Your website is the shop front of your business online. It’s the first place people will visit when they want to find out more about what you do, and it’s the “face” they’ll remember when they come back to buy your products.
Research suggests that 88% of us would be less likely to return to a website after a bad experience, so making the right first impression is essential.
Below, we’ve put together 5 important questions that you should ask before you choose a web developer to design your new site.
Are they experienced?
Whether you’re just starting up and want to build your first website, or you’re a multinational firm ready to take your business to the next level, it’s essential that you find a web developer that knows what they’re doing.
Of course, you can cut corners and work with a friend or a budget design company, but the result won’t be as effective – and over time, you’ll spend more patching up your website and making changes, when you could’ve had the right website from day one.
One of the best ways to find an experienced web development company is to see who designed your competitors’ websites.
Working with a company that has experience in your niche will make the design and development process much simpler, as they’ll already have an understanding of your customers and your industry. Some design companies even specialise in a particular niche.
Always ask to see examples and case studies from previous clients before signing up for a plan. That way, you’ll get a taste of the company’s style and personality, and you’ll know whether it matches with your vision.
Can they communicate?
In the world of design and development, good communication is essential. You should find a web development company that’s easy to reach, ready to talk and has a record of delivering projects on time and on budget.
To get the most out of your new website, we recommend meeting your web developer in a face-to-face setting; that way, you’ll be able to discuss what you want to get out of your project, and your web developer will be able to share their expertise.
From there, having direct access to your web developer should help to speed up the process, as they will be able to contact you whenever they have any questions, and you’ll be able to check in to get regular updates on your new website.
Having a clear timeframe and deadline can also be beneficial, as your developer will work towards completing your perfect website by a set date.
However, it’s important that you do take a step back and allow your web designer the time they need to get started on your project. Just because you haven’t had an update in a week, doesn’t mean that the development is on hold.
Your web development company should be prepared to give you regular updates – and guide you through the process from initial meeting to completion.
Is my website going to last?
Unfortunately, nothing in the world of technology sits still for long – and your new website is no exception.
Having a future-proofed website that’s optimised for search engines and mobiles is important – and you should only work with a developer that uses the latest software that can be easily updated for security and compatibility purposes.
If your website will need to be rewritten from scratch in a year or two, then there is little point in investing in a new site at all.
While we’re on the subject of future-proofing, you should understand the costs associated with maintaining your website.
Domain names cost as little as £10 per year, and quality web hosting can be picked up for less than £10 per month, so make sure that your developer offers you a good deal – and consider moving your site to a third-party host if they’re too expensive.
What if I want to make changes?
If you’ve found the right developer and briefed your project correctly, then your new website will no doubt be close to perfect.
But that won’t always be the case. You’ll no doubt want to make changes to your website’s design and functionality as time goes by, whether it’s a simple tweak to your homepage or a whole new section with new functions and information.
Before you sign up with a developer, you should check to see how much it will cost for changes and tweaks to be made. S
ome companies offer ongoing maintenance packages, where you can request updates when they’re required, while others work on a pay-as-you-go basis. Depending on the size and nature of your business, one of the options might suit you better than the other.
Something else to bear in mind is self-editing. If your website is built on a content management system such as WordPress, you should be given administrator access so that you can make changes as and when they’re required.
Adding pages, blog posts and editing content is simple in WordPress, and it means that you won’t be charged every time your website is updated.
What other services do they offer?
Many think that a website is all they need to take their businesses online – but the hard work only really begins once their website is ready to go live.
Digital marketing techniques, like SEO, content writing, social media and public relations all play a role in spreading the word about your new site and business. If you don’t put in the time and effort, nobody will know that you exist.
Although some digital marketing – like social media and content writing – can be done on your own, it pays to get the help of a professional for the more technical aspects, like graphic design and search engine optimisation.
The good news is that many web development companies offer these services alongside design, and bundling together all of your design and marketing needs can be cost-effective and offer a more integrated service.
Ask to see which services your design company can offer – but keep in mind that cheaper alternatives may be available elsewhere.
Getting answers to these questions before choosing a design company is important, as it can help you make an informed decision and ensure you get the perfect website the first time around.
If you’re looking for high ROI web design, you can depend on the team here at Zudu.