Up and down the length and breadth of the country, there are quite simply so many web designers to choose from.
From Wales right up to the top of Scotland, there are quite literally thousands of businesses you could hire. From freelancers working in their spare bedrooms, through to web design companies that might only have say five staff, through to your much larger agencies, which might have well in excess of 200 staff.
How do you start to whittle down the list web designers?
So now you might be thinking, well, how do I even begin to start to whittle down the list of web designers that I should contact to have my website built? How do I choose the right company, to build a simply brilliant, well-designed website for my business?
Well your most definitely along the right lines already, if you’re thinking this, that’s because you need a quality website for your business. Don’t settle for anything less, so many businesses purchase cheaper websites let’s say built for less than £700, yet the business might quickly realise the website doesn’t cut the mustard, and is not helping the business to generate more sales.
Well, this article has the intention of helping you think about some of the factors that you might want to think about, before you do hire a web design agency.
Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest quote
So many companies, especially start-up businesses, sometimes simply opt for the cheapest quote. And there are many web designers out, which will have all across the homepage some really cheap prices, or special offers, or even a website where you don’t pay anything upfront, but you might pay for the website every single month.
What we would say is hold your horses, when you’re picking a web designer don’t just do it on price.
Think about the quality of the website, you want something that really good quality, because let’s face it it doesn’t matter if your window cleaner, solicitor run one of the largest car insurance companies United Kingdom, your website very important your business.
So don’t necessarily opt for the cheapest quote
You might be starting a start-up business, and haven’t got that much money to spend on having a new website design, but here’s the thing, often your company website will be the main way of drawing in new customers to your business, so can you really afford to scrimp and save by having a really cheap website built?
What if the website ends up looking, well a bit rubbish?
For example, let’s say that you are setting up a new hairdressing salon, and you’ve hired some of the best hairdressers around, you’ve also signed a lease on a brilliant business premises, but if you don’t hire the right web designer then all of this expenditure on hairdressers, and of brilliant business premises wont be accurately portrayed on your company website.
What you need therefore web designers which really make clear the main selling points your business, that is you have brilliant hairdressers, so they should be shown clearly on the meet the team page.
Also on the home page the web designer should make it crystal clear where your businesses, for example that it is down Cardiff Bay and you have a great location to run your hairdressing salon from.
Therefore, purchasing a really cheap website, which doesn’t advertise your businesses main selling points, could be losing you business.
The content management system
If you are going to buy a brand new car, you are likely to ask the car salesperson what signs the engine is underneath the bonnet. You’re either going want something that’s economical, or you might like a powerful engine?
Perhaps you would like a hybrid engine, because you want to lower your carbon footprint? Therefore people when they are purchasing a car they often do so for different reasons.
If you just want a low-cost runaround, you are likely to purchase a small petrol engine car.
Purchasing a website for your business, does have similarities to buying a car, that’s because just as you consider the engine in a car, you need to consider content management system for the company website.
For example do you want a low-cost CMS, just to build a brochure website?
Or would you need something altogether more powerful, like a Ferrari engine, to power a large website which might sell thousands of products.
Therefore the content management system is like the engine of your website.
The point that we are trying to make this, there are different content management systems which are designed for different types of businesses.
If a customer was to sit down with us, and they were about to start a small business, then we would recommend a content management system, that is easy for the customer to use, and is suitable for designing a brochure website.
On the other hand if the business was to ring us, and they wanted website built and they are planning on selling over 1000 various product lines, let’s say for example the retail bathroom products online, like shower trays then we are likely to recommend different content management system altogether.
What is the most popular content management system that your business uses?
When a business owner walks into our web design agency, often they want a brochure website built, such as simple 10 page brochure website. Most of the time when we are building brochure websites, we recommend WordPress.
What is WordPress?
WordPress has been around for a long time, it’s very well respected by web designers and also business owners, that’s because it’s simply a brilliant content management system. It has a dashboard, called the WordPress dashboard, which you can easily log into using your username and password. Once you gained entry to the dashboard, business owners will find that the dashboard is extremely easy-to-use.
So, let’s say for example on the contact page, you state your business address which is in the city centre Cardiff.
However, the business address is no longer correct, that’s because you’ve now moved address recent.
So without having any coding knowledge at all, for example you might not have a clue about how to write one single line of HTML code, but because you have a WordPress website, well it’s an absolute piece of cake to just change the wording of your address on the contact us page.
