- An email or phone call from our representative.
- Suggestion for a meeting to discuss project.
- After the meeting a cost estimation.
Most website designers can create a logo for your business as part of your initial project quote or for an additional fee. Ask about experience in this area and look at other logos the firm has created, paying particular attention to graphic appeal, how well the style matches the focus of the business and how well the logo establishes brand identity.
Looking at the design style of these sites will help you evaluate the design diversity of the firm. Also note the performance of the sites, whether the navigation is easy to use, if the websites are well-crafted, if the designs are current and modern, and how well the design matches the business style. Ask questions. Find out why things were done the way they were. You may think an example site looks too simple only to find out that was exactly what the client needed.
Nowadays, almost all websites should be coded with SEO in mind. There are all kinds of technical issues that a new website can introduce. If you’re having a new site designed, it’s a good idea to have a third party SEO firm conduct an SEO audit prior to launch to make sure there aren’t any major issues.
In addition to web design and development, a comprehensive website design company offers e-commerce services for businesses conducting online sales. Ask for specifics when inquiring about e-commerce solutions because they vary among web design firms. Some commonly offered e-commerce services are shopping carts; the ability to add discounts; support for multi-currencies; a customer database that interacts with your online store; cross and up sell features; inventory control; customization; reporting; and SEO integration.
If so, ask about the experience of those who will be providing these SEO and SEM services and the strategies used. Request examples of past projects that show results of their efforts. Also determine whether these services can be included in the scope of your project or if they must be billed separately.
Typically, the turnaround time for a website design is based on the scope of the work required and how quickly you provide them with needed information, such as text. But you should ask how much time the firm will be devoting to your project and its average turnaround time if they have all the content. It’s also worth discussing what happens if they don’t meet their target date.
This is something that you will work out with the site design firm once content has been agreed upon. Search engines like websites with several pages of quality text and typically websites have standard pages, such as About Us, FAQs, Contact Us, and Privacy and Terms of Conditions. Together, you and the firm you select will determine other pages based on your business, such as Products or Services, Resource Center, a Blog, Case Studies or Testimonials, Photo Gallery, etc.
Typically, a website design process includes four stages: strategy/research, design, site development, and launch and evaluate. When learning about the project management process of a web design firm, ask whether there will be a specific manager or contact person for your project, a timeline for the different stages, the manner in which you will receive progress reports and whether a project management system is used to manage tasks.
For companies with an established brand, you want to be certain the website development firm creating your new website has experience in maintaining brand consistency. Ask how they approach such projects and what steps they will take to ensure the web design is in line with your current marketing strategies.
It’s important to know the scope of experience of the person or team working on your project. Feel free to ask for samples of other websites they have done, discuss the expertise they have in web design and development tools, and request client references. The portfolio and references should be updated with the most current work.
Typically, you need to provide any images, text, or other content you want on your site. If you choose to have the text done by the firm’s copywriters, you’ll need to provide basic information. If you provide your own copy, it may need a few tweaks for better search engine optimization or design presentation. Whatever the case may be, you should be notified in advance of any revisions needed to your copy and why they are needed.
It’s important to know exactly what you’re paying for when given a project quote. Ask for an itemized list of deliverables that are included in the price and ask what isn’t included. For example, some firms offer hosting or maintenance that is not included in the initial project’s price.
As your project progresses, you might want additional services outside the original scope of the project. Find out how billing works if you decide to add other features or elements after work on your website has begun.
In addition to all facets of website design, many web design companies offer web development, hosting, copywriting, e-commerce solutions, and digital marketing services such as social media, SEO, or PPC management. While it’s very common to assume all of these services are related, they are, in fact, very different services requiring very different skill sets.
Do not assume that a company is good at one thing just because they offer another. Almost every web design company on Earth now offers digital marketing services as well; it doesn’t mean they really know their stuff so don’t make that assumption. It’s great to have one company handle most or all of your digital work, but it’s more important to get a solid result.
For example, our expertise is heavily weighted toward digital marketing. While we offer web design services, we strictly limit what we’ll work on. We won’t build e-commerce or social media sites and we don’t build custom web apps anymore. We are, however, quite good at building lead generation sites for B2C and B2B service businesses. We’re a small company; if we tried to tackle everything we wouldn’t be really good at any of it.
The company you select to design your website should be just as concerned about generating revenue for your website as you are. As such, they should be able to list proven strategies that they typically incorporate into a site design. These results-oriented strategies should be in line with your goals, such as prominent placement of your business phone number, an appealing slideshow on the home page that reinforces your business, featured products or sales prominently appearing on every page of the site, and calls to action that are prominently positioned to grab the visitors’ attention.
The content management system allows you to manage your website’s content without the need for coding. The most advantageous content management system offers the option of updating your website yourself or having the website firm integrate the content and do the updates for you. Ask whether the type of system used is a third-party system or a custom built one of their own. You also want to find out if it’s a web-based interface, if it supports WordPress and e-commerce platforms, whether it works in all types of browsers, including new and previous versions, if it looks professional and unique, and whether you have access to all its functionalities. If you’re not familiar with using a live content management system, ask if training is offered.
We may devote one person or a team of individuals to your project, depending on the scope of the work you want performed. For example, you could have a graphic designer, programmer and copywriter working on your website. Knowing who will be working on which components of your project is important for understanding how your project will be managed.
It’s critical that your website is built with room to grow, especially if your company may add new products or services in the future. Inquire about the scalability of the design and whether new navigation buttons can be added without having to pay for an entire site redesign.
Mobile websites are a must for businesses with an online presence. Find out how the web design firm approaches the mobile component of web design. For instance, a responsive design may be used to accommodate all visitors, whether accessing it from a desktop computer or a mobile device. Or, a separate mobile site may be included as part of the initial website design. The important factor to determine is the breadth of experience the web design company has in developing mobile applications and the reasoning behind the approach it takes.
If you have an existing website, not all pages may need a redesign, especially if they are hitting high performance marks. Find out if the web design firm plans to analyze your current site’s metrics to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses before implemented any design changes.