What Do I Look For in a Website Designer?

If your thinking of having a new web site or re developing your existing site, it’s important that you select the best web design agency for you. Affordable Web Design, offers you excellent service, fantastic websites at a fraction of the cost.

Below we have listed some of the things you will need to consider when planning on have a website designed.

The price of your website may vary a great deal, you can pay a fortune for a very simple one page website, prices generally start at around $400 for a normal web site. This price will vary off course depending on the level of design and functionality that you are looking for in your site. It’s important to keep in mind the standard of work that the website agency can produce, and the amount of customer service that they provide. You will want a web design agency that provides you will after sale service and does not just take your money and run. Remember that you will get what you paid for with most agencies, but it’s best to do some research into the company before you select them. Cheap does not always mean nasty in the web design industry. Many expensive companies can provide you with poor work.

Also keep in mind that the web design company you are thinking of having your site built through can do a search engine friendly site. The term SEO (search engine optimisation) can often be over emphasised by most web design agencies. They promise to get you on the front page of Google, charge you a fortune, but then provide no service for this. Check previous work they have done in relation to this to make sure they can do what they say.

Remember that first impressions make a huge difference to how your prospective client will view your site. So ask as many questions as you need to, because if you don’t you may end up with a website that is nothing like what you want.

It is possible to find yourself an Affordable Website Design agency with minimal effort, but it’s advised that you take into consideration the points stated, and research the design company as best you can, this will save you time and money in the long run, and provide you with a fantastic web site you’ll be happy with for years to come.

How to Choose the Best Company Offering Website Development

A company offering website development won’t help you just by creating a visually appealing design for your website and equipping it with a healthy set of web-based tools. If you choose the right firm to work with, it can also ensure that your website is optimized and perfectly positioned to capture your target market’s attention with the best SEO execution.

Of course, remember that the key prospect here is right – you can’t just hire any web development firm for your business. You must make sure they’re the best one for your needs, and to do so you would need to consider several factors.

Specialization

Obviously, specialization comes in various forms. Even so, you need to find a firm that can offer you as many relevant specialized skills as possible.

  • Has the company any experience working with companies whose nature of business is similar to yours?
  • Has the company any experience working with a company of your size?
  • Has it certified professionals in your preferred marketing platform? (e.g. press releases or live blogging)
  • Has it certified skills in developing mobile apps?

Team

Speaking of certified professionals, you want to make sure beforehand that you will be assigned a team you are comfortable to work with and have faith in. It doesn’t matter how well recommended they are. It’s best to give them a chance or trial first, but if things are truly not working out between you and the team then do not hesitate to ask for another or to switch to another company offering website development.

At the very least, someone like an art director should handle the visual side of your website while another one – like a master editor or copywriter – should be given the reins when it comes to content development for your site.

If they also have article writers and bloggers as well as layout and graphic artists and digital photographers added to the fold, then so much the better!

Time

It’s very important to work with a firm or a team that is capable of effectively managing their time and working with minimal supervision. Otherwise, both your time will be wasted with unnecessary delays. There are signs you can look out for to know if a team is indeed skilled with time management.

  • They meet their deadlines – sometimes ahead of time.
  • You never see them cramming.
  • They have valid reasons for asking for an extension – if they ever do so, that is.
  • They have a schedule for all their tasks.
  • They keep you updated regularly about their progress.

Pricing

Make sure that you are able to afford their fees. Secondly, be sure to pay on time. Late payments won’t exactly put them in a good mood to work on your website.

In any case, it’s totally fine to pay more than usual, but only for as long as you can be sure you are getting your money’s worth with their services. After all, you can’t expect an experienced and excellent company offering website development not to recognize the value of their work, can you?

Website Design Services

If you have ever had an involvement with a website design company, you may well have experienced a great deal of mis-communication, mis-interpretation and missed deadlines.

What seems like the simplest of notions, turns into a 6 month headache.

As an integral part of a web design agency, i would like to offer up some suggestions as to why this can happen.

Let me firstly give you the web agencies argument, then i will reveal how this whole sorry process can be avoided and save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds at the same time.

An agency works to a spec document, usually prepared by the client or as a joint effort. A paper sitemap is created so we can see the site hierarchy and what links to where.

