How to Choose a Web Design Company
Choosing the right web design company to build your new website is an important decision for any company, especially if the bulk of your business is done online.
Before approaching web design companies think about what you want out of your website - what functionality do you want? How many different pages do you need? Do you want customers to be able to buy products through the website? Do you want it to be mobile phone friendly? By having an idea of what you want from the website you can ensure the different companies you are getting quotes from are all quoting for the same thing.
You might find that you get a wide variety of prices from the same specification you provided to them all and now you have the tough decision of deciding who to choose.
There are many different things that could affect the price of a website and it’s worth delving a little deeper to see what you will get for your money before just picking the company that gave the cheapest quote.
Some things to be aware of when you are looking to choose a web design company:
- Are they offering a CMS (content management system)? A CMS will allow you to update the content and pictures on your website as and when you want rather than having to rely on the web design company to do this for you. If they are offering a CMS then ask to see an example and pay attention to how easy it is to use. All CMS are different and some can be very complex to use.
- Are they offering a search engine optimisation (SEO) friendly website? SEO is important as it affects where your website is shown in search engines such as Google. There’s some basic things that all web companies should do when building a website to make sure that search engines can easily crawl it, but, scarily, there are web design companies that are clueless about this or don’t offer it as standard. If your website isn’t SEO friendly from the start it’s very difficult to fix and can really affect the success of your business.
- Are you getting a bespoke website? The more bespoke the website the more time it will take to build and the more money it will cost. Some companies use generic, widely available, templates such as WordPress which have restrictions whereas others will build you exactly what you want from scratch.
- What other websites have they built? Take some time to look at examples of their past projects. Is the website visually appealing? Is it easy to navigate around (ie, can you find everything you want)? If it’s easy to use then this shows that the company has thought about usability for the customer. If the website is an online shop then trying adding items to your basket and going through to the checkout stage to see how easy (or not) it is for the customer.
- Have they built websites with similar functionality to what you require? You want to make sure that the company has the experience and skills to build what you after. If you are after a complex e-commerce website then you don’t want to choose a company which has only ever built small brochure websites.
- Where will the website be hosted? Does the web company provide hosting? Do you have to pay for it? Can you choose a hosting company yourself?
- Will they provide updates to the website in the future? If so, for how long and how much will the updates cost? If the company provides a CMS then many of the changes to your content you will want to make you will be able to do at any time and with no cost.
- Does the company provide you with a specification for the project and projected deadlines?
- Do you feel comfortable with the web designer? It’s important that you have a good working relationship with the company as many web projects last for months (and some even last years). You don’t want to be stuck working with someone that you can’t stand!
- How do they price their services? Do they work to set prices, day rates or individual quotes for different projects? What is their billing structure - do they take a deposit and then the rest at completion of the project or do they spread payments over time?
- Do they build all of their websites in-house or do they rely on freelancers to produce the work? If they outsource the work then you need to consider if you are comfortable with this – maybe ask to see examples of the freelancer’s work.
After considering all of the above only you can decide how much you are happy to pay for a website and whether the company you are choosing meets all of your needs.
If you have any questions about how to choose a web design company, or to get a quote for your web design project, then call Brightsite on 01273 446644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org