How to choose a web design company. Make sure they are capable of optimizing and marketing it to maximize its potential.
Always choose a web design company with design talent, marketing, advertising and technical expertise.
Some businesses think they should hire a web design company to build their website and then hire another company to optimize it and market it. The problem with that plan is that most web design companies have no idea how to properly structure a website and optimize it. Then when you find a marketing company that specializes in SEO, social media marketing and web marketing they will most likely have to redesign and restructure your website causing you to pay twice for something that should have been done correctly in the beginning. It is rare to fine a company that designs award winning "custom" web designs from scratch and also have the capabilities to market and optimize it. Usually you will get a "custom template design" which most companies call "custom websites" but that is far from the truth. So let's take a look at how to proceed before you make the big decision to hire a web development company.
Business owners looking for a web design company often make the mistake of choosing a designer with emphasis on price and often overlook the company’s or individual’s array or services including 1) design talent 2) advertising, marketing and SEO knowledge, and 3) how long they have been in business. A website is much more than just a place to visit online. It is a marketing tool, a location to advertise, a powerful way to persuade visitors interested in your products or services to make contact and ultimately choose your company among the thousands of competitors vying for their business. It should serve as such in the most effective way possible. When you choose a company to develop your site, the following important factors should be considered and possibly weigh heavily on your decision making process. If you follow these important guidelines you will have a powerful online presence that not only is attractive, unique and appealing but will have the effectiveness to engage your visitors, capture market share, grow your company and make you money.
1) Design capability: The first factor to consider is the creative ability and talent of the designer. Cookie cutter templates are easy to acquire and most average “designers” use them as a foundation for a company’s web page design. This is because they are usually technical people with no design or branding talent or they are using the most basic and inexpensive web applications or content management systems to build your site. In this scenario you will end up with web pages that look unimaginative and dull. You’ve seen them! They are everywhere! Lots of simple text, simple format, square pictures dropped into the page without proper design, branding or creativity. Smart companies hire an experienced designer with unique creative talent that will “custom design” your web page from scratch using high end design applications before they are coded or scripted. This allows you, the client, virtually unlimited freedom to express your ideas, themes, and branding in your site. It also sets your pages apart from anything else your visitors will see in your competitor’s web pages. The result is - 1) a unique looking, well branded site that potential customers will remember
2) Unlimited visual an technical capabilities throughout it that engage users and have tools to convert visitors into sales. And at least capture their information for marketing and create A) following that will return again and again. B) More effective branding, advertising and marketing throughout the web pages. C) Marketing and advertising Experience: The development of a website should take into consideration the market demographic your company is speaking to. The personal, political and cultural profile, age group, and other demographic considerations will be a determining factor on how a knowledgeable web developer will design and write the content of your website. Your web developer should visit your company, talk to the people that run the business and get a true working knowledge of what you do and who your market is. The psychological implications intertwined within a site can produce a subliminal or conscious thought process that coerce decision making. If you do not relate to the person you are trying to influence it can be an uphill battle from the minute they arrive at your home page. Many website owners wonder why they get many hits but few page views and even less action on their contact forms. A good web design company will have the ability not only to market and advertise your website but to incorporate effective marketing and advertising techniques within your website.
3) Experience and Longevity: How long has your web design firm been in business? A week? A few months? A few years? I can tell you that the number one conversation I have each and every day with prospective clients is this - CALLER: ” I hired a web design company many months ago. They haven’t finished my website or there are many problems with it and now I can’t get in touch with them. Or they say they hit a wall and are not capable of doing what I ask. They took a deposit and now I have no website and I am out thousands of dollars.” Well, I feel for these business owners. This is a major problem in the web design industry. It is too easy for someone to go purchase an inexpensive web application or use a CMS (content management system which requires little coding knowledge, spend a couple months learning the software and turn around and hold themselves out as a web designer. This represents a majority of the web designers out there. There are some experienced firms out there, but many more who fit the previous description.
One question needs to be asked up front - “How long have you been in business?” Five years should be the bare minimum requirement. The next question - “Can I have references of those you have done business with longer than 3 years, and can I contact them?” That will give you a good determination of the company’s reliability. Check the company’s prior work online and look for the inbound link on the customer’s website to the designer’s website. Another easy test is - when you call the web design company do you get a knowledgeable person right away? Will they give you good advice? Will they answer all of your questions in a friendly and patient manner? If your answer is no to any of these questions it may be time to move on to a company you are more comfortable with.
Like any thriving industry with a high demand, the website design and development industry has inexperienced individuals jumping onto the bandwagon left and right and it’s up to you to be cautious when selecting one where you are about to lay down thousands of dollars to. The cost of designing a website can vary from company to company. The last red flag to watch out for is the offer to design a website for a few hundred dollars, or even FREE! You will not get a properly developed commercial website for less than $200 per page. If you do, then you will not own it or it will be a waste of money no matter how good it sounds. Bargain hunters often end up like the caller I described above. In the end, the pay twice - they pay for the low cost website, and then they pay for the properly designed website and the total amount is about 150% more than what it would have cost if they had hired a competent company in the beginning.
A Work Of Art has been in business for over 25 years and leads the industry in the state of Florida. Call us and compare our company to all of the rest.