How to choose the right website design company
It’s no secret that having a well-designed website is essential for any business. Not only does it make you look professional, but it also helps you to connect with customers and clients online. So when it comes time to create a new (or redesign your current) website, it’s important to choose the right website design company for the job. But with so many options available, how do you know which one is best for you?
Here are a few tips to help you make the best decision possible.
What to consider
Here are the key points included in this blog. We go into more detail on them below.
- Experience – How much experience does the company have in designing websites? Do they have a portfolio of websites that you can look at?
- Design style – What kind of design style do they specialise in? Do they have a style that matches what you’re looking for?
- Pricing – How much will the design (or redesign) cost? Be sure to get an estimate in writing before agreeing to proceed.
- References – Ask the company for references from past clients, and be sure to check them out.
- Communication – How will you communicate with your website design company? Will they be available to answer any questions or concerns you have during the design process?
- Timeline – How long will it take them to complete the project? Be sure to get a timeline agreed upon so there are no surprises later on.
- Understand their design process – website design companies will have different design processes, so make sure you understand their process before getting started.
- Technical abilities – Can the company handle complex installations such as eCommerce, booking systems or members area integrations?
- Hosting, maintenance and support – Do you require hosting? Does your website design company maintain the site after it’s complete?
1. Experience and portfolio
When it comes time to choose a website design company, be sure to check their portfolio. This will give you a good idea of the kind of work they do and the style they specialise in. If you like what you see, then you know you can trust them to deliver a slick project. If not, then there are plenty of other companies out there to choose from.
2. Your website design company’s design style
Some designers prefer a more modern, minimalist look, while others might lean towards a more classic or traditional style. It’s important to find a designer whose style matches what you’re looking for, otherwise you might not be happy with the final results.
Be sure to get an estimate in writing before hiring a website design company. This will give you an idea of how much the redesign will cost. Keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the complexity of the project and the amount of work involved. You should ensure that if the website goes over the proposed estimate, there are no extra charges or hidden fees.
It’s important to ask for references from previous projects. This will give you a good idea of the quality of work they produce and if their clients were happy with the final results. References can also provide insight into the company’s communication style and how well they work with clients. If you’re not happy with the references you receive, it’s best to move on and find another company.
5. Communicating With Your Website Design Company
Web design companies can differ drastically in how they communicate with their clients. Some companies ONLY use email, which can be frustrating if you have any questions or concerns that need to be addressed promptly. Other companies are happy to speak on Zoom, WhatsApp or over the phone, which makes communication much easier and more efficient. It’s important to find a company that is compatible with your communication style, otherwise, you might run into some problems down the road.
Timelines and deadlines are very important. You don’t want to start the project and then have it drag on for months, only to end up with a website you’re not happy with. That’s why it’s important to establish a timeline and stick to it.
Most website design companies will give you a timeline estimate at the beginning of the project. Be sure to read and understand it before proceeding. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to address them with the designers. It’s important to keep in mind that timelines can vary depending on the complexity of the project and how much work is involved.
It’s also important to establish a deadline for when the finished website needs to be live. This will help ensure that there are no surprises down the road.
Keep in mind that these are just estimates, and things can always happen that cause delays. But if you and the designer are both aware of these timelines and deadlines, it will help ensure a smoother design process.
7. Understand your website design company’s design process
There will be a variety of design and sign-off processes out there, so we thought it would be handy to explain our design process to compare against other companies:
- We will create a sitemap of your new site. We’ll list out the pages and ensure we’ve included all of the technical features included that you require. Most commonly we set up eCommerce sites for clients, but we’ve set up more technical installations such as booking platforms, affiliate websites and paid membership websites.
- We use a content collaboration tool called Content Snare. We will create a sitemap in Content Snare and send it over to you to upload any images, contents, files etc. This makes it easy for us to share content in one place.
- We’ll design the header, footer and homepage of the site (on a temporary domain to ensure there’s no downtime if you already have a website) and send it over to you for approval, followed by tweaks and sign-off.
- Once signed off, we’ll start designing the remaining pages and sending them over bit-by-bit for approval.
- We’ll go through final tweaks on the website, and then seek sign-off.
- The final website will be launched and made live for everyone to see.
- You’ll be provided with training on how to use and update your beautiful new website.
- We can provide hosting, maintenance and support packages once signed off.
We’ve refined this process over time, ensuring it’s a simple, easy process for our clients who are always kept in the loop.
8. Technical abilities
Not all website design companies are created equal. Some companies are better at handling complex coding or integrating eCommerce systems into websites. Plus, you may need a members area, booking system or even an affiliate system set up. If your website requires these types of technical features, be sure to ask your prospective website design company if they have the skills necessary to complete the project successfully.
9. Hosting, Maintenance, and Support
Websites can be hacked or go down for a variety of reasons, so it’s important to have maintenance and support. Most website design companies offer hosting, maintenance, and support packages. This will ensure that your website is always up and running and that any issues that may arise are taken care of promptly.
Be sure to ask about their hosting, maintenance, and support packages. This will give you an idea of the level of service you can expect if/when something goes wrong.
When it comes time to design a new website or redesign your current website, be sure to take your time and do your research. There are plenty of great companies out there who would be happy to help you create a website that represents your business well.