Okay so this is my second attempt – yes even web designer can forget to save their very long and well written blog post before accidentally closing the program. So with my second attempt at this article, I promise you it’s full of great value and tips if you are looking at hiring a web designer for your new website or if you are redesigning your website – these tips will help you avoid making some costly mistakes.
Make sure they build your website to be responsive. – Responsive means it will look great on multiple devices and this is important since people these days are checking out websites from their mobile phones, on their ipads or laptops. The days of people web surfing exclusively on their desktops are over. Your business website must be mobile friendly and built with a responsive design.
Check out the companies website, look at their portfolio, ask for references and read their online reviews. Any company should be more than happy to share this info with you. You will be able to tell their style by the sites they have built.
Make sure when you are speaking with the companies representative that they listen to you, are respectful and they ask you questions about your goals, your target market and what you like and what you don’t like. They should take the time to understand what your business does and what you hope to achieve by having a website.
Most people avoid this, but you should be up front with your budget – discuss what it is, ask what you can get for that price range. Being up front about this will save both parties a whole lot of time. If your budget is x they might say to have your website do these 3 functions it would cost this amount. Then you can at least understand that you might have to break out your online marketing goals into phases, OR you might have to look at your budget and readjust it.
Ask if your quote include SEO – SEO is an important part of web design to truly do it the proper way that should be your first step – researching keywords in your niche learning what the top ones are and building your site structure around keyword terms that are meaningful to your business and optimizing individual pages for specific terms. However many skip this stage and just go into web design. Be smart learn what your options are. Your site does need to be optimized when it’s launched for the search engines to properly recognize it and rank it, but to what degree you do keyword research can be based on your budget.
Tip # 6
Make sure you like and truly connect with the company representative. For my company many of my clients never talk to the designer or developers, they interact with me. It’s my job to take what the client says and communicate and break that down for my designers and developers. So it’s important that we connect, important that I listen to you, that I ask you critical business related questions about your desires, likes and goals. It’s important that you know how I will manage the process. I like to have weekly meetings – I request that we interact via email or in person I like to have Gotomeetings and organize the site structure and files for content via drop box. I’m readily available and quick to reply. These are all very important things you should know about your company before hiring them.
Make sure when you get a quote that it clearly outlines the deliverables. If you have questions, please ask them for explanations. You should be clear on what the cost includes and what additional costs there might be like hosting, domain renewal, photographs used in the site, monthly maintenance to ensure your content management system is keep current and up to date with the latest versions, training on the system, setting up Google AnalyticS, xml and html site maps, indexing your site and SEO. You should also understand payment structure and projected timeline of the project.
I hope these 7 tips will help you in knowing and understanding better what you should expect when shopping for a good web design company in Portland or where ever you might live.
If you have questions – shoot me an email I’d love to hear from you.
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Written by Mary Killelea