Choosing a web design company can be a overwhelming task for many small business owners. I’ve seen many clients give up on the whole process after interviewing with several web design companies. Fortunately there are some easy tricks and tips that can help you easily make the right choice for you. Let’s take a look at a few of the myths surrounding this topic that make this decision so difficult.
1. Myth #1: A potential web designer should show me a visual mock-up of the proposed site that they will design for me. This is one of the most frustrating myths that many web designers face. It is a partially self imposed frustration because many website design companies do offer visual mock-ups when pitching their services to potential client. In the end however, the client is the one who loses. If a web design firm shows you a proposed site design before you’ve hired them and you don’t hire them in the end, their cost of sales has risen because they still have to offset the labor costs of designing a website that was never sold purchased.
As their cost of sales rises, so must their cost of services in order to maintain profitability. These increased costs are passed on to the clients that do hire them. So in the end, hiring one of these designers will leave you either overpaying for their services, or they’ll just be selling you a pre-designed, non-custom website template that they’ve tried to sell to countless other people. INSTEAD: The best way to determine the quality of work that a potential web design company can offer you is to look at their portfolio of past projects. A design firm’s resume is their portfolio and any potential web design company should proudly display their past projects to you. If they do not, or will not, then run away as fast as you can.
2. Myth #2: A web designer with previous design experience in your particular industry is better than one with no previous experience in your industry. This myth is near and dear to me since my design company has been burned by this one on several occasions. Why is this not important? A designer should approach every project with zero assumptions. This means they should never assume that one auto mechanic needs or even wants the same design solutions that another does. Industry experience is for one size fits all designers who specialize in offering the same thing to every client within a particular industry. We specialize in designing customized solutions to every business, with any budget, every time. When interviewing a potential design company, they should be asking you detailed questions about your business, your industry, and your goals for your website.
A website should be designed to solve problems, meet objectives, and encourage customer action. Industry experience doesn’t tell a design firm what individual problems your business is facing. We’ve worked with two different photographers simultaneously. One was trying to expand, while the other was just getting started. While these two businesses shared an industry, they had completely different needs for their websites. INSTEAD: When it comes to web design, individual needs trump industry. It’s important to look for a web design company that asks the questions that addresses those needs, not simply one who has designed several other websites for businesses in your industry. At the end of the day, the graphic design elements used in website design are basically the same and do not change based on the industry that we’re designing for. So before you even interview with a designer, make a list of goals and objectives for your website. Give this list to your designer and ask them how they can help you meet these.
3. Myth #3: The best designer, is the cheapest designer. This myth takes on several forms.The fact is, website design isn’t the cheapest thing you’ll ever pay for, and for good reason. A properly designed website should be designed in help your business increase sales, profitability and customer retention amongst other things. For this reason, website design costs should be viewed as an investment in your business. However, many business fail to see the value of a website and so while they’ll quickly shell out $4,000 for direct mail equipment, they often shudder when told that their website could cost just as much. Many businesses however, are lured into do-it-yourself for $4.99/mo. design services, and designers who offer a complete website design for only a couple hundred dollars.
There are several reasons not to choose a do-it-yourself system the biggest being the ‘you get what you pay for’ rule. Believe it or not, when you design your own website, it’s obvious, and it doesn’t convey a good message to your customers. I believe that no website is better than a cheap looking, one-size-fits-all, diy website. That’s because having no website is less damaging to your company image than having a poorly designed one. Studies show that more than 75% of consumers research a company online before doing business with them. If your online appearance shouts run of the mill, then that’s the impression you leave on your clients. You also ‘get what you pay for’ from extremely cheap designers. Remember from myth #2, a website is supposed solve problems and meet objectives. A cheap designer is only going to sell you a scaled down web solution that has no solutions to your problems. INSTEAD: Don’t get the wrong impression.
Every website shouldn’t cost $4000. Many will cost much less and many will cost much more. Everything comes down to addressing the needs of the client. The cost of the design should be based off the amount of time that it takes the designer to complete the project. Flat rate designers are a mistake because if your project needs exceed their anticipation, they’ll be tempted to cut corners in order for them to limit the amount of work they have to do for that flat rate. If you’re worried about the pricing of your project, ask your designer to detail the costs and decide if you need everything included in that price. If another designer can meet all of your needs at a cheaper hourly rate and their portfolio quality is acceptable, by all means choose that designer if cost is your main concern. Just remember, a properly designed website can always be added to for a fraction of the cost of the original design so there’s nothing wrong with designing your website in stages if you want the Rolls Royce of websites.
The best advice that I can give regarding choosing a website designer for your website is get the facts, and then trust your instincts. It’s important to have a good relationship with your web team, and you also want to make sure that they are accessible. If you ever need help or have a problem, find out upfront if they’ll help you for free, or if there will be a charge. Armed with these tips and a little intuition, you should be ready to choose your next designer.
Sparxx Design Provides affordable professional website design and development, ecommerce development, internet marketing, search engine optimization and business development, and custom application development. We grow your online business! – (937) 660-3499 Sparxx Design, Dayton Ohio Web Design