That simply because, with the WordPress dashboard it’s allows you to make changes to your website, you don’t therefore need any coding knowledge. For more complicated changes, you might need the help of the web developer.
However, the WordPress dashboard does allow you to do the following
- Add a blog post easily
- Change the wording of your main pages
- Install the new plugin
- Adding page title
- Add an internal link
- Add a h1 tag
- You can easily add a meta title, and a meta description once you install the plug-in to do this
- You could change the wording of a homepage
- Change the pictures on your website
- Rewrite the anchor text
- Add a new page to the main menu
- Change your WordPress password
- Change the wording of the footer
- Update your company’s NAP information
- Make a backup of your WordPress website, once you’ve installed a free plug-in
- Add a contact form, once you’ve installed a plug-in
- Add an accordion
- Add a slider
- Adding new product
- Change a product description
- Add evergreen content marketing
- Change the theme
- Change the font
- Make text bold
Therefore, when own a WordPress website, you don’t have to wait for the web designers to make simple changes, such as updating your company’s address on the contact page. That’s because when you own a WordPress website, it has an inbuilt text editor, this means you can change the wording of the text, and you don’t need to have any coding knowledge.
For example with some websites even just change the address, you need to have some coding knowledge, such as how to write HTML.
WordPress is very popular with businesses in the United Kingdom
WordPress is very popular with many businesses, there are many other reasons why it is popular, for example there are free plugins, and these can also be updated easily, if you were to ask us what is another really good feature of WordPress, we would say that with one simple click of a button you can also back your website up.
For example, there are free plugins, that you can install on your WordPress website, which allow you to back your website up in a short period of time.
We would highly recommend, that you consider hiring a local web design business.
The web design business doesn’t need to be on your doorstep, but we would recommend that it is located in the same city as your business or located within the surrounding areas. The reason for this is it simply makes it much easier to have meetings with your web designers.
We would recommend having face-to-face meetings with your web designers, to discuss how you would like your brand-new website to be designed.
Sure you could have an online meeting via zoom, however we still think it’s better when possible to meet your web designers in person, as well as your web developers, and the business owner of the web design agency.
This is so you can tell them exactly how you want your new website to look, this saves you having to write so many emails explaining how you want each page to look, because you can simply explain in person exactly how you want say the homepage to be designed
The benefits of having meetings with your web designers, is it can save time, even though you have to commute to their web design offices, or they drive to you, you can still have a productive meeting and discuss how you would like your new business website to look.
The alternative is to e-mail the web designers, however when designing a new website, you could literally send well over a hundred messages during the web design process, to the web designers, so sometimes it is much easier to meet with your web designers in person, and so they can get a really good idea of how you would like your new company website to look.
How quick do they respond to your messages?
If the web designers take a good while before they get back to you with a reply, when you’re initially asking for a quote, then you should keep this in mind, that’s because when you’ve actually forked out money to have your website designed by that company, they might then also be slow in responding to your messages then also.
Sure, it would be unreasonable to think that any web designer should respond within say an hour, however if it is taking them a very long time to respond then this could be a sign that they will possibly take a long time to design your website as well
For example, some web design agencies, my take on a large amount of work on, yet this means that you might be waiting a very long period before the website is finished, if the web designers a very busy.
This is no good if you are about to start a brand-new business, because obviously you’re going to want your website to be up and running as soon as possible.
You don’t want to be waiting for your web designers to build the website for say the next six months, when you know that another web design agency might have built the whole site in a much shorter period of time.
So do bear that in mind, how quick are they to respond to your messages? And are they willing to stipulate how long it will take them to design your website?
For example, it takes our designers sometimes under two weeks to design a simple brochure website, this is another reason why some companies hire us, because we design our websites quickly.
What are the ongoing costs?
This is definitely something that’s worth considering very carefully before you choose your web designer, as some businesses might offer websites which seem as cheap as chips. For example, you might look at the website and they might say that they can build a website for just £299, which sounds brilliant, but what are the ongoing costs?
If written into the fine print of the contract there is a monthly charge for hosting the website, well you most definitely need to consider how much that hosting will cost, and whether the cost can be increased?
The reason is, let’s say that the monthly hosting cost is £19.99 a month, and you are to have that website with the company for the next seven years, that’s going to add up to a lot of money.
So, what you might want to do is hire a web design agency, to have the website designed, but pay a much lower price for website hosting per year.
You might not want to pay every single month for website hosting, but some web designers charge this because they offer such a low fee for designing the website in the first place.