12 Tips When Choosing A Web Design Company / Website Design Services
Over the years, we have heard many horror stories from the experiences our customers have had with previous web designers or web design companys. To help you avoid this, we thought it would be helpful to put together some tips when venturing into the world of beginning a new website or even to re-design your existing site and therefore choosing a new web design service.
It is our hope that this can help you save time, money, and frustration. Some of these tips are actually shocking – you would not think it be the case, but unfortunately, it made the following list of 12 Tips:
12. Warning signs. Be weary of “Free” hosting, guaranteed search engine placement, or other so-called black or grey hat tricks. Some of these tactics will get your business banned online faster than you can type scam. Watch out for inconsistent fees, years in business, if it sounds like a amazing deal, low flat rate pricing for “Complete Site”, designers that use “free” website design services like Microsoft office live, homestead, etc..
11. The real cost and value. Many times business owners get tired of the outrageous fees charged by third party web design and ecommerce services. They soon learn the real cost of doing business online and month after month see their hard-earned dollars going to pay for percentage fees, low quality hosting, poor website design, poor SEO, non-producing eCommerce sites, etc. Pay close attention to the fees charged by Volusion, Yellow Book, YellowBook 360 (outsourced to India), WebsPlanet, Yahoo Stores, Verizon and Intuit websites (outsourced to the Philippines – see here), and other large service providers like Network Solutions. These and other expensive products and services are simply mass produced and built only with your wallet in mind. They rarely if ever produce any results. You didn’t really think paying that “low” monthly fee would result in thousands of sales a month, did you? In all honesty, many of these websites are shameful for their value and offer no return on investment. BUYER BEWARE. For more information about services that suck, online scams, rip-off’s and more read our other post here. It could save you alot of money and maybe your business.
10. Not all web design services are equal. This explains the wide array of pricing and costs you see online. As is with the brick and mortar world, so it is in the online world – You get what you pay for. Something done correctly the first time will save you money down the road. Please consider this with your search. Also worth mentioning is trying to have your friends neighbor do your new website. Although it is cost-saving at first, your business fails to protect itself from delays, poor design, or worse from expecting a favour from a friend. It is these cases that leave us with the cautionary saying, leave it to a professional.
Your business is very important online and you often have just one chance to succeed. Also note that it is often more costly to re-do or re-design something than create from scratch. For example, it would likely cost more to re-design an existing car into an SUV than it is to simply design an SUV from scratch. The same applies with code, technologies, programming, design, etc.
9. Upfront pricing. Be sure you understand (in-writing) the cost beforehand. Ask them for some pricing, what monthly fees are there? Any good web design service will gladly discuss this and other payment options with you before beginning work.
8. Where are they located? We don’t want to say that foreign or over seas web design services can’t help you. But, it is probably best to find one that is located in the same country. Why you ask? Because of the local business practices. A website design service located in India may not be aware of the business practices or target market here in the USA. They would not likely understand, being located in Boston, the importance of Boston’s north-end, the south shore, Cape Cod, or even to consider Rhode Island when coding for search engines. Besides, American technology is actually very impressive.
7. Are they truly interested in your project? This may not often affect the results of your new website in a negative way, but if the individual has a true interest in your subject area, it can have a big impact in the positive. For example, if you’re lucky enough, you may find a web design service that specializes in a particular area such as auto dealer sites and that is what you sell, new and used cars. So…ask them if they are interested or have any specialized experience with your particular product or service.
6. Analyze the person’s communication skills. Get in touch with the actual person you will be working with. Usually, this is done through email. Are they easy to talk with? Do they respond with helpful information or do you find simple short responses like “yes” or “no”. Be weary of the later.
5. Ask for SEO examples. This can easily be done online and is a very important element. Simply ask the potential designer/coder for SEO examples of their work. They should send you some key words that, when typed into search engines, bring that particular work on some level of search engine success. Depending, this could be the first or even tenth page. Your goal is to see how the work ranks on these search engines. For example, ask if you can be sent some of the top keywords for one of their portfolio websites…the key word “tires in Plymouth, MA” should bring up the example website in the search results.
4. Ask for a list of previous customers. This may seem forward, but, it can help you gauge the experience of working with a business/company like yours.
3. Carefully review their portfolio or examples. Don’t look so much at the context or purpose, but rather look at the design, layout, function, ease of use, flow, speed, and way in which the message is being delivered online. Look for errors, check it with other browsers, use forms, look at the code – Does it look clear/clean?
2. Gather your information. This helps you to organize your business and plan so that it can easily be conveyed to others. A business plan would be ideal, but at the very least, have a clear noteworthy list of things you would like done. You would be surprised at how many businesses cannot answer the simple question of what it is they would like to do.
#1. Look for a business partner.
look for a web design service that you could partner with
Don’t look so much for a web designer, look for a web design service that you could PARTNER with for your online venture. Look for someone who will be an invaluable tool for your business. A service or someone whom you could have a long term business relationship with. Make sure to be nice… we are real people too .
Questions? Get a free price quote and consultation today!