Hiring a new web designer, well, it is a bit like asking an interior designer to step in to your home and to start to give you their thoughts about how the decor of your house should look.
That’s to say, if you were to be really clear with the interior designer on the phone at the start of the process, well, then often their going to get an idea of your tastes, and how you would like the house to look after the transformation has taken place.
As otherwise, without you telling the interior designer what you like in terms of interior décor styles, then the designer might start talking about current trends, what they think would look good without any design input from you- which you might want, that’s to say you may want a lot of different design suggestions, you may want them to have complete say over how the house should look.
But more often than not, you may want to have your own personality injected into the interior design, so your going to have input from the start over how you would like the house to look.
For example, if you got a farmhouse style home, you might want a more traditional look for your interior décor, and one which compliments the period style of your home.
However, if you’re a lot bolder, you might want much brighter colours to be used, and the point we are trying to make is this, the same concept can be taken for when you hire your web designer.
That’s to say, you need to sit down with a nice cup of coffee, and you need to have a think about what you want the website to look like, before you ring the web design agency. This will help you to narrow down how you want the website to look like, so you might want to think about:
-Which font(s) to use
-How the logo should look
-Colours to use
-Layout of each page
-Which CMS your business wants to use
– There’s also a lot more to think about as well
However, if you give the web designers a total blank canvas, then often it can take many weeks for them to start to narrow down the final design that you want, because they have to offer you so many different design suggestions that they think may work.
Of course, the more time that the web designers spend coming up with design suggestions, that’s for example which colours, fonts and how the homepage should be designed, well this may start to increase your web design costs because there are simply more hours needed to be spent focusing on what the customer wants.
Of course, a lot of businesses don’t want to be wasting any marketing expenditure at all, especially right at the start of the process of having the website designed.
Now of course this is a rather short article, there are loads of things the businesses needs to consider when having a website designed, and every website is going to be different in terms of design and functionality, however this is just to give you a taste of what our web designers need from our customers when we start to narrow down the design.
The purpose of this article is to start our customers thinking about the design direction we need, which helps us to save time, so we can start to build your brand new company website a lot quicker.
Set out a clear purpose for your website
This may sound really obvious, that you need to have a clear purpose for your website, but its one we think is important.
Now although this might sound so obvious, is it still worth mentioning, because sometimes even when a business approaches us for a simple brochure website design, the customer may halfway through decide that they want to sell a few products online as well, so it becomes an e-commerce website, which is more complex to build.
This will obviously increase costs, and potentially move the date back of whether the website could be finished, so this is why we always say a very clear purpose of what you want from your new company website is important.
Let’s give you a brief example of what we mean by this, let’s say that you are a builder, and you contact a web designer to start building new construction website for you.
Initially you may just want a homepage, an About Us page a service page, Contact Us page and another page to show your work.
However, then you later realise that all the services that you offer should have their own pages, for example one for “roofing services” another for “property extensions” and one for “commercial construction”, one for “project management” and another for “newbuild properties”.
Now as you can see, adding and designing all of those extra pages is a lot of extra work for a web designer to do, so this is why we think it’s important that the client sits down and thinks about all the services that they want to promote, prior to contacting a web’s designer.
That’s because the web designer will know how many pages are needed to be designed right at the start, and can therefore offer a more accurate quote right at the start also.
As otherwise changes will be needed, so the goalposts sometimes change halfway through the web design process, and this can obviously mean a lot more work is needed from our WordPress web developers, and therefore the price needs to be readjusted.
Think about creating a set of “Brand Guidelines”
We would recommend coming up with a set of brand guidelines before you start have the website built, this is so our web developers in Cardiff will know exactly which logo to use, also which font type you have chosen, as well as the colour scheme to use.
Let’s return back to our construction company example, you might have chosen a very specific colour of yellow and grey to use.
This is going to need to be passed to the web developer, so they are notified of the “hex codes” to use so when they are writing the code, and by that we mean say the PHP, they can start to make sure that they are right using the right colour schemes when designing the whole of the website.
Think about which content management system you want
Another important thing to think about is which content management system you want, you might want to talk to friends that you have in business, about which CMS they use, and if they find it easy to use.
The vast majority of websites which we design and build a built using WordPress, however at our web design studio we can offer you many different options as well
Make it as fast as you can
You should make your company’s website as fast as you can, and therefore you should talk to your web designers, about which hosting they can offer.
You need hosting which is fast
Although you might have already concentrated a huge amount of your time into how you want your new WordPress website to be designed, you also need to think about the content marketing. That’s to say its all well and good knowing the font you want to use, which colours to use, and how you want say the homepage to look, but what about the content marketing?
