You’ve been tasked with finding the perfect company to design the perfect website for your business. The only problem is that you don’t speak “Webinese” and you can only hope that your decision doesn’t end disastrously for your company and, ultimately, for you. But don’t stress over it just yet. You can ask a few important questions to determine if the candidate companies you are researching are the right fit to work with you on building you new website.
Have you designed websites for similar businesses?
It’s incredibly helpful to work with a company that thoroughly understands your industry, your business, its current and prospective customers, and how to design a website for your audience. Even more helpful is to see what kind of websites this web design firm has built for businesses similar to yours. This way you can get an idea how they would approach your website and what to expect in the end.
Can I see examples of your work?
Most reputable web design companies showcase their completed web design projects on their website. If not, ask to see samples, so that you can see for yourself the quality and style of their design. When examining their portfolio, look at how organized and clutter-free their sites are, as well as what special features they have. Don’t get hung up on small details like color or picture you don’t like. At this point, you are investigating the firm’s capabilities and attention to detail.
It may seem obvious to you what may be included in a website design project, but each company provides a unique set of services, so it’s best to get a complete clarification. Is hosting included? Content writing? Future updates? Integration with your content management system (CMS)?
Will I be able to update my new website myself?
Increasingly, new websites are developed on content management systems such as WordPress. These systems allow for non-technical users to update their own website content and manage other elements such as photo galleries, calenders, and other website information. If you think you’ll need to update your website yourself on a regular basis, be sure to ask for this capability.
Will my new website rank high in search engines?
If you are looking for your website to be a source of new leads and business, then search engine optimization (SEO) may be needed to help it rank higher and drive targeted traffic to your website. This is often a separate work effort that affects design and coding of your website. Web design companies approach SEO differently and bill differently as well. More competitive SEO often requires ongoing maintenance.
Will I own my new website?
In most cases web design companies are contracted as “work to hire” companies, which means that they are paid for their work and you own the end product, even if that product is hosted on your web design company’s server. Even though it is a standard practice, it’s best to confirm this.
Will my site be optimized for mobile devices?
With more and more web users increasingly using mobile phones and tablets to access Internet, it has become critical to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile use. One popular approach is responsive web design that provides device-appropriate layout for the same content, so that only one website needs to be maintained, not multiple versions. It’s good to know how a web company approaches mobile-friendly design, and to see examples of their websites on phone, tablet, and desktop.
Once you hear the answers to these 7 questions, you should have a general idea whether this web design company is the right fit for your business needs. How openly and honestly they answer also tells you have easy it will be to communicate with them throughout the project. Need a practice run? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer these and any other questions you may have.