will likely mean you will get a cookie cutter website, a student or someone who is doing it part-time, or someone who will outsource overseas producing unsatisfactory results. Make no mistake, you need a professional website designed by professionals at professional prices.
6. Your website shoudln’t come with a ball and chain.
YOU should be 100% in charge of your website after the project is complete, unless of course you have a relationship which allows your agency to modify portions of it. Your website should be setup for you to go in and without any knowledge of programming be able to make modifications at will. You shoudln’t have to be tied at the hip and wallet with your design agency.