Choosing the right web design company to create your website presence is like finding a good plumber or electrician. Some charge an obscen amount yet do not get the job done properly, some charge a lot and do the job great. On the other side of this, you have the web design companies who do not charge much, and would have considered 'cheap', and then you have the in-between, the ones that charge somewhere in the middle, not too much and not too little. Most of these 'cheap' design companies are not what you need if you are looking at having a professional website created and should only be considered if you are really on a very low budget and it's your first foot into an online business.
Things to look out for when choosing a design company:
- Does this company's website look clean, professional? An indication of what you should expect
- Does this company abide by standards compliant methods such as W3?
- Does this company specialize in what you need, shopping carts, travel sites, personal sites etc.
- Does this company own website load fast? This is a great indication of how they code and the hosting they use / provide
A good web designer / developer is someone who is not afraid of telling you what is good and what is bad for your website, if when you contact your chosen website design company and they do not dispute anything that you have asked for or don ' t offer constructive and helpful advice on what would be better, more suited to your business and they do not discuss with you the pro's and con's of this, then chances are they are just another design company who is after dishing websites out one after the other with absolutely no concern what so ever of them wanting to push your business forward, driving it out to your customers and creating your business identity.
The pitfalls of using the wrong web design company
Getting the right design is just one part of the puzzle, just because it looks great that does not mean the site will work to its full potential or even work at all. There is so much more to web design and development than meets the eye.
In order for a website to be successful it needs to be:
- Designed correctly, promoting your company's image and identity
- Coded properly using CSS and standards compliancy (W3 Standards)
- Promoted properly through a steady speed and increase of visibility to search engines and related websites
- Easy to use for your customers to browse
- Loads fast, is hosted on a high speed backbone.
- The content must be relevant to the page it's on, and must be easy to read.
- If your selling products, sell in context to the page its contained within
- Do not overwhelm your visitors with banners, advisements etc
- Do not use pop-up's or add additional scroll bars to the page
- Ensure it's designed without any frames, and the layout is done through CSS and not tables
- Ensure the only code your designer uses for content is CSS, and your designer has an understanding of standards, and why tabular data such as pricing is for tables, and all other data is coded through CSS
Most of the above things you will most likely not understand, but do not worry, just asking these questions is the largest step towards getting the right website created for you, picking the right company, forming a relationship with your designer to meet your business needs and not asking these questions is the largest pitiful that most businesses make.
Ask these questions, if your designer / developer stutter's or looks confused with these questions or you do not feel confident when discussing this with him / her, then find another web design company that understands why the above is so important to the success of your business. Remember, if you do not ask these questions, chances are you are just wasting a lot of money on something that simply will not work.
And finally, make sure you are confident with whoever you choose, and ensure that your business and business image is furnished that pushes your business forward not backward.
Good luck in finding the right web design company, and I hope this article has been helpful!
About the author:
Ryan Kirkaldy has been designing and developing websites for many years, currently running his own web design business Vision2 based in Torquay, Devon, UK. For more information please visit Vision2 Web Design & Development