In a world where a company who is not online may as well not exist, the right website is something that is of great importance. The problem is, you come to getting a website and you‘re literally swamped with companies practically knocking down your door for the opportunity to work with you. It is a crowded market which on the one hand is great - more choice for you - but on the other hand, it leaves you in the position of picking the right one.
You have already done a great thing in recognising that you need to provide your customers with an exceptional brand experience in order to survive in a competitive world. You need to be clearly visible amongst many other companies trying to get the attention of your customers and you need your customers to engage with you when they do notice you. And you need a friendly, reliable and trustworthy company to do all this for you.
So where do you start? Right here.
Here are 10 ways to choose the right web design company for your business:
What do you want your website to do? What are your goals for your website? How will you know if it has been successful? If you have no clue - make sure you really do trust the company you choose because sales orientated companies love clueless people to sell to. If you do have some idea, spend time refining your needs clearly so you can look for companies who can give that to you. Take care to ask for proof of these capabilities as well - don‘t just believe them because they say convincingly that they can give you everything you need - ask for proof in the way of examples.
Be really careful when considering a budget, as the value of an excellent website is far higher than what you will pay for it, or it should be if it is good enough. You do get what you pay for, so you must ensure you aren‘t cutting corners in this particular area of your business. You might save a few pounds now going for the cheapest option, but down the line you will lose money if the website isn‘t right. The right company will be able to show you examples of what they have done for similar sized businesses and show you the results they have achieved.
No matter if a company has been in business a few years or a few months, if they have a proven track record of providing great ideas and solutions to businesses and they can prove it, they should still be considered.
Even if the company has provided a solution to a similar sized company, they may still have no experience in your industry. This is something you do need to remain aware of, particularly if your business has a niche. The company needs to understand your business and your market.
The company could be talking a lot of business sense, but if you don‘t have a clear understanding of what they are saying, it is all lost in translation. The company should work hard to help you understand what they want to do and why. If you ever feel they are talking jargon and talking down to you, they are not the right company.
You are likely to have an understanding of your own of why your website is failing, but often business owners aren‘t aware of how important the content on their site is. Experienced web design companies should be fully aware of how important it is and how functional it is when creating a successful online presence for you.
It is important to expect big things from the web design company, but not to expect everything from them. Try setting an idea of goals you would like to reach with the site within the next 6 months to a year and try to think bigger than just money earnt. If the company is good, they will be able to talk to you about benefits you will get that are far more interesting, useful and far-reaching than the ones you initially thought were your priority.
How much aftercare will you get from your new web design company? Define any maintenance you might want or need before contracts are exchanged. They may well offer analytics following the site design (potentially at an extra cost).
It may be that you want extras as well as your site designed. This could be a full online presence package that continues long after your site is designed. Social media management, blog posts, SEO strategy updating - these are all extras you may want. Check if they offer extras so you know you can expand on their expertise if you want to.
The most important thing you need to establish with your web design company is a good working relationship. One great way to get a feel for people is to meet with them in person, which is one of the benefits of choosing a local web design company. You will be parting with money, information and spending time working with these people, you need to be able to trust them and you need to like them. The bells and whistles mean nothing if they are hanging off a coat you can‘t stand.