So, by that we mean that sometimes a lot of text needs to be added to each and every page, you might also want as part of the design to have “evergreen content marketing” added, you might also want to have for example a frequently asked questions page, therefore sometimes a lot of writing is needed.
You therefore need to ascertain whether you are going to write all of the content marketing, or whether the digital marketing agency which you have hired, whether they have internally copywriters that work for the company, that can do all of this work for you.
The next thing you need to think about is, does the design work while the smart phone?
For example, does the mobile version of the website work well on an Android smartphone or say an Apple iPhone for example?
You therefore need to have a really well-designed mobile version of your company website as well.
Therefore, some businesses might over concentrate on what the desktop version of the company website looks like, yet you also need to consider how the mobile website looks as well.
So, make sure before you say to your freelance web designer, or let’s say your PHP web developers, that your happy with the web design, make sure your also happy how the mobile version works.
Because lets say your starting a brand new brand, you specialise in retailing skiing equipment, and you’ve forked out on having a brand new WordPress website built.
Well, that’s all well and good, but what if the designers haven’t say made it easy on the mobile version of the website to sort items?
For example, the website has been designed so that there’s no “sort items” function, as you never told the web designers that was needed, so what happens next?
Well, someone that’s on the train on the way home from work, looking to buy a comfy pair of ski shoes, well they see over 300 pairs for sale, with no way of sorting them, so what might happen?
Well, the business has one sky-high, super big, massive bounce rate, because someone doesn’t want to sort through 300 odd pairs of ski-boots, so they leave your website.
Then they find another business, where’s a sort function, so they can sort by price, brand, whether the items in stock, and also size of shoe, which obviously saves time, who wants to sort through 300 pairs of shoes, then find that the ones you want are not in stock!
So, this is why you need a good web designer, or indeed web developer, to make sure everything works and also you have the web designers build into the design things your company needs.
How much will the ongoing costs be? (Website Hosting + Domain Name)
When you are having a new website designed, you also need to think about how much the ongoing costs are going to be. So, for example, how much will the website hosting be? Is it charged every month or every year?
For example, for some web design businesses, the website hosting and domain registration costs can sometimes be rather minimal in terms of cost, however for some other web design businesses, well they can be quite a lot, and they might even be charged monthly.
So, the point that we are trying to make here is, that you do need to look at the fine print in your web design contract, and not just look at how much the website initially costs to be designed, but also start to think about what the ongoing costs are going to be.
So, for example, sure a website might cost say £500.00 upfront, but if the website costs 39.99 per month, well over say a year well, that’s going to start mounting up.
For too many businesses jump into a deal which seems to be offered at a super low cost, but then when you start a factor in a monthly fee to host the site, and the costs for the domain name registration, you might start to see that over the lifetime of the website that it is in fact rather costly for what can sometimes be a rather basic website.
You therefore need a well-designed website; but you also need to understand what all the costs are associated with the design.
Make sure you set aside enough marketing budget for your SEO
You might also want to invest in “organic SEO”, and you might already be aware, that a lot of agencies charge a set monthly fee for offering an SEO service.
For this reason you need to starting about whether you have enough marketing budget for this, as most organic SEO agencies will tell you, is that it can sometimes take a very long time in order to start seeing any results.
Therefore, the point were trying to make is, there’s no point in forking out a huge amount to have a website designed, but then you’ve got no marketing budget then to promote the website.
You therefore need to have a balance between having a well-designed website built, but then also making sure that you got enough funds to pay for your other marketing such as PPC, social media advertising and organic SEO.
The reason we say this is because with organic SEO, you might hear some marketing agencies state that’s its often going to take a very long time to get the business onto the first page of Google, and it does vary in terms of how long it takes, depending on the level of competition, for example for a high competition business sector, such as car insurance, it might take a very long time to get that company on the first page.
Therefore, you need to make sure that you got enough in the way of a marketing budget to tide you over, that’s until the seo agency can start to generate sales for you, as with organic seo, it might take us at our agency say over six months before we can get some of our clients on the first page.
Therefore, as you can see, there’s a lot to think about before you hire a web designer within Cardiff South Wales, as it’s not just therefore a matter of just picking up the phone, and finding a developer which will build the website at the lowest cost.
Some businesses do this, then can sometimes be rather disappointed with the finished design, as it might be, well really basic.
What you often find is when you purchase say a really cheap website, is that after a short period of time you might well be unhappy with the finished design, so you might have to go out and find another web designer in order to discuss what you want again in terms of getting a redesign, which will obviously take a lot of time.
Therefore, there’s a lot to think about when looking for a “web design agency”, and we would urge all businesses to think long and hard about what they want, in terms of the design, prior to contacting web design companies.
We don’t just work businesses in Wales, we work with companies based all across the United Kingdom.