For any small business owners, having an attractive, user-friendly and up-to-date website is crucial. This can be challenging for those with minimal knowledge about web design. Fortunately, hiring a competent and skilled web designer will ensure you have peace of mind and will provide you with a user-friendly, attractive and fully-functional website that is tailor-made for your small business.
Here are 6 things a small business owner should know before hiring a web design company
The track record of the web designer
A competent and experienced web designer should be able to provide a portfolio containing samples of their work. You need to see if the sites they have created for others are easy to navigate, engaging and appealing. A look at the web designer’s website will also give pointers on how well they can perform the task.
Website design templates or customized website design
Both customized website designs and web design templates are effective methods of creating your website. The method you select will be dictated by your budget and the intended goals of your website. A simplified website that offers limited functionality can easily be designed using website design templates. If you desire a more complex website with comprehensive features, you need a customized website design. Be particular when articulating your website design requirements, and satisfy yourself that the professional web design company you select can fully meet your specific business needs.
The total website cost and project duration
You first need to find out if the website designer charges per project or by the hour. Consider your budget, list down what you require for your website and compare with what is provided by the designer. Some web designers provide extra services at additional costs; for example website hosting or logo design. Be explicit about what you need and what you anticipate to pay for. It is imperative to have a contract that clarifies exactly what is covered and the applicable costs. It is also essential to find out the cost of making revisions and changes. Some companies charge by the hour for any changes while others provide content-management tools that allow for easy and quick text updating, image uploading and page addition.
Along with the website costs, a proficient web design company should provide and adhere to a set timeline for the project. This will also affect the kind of web design that you choose.
Website maintenance arrangements
Website maintenance is also vital. You need to know if there is a monthly fee and ask for a contact that specifically outlines the maintenance service you wish to have. Alternatively, the web designer can provide customized website maintenance training for your business. They should also give details relating to ways of handling site breaks and technical malfunctions. If they do not offer website maintenance you may have to consider outsourcing this and also evaluate the attendant costs before creating your website. Many web designers will provide maintenance services when you need it, especially if your small business does not have such complex features like online shopping carts. This will help you save on monthly maintenance costs.
The composition of the website design team
Developing a website has many facets including coding and graphic design work. Many web design companies farm out the different parts of the project. Ask where the programmers and designers are located and find out if you will be directly working with a project manager or web designer. If you want to have a serious, complex website you require a team of specialists who are accessible. You will also need to ask what the web designers need from you. They may need things like your business logos, the color palate you want and a list of comparable sites.
Website and content ownership on completion
It is absolutely critical to ensure that you own the URL and the final project. Graphic and website designers have legal claims over their designs. Ensure you have negotiated everything about the final ownership before any work starts. You need to ensure that you have ownership of all the website elements including graphics, logos and photos and all other vital components that are required to maintain your website.