How to choose a web design company? 5 things to consider
How to choose a web design company? 5 things to consider
Before signing any contracts, be sure to consider these important web design practices.
Like many business owners, you may have decided to leave your website design and development in the hands of a web design company so you can focus your attention on other important projects. There’s so much that goes into building a website from scratch, from the actual look and feel to the content that fills the pages to the SEO ( site optimization ) work that makes sure you’re found in search engines.
Even though there are so many facets of a successful web presence, it’s important that you don’t just rely on the web design company to be the eyes and ears for your website. You want to have a basic understanding of these components to make sure you’re getting high quality service that will positively affect your business. After all, your website is likely the first fingerprint potential customers get of your brand. Don’t want to make sure you’re making the right impression?
If you’re currently outsourcing your web design work, or just starting to think about it, take a few minutes to evaluate the company on these key practices to make sure they’re keeping your best interest in mind.
Site Ownership & Domain
By far the most common misconception about web design and development is where site ownership is. It’s your business website, so it’s yours, right? Well, not necessarily. Don’t sign any service contracts until you understand who owns what. You don’t want to wait until you’re considering another company to find out that your site will be deleted because you’re not the authorized owner.
There are a few key components that affect ownership, but it’s important to note that hosting isn’t one of them. When it comes to where your website is hosted, you will usually ask a hosting company for help (or your web design company if they offer it). The important thing to remember here is that regardless of where your site is hosted, the ultimate ownership of your site is not impacted. It is simply where content is stored and protected.
In terms of your domain name (something like yourcompany.com.br), you have to acquire/buy it from a domain registrar ( Registro.BR , for example). This registrar is the official owner of the domain name, so you are essentially renting it out to your business. If you choose to back out, another company has the right to buy it for itself.
The last piece of the puzzle is the actual content on your website, which includes text, images and videos from each page. This is where you really need to pay attention. If you are working with a company that is doing both content and design work, you should be presented with an agreement at the end of the project outlining ownership of the site’s content. Otherwise, you will only be entitled to the content you contributed.
This means that if you choose to work with a different marketing company, for example, the previous agency has the right to remove any content they created for you. If the company doesn’t address this, that’s a big red flag regarding their credibility. You should never have to question what will happen if you finally take your work elsewhere. In many cases, the company will be more than willing to let you keep the content even if you are no longer a customer. But you have to have this in writing to ensure no legal ramifications.
Content Originality & Quality
Not only is the ownership of your site’s content important, but the quality of it. After all, your content is what educates visitors, builds trust, and can ultimately lead to purchasing decisions. If you’re not providing engaging and experienced insights to potential customers, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to convince them to consider your business further. And not only is quality content important to visitors; it is also important to look for engines.
If you’re using a marketing company for content services, it’s important to know who is writing the content for you. Does the company have expert writers or freelancers? Are they outsourcing the work to another company or country? You should be aware of who is in charge of your website content and communicate with them regularly to ensure your brand is well represented and SEO best practices are adhered to. And if you’re not satisfied with any content created, the company should offer to rewrite it until your expectations are met.
Finally, ask yourself if you, as a consumer, would like to read this content! If you’re not interested in what you’re reading or it seems too promotional, chances are your target audience won’t like it either. Your content should cover a wide variety of topics, approach them from different perspectives, and serve as answers to common customer questions.
Pricing and Payment Structure
If you compare some digital marketing companies side by side, you’re likely to see some differences in the way their pricing and payment plans are structured. Some companies prefer payment in full before any work begins, and others allow customers to pay in monthly installments. And while some charge by the number of hours designers are working on the site, others charge by the number of pages you need to create.
Don’t get too caught up in how you pay for your services unless your revenue stream is very volatile. The important thing here is the final cost of the project. As a frugal business owner, it can be tempting to choose the most affordable provider; but I strongly advise against this as your go-to strategy without doing a little research on what you’re actually going to get.
If you’re comparing two companies and one is significantly cheaper than the other, there’s a good chance the quality of work is lower, too. On the other hand, a high-cost provider is not necessarily a better fit. Really take the time to discuss your options with various companies and compare what you get for the cost. This can make you more inclined to choose a more expensive provider that offers additional hours of training and support over a more fragmented offering.
Some other factors that will affect the cost of a design package include the number of pages you need, whether you are using a template or custom design, and whether you are bundling any other services with the design, such as SEO , social media marketing. or blog . Any company you choose should be completely transparent about the costs associated with the project, offer bundling options, and even discuss with you why they are priced higher than a competitor. Making sure you’re aware of any unexpected costs should be their responsibility, but it might be up to you to ask the tough questions.
Organization and Planning Process
Something business owners often overlook when it comes to web design is the level of organization and planning that goes into it. It’s easy to get caught up in the quality of service being provided, but don’t underestimate the importance of tight deadlines and regular communication.
You should always have a timeline of when each step of the design process will be completed so you know if things are going as planned or the team is falling behind. With smaller companies, your project might not get done in a timely manner, but you can also get a more personalized experience by having a smaller group of contacts to keep in touch with. A larger company will likely get things done quickly, which is helpful if you’re on a time crunch, but you may have a harder time scheduling calls or meetings with your team. No matter what size or scope of company you select, you should never be left wondering how long it will take to get something done.
As with most situations, communication is key. You should be able to speak regularly with your design team, whether via email, phone calls, or in person, and get answers to any questions or concerns quickly. Ideally, try to make scheduled calls weekly or biweekly to discuss progress and any loose ends that need to be tied up. Successful web design requires cooperation from both parties, regularly exchanging information and ideas, so regular communication will help keep everyone on task.
It’s also important to know exactly who is working on your site and the role each team member plays so you know who to contact with specific questions. Web design teams must have knowledge and experience in various facets of digital marketing, including SEO, graphic design, coding, and more.
Finally, the company’s reputation is crucial to the success of any work you’ve done on your website. Whether they’re featured on the company’s website or you specifically request, you should have access to case studies and portfolios of similar projects they’ve completed, along with customer feedback on their experience working with them. Any company that hesitates to provide this information does not deserve your business. You need to know that they have experience working with companies like yours, and that their clients are happy with the services they have received.
In addition to the feedback provided by the company, you should also spend some time looking at reviews on Google and elsewhere. Pay attention to both the number of reviews and the average rating, and take the time to read a customer’s reasoning for your rating to determine credibility. For example, a client explaining how their web traffic has increased due to a redesign will give valuable insight into whether or not they might be a good fit for you.
Time to Start
There is a lot to consider when it comes to selecting the right company to design and develop your website. It’s such an important part of your online presence that it’s not a decision you want to rush or make without all the information you need. But if you take the time to evaluate a web design company from all angles and listen to what your own customers have to say, you will be able to make an informed decision that is best for your business.