You have decided that you need a new website or need to update your current site. How do you go about choosing a web designer or agency to give you the best website experience?
For me, the key factors will be your budget, the quality and flexibility that you require, the number of features and how good will the long-term business relationship be. Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail.
We all have budgets and I understand that. If you do go for the lower price range then consider the following…
- You may be getting a template site and it may use a theme that will not be unique to you
- Your web designer will not be able to spend as much time on your site as on sites with bigger budgets
- Your website may be outsourced offshore where labour rates are cheaper. This is not necessarily a bad thing but may need more careful management.
If you are paying more then the chances are:
- You will have more time allocated to you to discuss your business in more detail and you will probably get more design concepts and choices
- You will probably be getting a bespoke business/website consultancy service rather than a shrink-wrapped product
- You may be getting a better quality product, good designers, developers and comprehensive testing all cost money.
Agency or Freelancer?
Agencies usually have their own premises with nice studios. That is very nice and there is a feel-good factor to that but consider:
- Those overheads have to be paid for.
- Some agencies outsource to freelancers anyway
- Some agencies employ student interns so make sure you know who will be doing your design work.
Web design quality
- Make sure that you have seen samples of work from the organisation you are considering
- Ask about the sites that you like, how much did they cost?
- Do check which browsers your website will be tested on.
- Do check whether the cost includes designing and developing for mobile phones and tablets.
- Will you arrange your own hosting or will your web developer do that for you? Will they setup email accounts for you?
Support & relationship
- Agree up-front what levels of support can be expected.
- Is your web design company generally helpful?
- Do they offer added value, do they make suggestions that will help your business?