Choosing a Web Design Company – Aspects to Consider

Recognize the significance of content

For whatever reasons, you may decide to make some alterations to your existing website or to have a totally new site. The idea that next comes in your mind is the functioning and looks of your site. While the importance of these factors can’t be denied, the significance of content, the most vital factor, often gets overlooked.

In case your provider emphasizes more on design than content, you are dealing with the wrong agency.

Your provider must have a proper and adequate understanding of your business. It should know the kind of customers likely to patronize your products or services. An agency that doesn’t question its clients on these lines is not the best choice for you.

The agency must understand the relevance of content. They may generate the content on their own, or ask a copywriter to do it for them. The content forms the structure of your site, so the agency should be able to foresee how the visitors to your site will relate to the content. They should particularly understand how you are going to handle the content in the future. These are the measures necessary for ensuring that your site keeps delivering the correct message, without sacrificing its quality.

What you should do?

The users of your website should find the content informative, and thus helpful. The content comprises of a written copy, and also includes photos and videos. The web agency should give precedence to art. If needed, the agency should have access to a marketing team. If the agency is not generating content on its own, it should contact copywriters.

Define your goal and have realistic expectations

Understand and define your goals. Explain your expectations to your agency. Let the agency know what results you expect within the next 6 months or one year to justify the expense you are incurring.

You could define your goals on these lines:

  • Generating additional leads
  • Enhancing online sales
  • Maintaining contact with your customers
  • Enhancing awareness of your product/brand

What can you do?

Inquire the kind of services and tools that the agency can provide to obtain traffic to your website, and how will the volume of traffic be measured. The agency must comprehend the process of selling, enabling them to suggest ways which can make the sale more efficient.

Recognize your plan

A superior web agency should be competent in giving you a comprehensible brief web strategy. A superior plan has the ability to influence your business, make it relevant and trustworthy. The outcome of your plan should be measurable. Unless you get real data, you can’t revise or modify the strategies that help transforming the prospective visitors into customers.

What can you do?

Let your agency explain you their approach in detail. Make sure that their plan can help you reach your goal. It is imperative for the expected results to be delivered without exceeding the budget.

Web Services Needed: What SMEs Need to Know When Hiring a Web Developer or Designer

Your business is… well, whatever your business may be: human resources, plumbing, running your restaurant. Many SME owners are privileged to do what they love and work very hard to make their businesses successful. Whatever you do, you want your website to work for you, but you want to spend your time running your business, not working on the nuts and bolts of website design, so when you need web services, how do you ensure that you are doing the right thing for your business?

This straightforward checklist will allow you to manage your web service needs from start to finish and to make sure you get the best quality and value web development for your company.

Which web services do you need?

If you don’t yet have a website, the first step is to write down exactly why you want a website and what you want it to do for your business. Is it an online business card for reference? Do you want to sell products or services via your site? Is it to improve communication within or outside the organisation? All of these factors influence the design and development of your website, who might be best suited to do the work and the potential cost.

If you already have a website, try to pinpoint exactly what you do and don’t like about the existing website and how things might be changed. Try and be specific: rather than noting that it looks outdated, identify what makes it so: is it the colour scheme or the fonts? Is the navigation clumsy or out-of-date? You don’t have to be a web design expert to do this, but it will give you a head start in looking for a web developer to solve these problems.

Next, prioritise your “wishlist”, which may be a combination of specific points, e.g. improving the layout and more general needs e.g. “I want to drive more business to my website”. Once you have this, you have a brief which a web developer can use to work out the web services needed and how to achieve the desired results. Since the list is prioritised, when it comes to obtaining quotes for the work, you can decide how much is achievable within your timeframe and budget.

Choosing the right person

Do you need a web designer, web developer or programmer? The terms may all sound similar, but there are distinct differences in the work they do and therefore what you can expect from their web services for your site.

A web designer focuses primarily on the appearance or look and feel of the website, including the layout. A good web designer should be an expert in making websites visually powerful and impactful and in drawing visitors to the right areas of your website. Some web designers combine their services with graphic design, so if you have a new look and feel branding on your website, they can incorporate it for you on company letterheads and business cards too.

A web programmer focuses more on functionality. He or she might program solely for the web or may do software programming too. The programmer’s concern is getting features of your website to work. Examples may include building an online intranet or database application, where information can be stored on your database and manipulated via your website. In larger companies, these roles are often split so that programmers work on the “back end” – the features that make a website work and then apply the “front end” created by a web designer to make the site more attractive.