When this phase is complete, our web designers will begin to create a graphical interface to display your content in the best possible way.

This is where the first MAJOR problem occurs.

As professional web designers, we will proceed to create a website that delivers your business or personal goals, this has a direct impact on site design and layout.

Let me give you an example:

If we are tasked with creating an ecommerce site for selling a product, we will create a homepage where the visitor is guided into the sales process, every click they make takes them further down the path to the sale, after all, an ecommerce website should sell right?

Not according to some clients no, far better in their eyes, to have a beautifully sculpted landing page showcasing the latest and greatest web 2.0 or flash movie intro, culminating in the inevitable ‘click here to enter’ button, centred on the page.

To hell with search engine optimisation, they want their site to look the best!

This is always a bad start to a client / designer relationship and sets alarm bells ringing at web design hq with distant cries of ‘Oh no. we’ve got another one..’ emanating from the design office.

Sure, if you’re a big brand looking to release and market a new product then knock yourself out, but for Joe Bloggs paperclip sales? I think not.

This brings me to my second point – logo’s.

Do you really think that your company is SO important to the end user that they MUST be subjected to the monstrously oversized logo you are forcing the design team to integrate. What’s more, after we submit the site to you for initial sign off – 99% percent of the time we are sat waiting for the ‘can you just make the logo a bit bigger’ phone call.

Your site should be about the product or service, it’s not about your logo, keep this in mind next time you think half a page is ‘reasonable’ logo space.

It’s amazing how many clients play at ‘designer’ once the ball starts rolling.

So after wasting days or weeks on design tweaks that detract from your business goals, we finally submit and give you what you want, a site based on ‘this great site i saw on xyz.com’, a site i should mention that is already old fashioned and already out of date. We work for the future, not the past.

Just to point out that i’m not ranting here, this is cold hard fact, drawn from actual daily experiences.

The next stage can be even more disastrous, the integrating of content.

Now we are getting to the nuts and bolts of the project, the promise of content and imagery suddenly seems like a distant dream. We hear week upon week that the content is nearly finished, but it isn’t, it isn’t even started.

Many clients are under the illusion that writing content is easy, until they begin the task. Nobody likes writing content. Every word or paragraph is important and can be the difference between delivering the right or wrong message to your audience.

It’s not unusual for a web design agency to wait 6 months for content to materialise, it’s even less unusual for us to be asked to write the content. Why not just ask us to do this in the first place?

All the procrastrination is costing money.

For those that do bite the bullet and write the content themselves, they become lost in the Sitemap, many convince themselves that the sitemap is actually incorrect and that a new one should be generated?

This has massive implications, the web site design could well have to be broken down and re-started in order to accommodate the ‘small changes’ to the structure.

It’s not unusual to re-start a project several times, as the real aims of a website finally dawn on the client. By this time, the ever humble web agency is so brow beaten, that they simply agree, in the hope that the project will at some stage be put to bed.

I can fully empathise with the client, i realise that intervention isn’t intentionally done to upset the applecart, it’s just a lack if education and i don’t mean that in an offensive way.

To really drive this point home, imagine that you are a roofing contractor, highly specialised and having gone through years of professional training. You are half way through fitting my new fandangled roof when i casually pop outside and tell you that i think it will look better if you put it on upside down.

Now here’s the good part.

There is a new breed of web design agency surfacing. One where the client is rewarded for allowing the agency to perform their task without interruptions.
The client is asked to create a list of page titles and create content for those pages in advance. The also collect and imagery they wish to use. Design wise they provide a suggested colour scheme and a list of website they find inspiring (for design cues). Lastly they provide a list of keywords that will shape the tone of the site i.e fun, modern, contemporary, corporate.

All this material is submitted to the agency and that is the last input the client has.
The agency can then use the submitted material to create a fully functional website within a very short timeframe.

The client has to trust that both his submitted information is correct and that the agency will do a professional job.
The clients reward for this is a huge cost saving, sometimes thousands of pounds on a single project.

The agency is allowed to provide a professional service with a lightning fast turnaround time.
Now in the real world, there will always be clients out there who want to control the web design process, but for those who recognise that the job should be left to the experts, the rewards are multiple.
It certainly pays to be prepared doesn’t it?