A web developer muddies the water considerably, sorry. Web developers can incorporate elements of design and programming. Web development is a broader term for getting a website online and making it work. You can expect a good web developer to have an eye to both the appearance and functionality of the website.

If you need to narrow it down and you’re not quite sure about the technicalities, have a look around your site. Most likely your URLs in the address bar will have some kind of extension e.g.(.html,.asp,.php,.cfm). Try Googling for terms like “asp developer” to find someone with the specific skills to enhance your website.

Grill the portfolio When you visit a web developer’s website, check their portfolio thoroughly and don’t stop there – look for their clients’ website online. If you are looking for website redesign to allow you to update content more easily, how well are the developer’s portfolio sites maintained? If you are primarily concerned with Search engine optimisation (SEO), how do client sites fare on search engines for the relevant terms?

The personal touch Above all, pay attention to client recommendations. The website can show you the end result, but the recommendation can tell you about the web design process with this particular individual or company. Every SME is different, but with all those I have worked with, one thing has remained the same: the importance of the personal touch. Whether you are employing a freelancer or a big web development company, you need to ensure that you can establish a good relationship with your web developer. How quickly and thoroughly do they respond to emails or phone calls? Are they forthcoming with advice and what sort of advice do they offer? Again, you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to judge whether you think it rings true and fits for you and your business

Go big or go local? Web design and development is big business and variety is the name of the game. Google, Bing and Yahoo! can play a big part in your decision, but rankings aren’t always the whole story.

It is well worth considering a local web design company or developer, because they may have local contacts to help you promote your website or greater access to resources like online business directory listings which can boost your search engine rankings.

I worked with a Cambridge charity who wanted to employ a Cambridge web developer because they knew the web services needed would be ongoing and that discussion and meeting face to face in Cambridge would be important to them, rather than discussing their needs over the phone or email.

How much should web design cost? As with any investment you make for your SME, it goes without saying that you should shop around and get a few quotes. Even if you know which developer you want to go with, it is worth checking that you are being charged the going rate for the web services needed. If the web design prices are above average, you need to decide whether your relationship with the company or freelance web developer are worth paying the extra cost. If the prices are considerably below average, this should set alarm bells ringing. Canny SMEs know that you always get what you pay for.

Working as a freelancer, I know that my clients prefer me to be upfront about costs and that it builds trust. Beware companies who hedge their bets with quotes as it might be a telltale sign of inexperience. However, it is worth bearing in mind that quoted prices are only a starting point. As an SME, it is down to you to hash out exactly what is included and what is not. For example, many sites offer SEO friendly websites. This means that the web design will incorporate the features needed to give your site a boost on Google. However, SEO does not stop here. In my experience, building websites for Cambridge companies in search engines is an ongoing process which takes place over a period of time.

Web design prices: break it down If in doubt, ask the web designer or developer to break the cost down per task. That way, if there is a time-consuming feature which is not at the top of your web design wishlist, you can decide whether or not it is worth the web developer’s time and – more importantly – your money.

Your SME, your website Love or loathe the internet: your website is a big part of your company’s identity. It pays to get it right; it costs to get it wrong, so take your time to find the web services you need.

Why Hire a Professional For Web Development?

The Australian economy is booming and the strong corporate infrastructure is supporting the surge in business processing and development strategies of the Australian companies. As the businesses develop, they find a pressing need of getting an access to a professional web service provider to get solutions for their online business development needs. Web development in Australia may be a relatively younger industry as compared to the major players like US, India, and China, but this does not rue in the potential of the upcoming IT industry from the country down under. Australia was never known for its IT industry in spite of the futuristic infrastructure. The scenario is fast changing as there has been a significant emergence of various web application development companies on the horizon over the past few years.

The plenty of these companies does get a business into confusion. The hunt for an ideal web service provider often ends up in contacting a firm that may not comply with your business standards and yet agree to sign the deal for your web development in Australia. The right tactics and patient search and research help in getting to know of a genuinely good web development company which is capable of addressing all of your online business development needs. Remember, a good web application development firm will not only deliver an exact web application to automate your online business processing, but also get into online promotion for your website.

A web developer brings in a lot of experience and technical expertise to the business development and co partners the enterprise in deploying a scalable web application comprehensive of all features and functionalities. The enterprise may even get a flexible business model from a prominent web development company wherein the client may either choose to get a fixed cost solution from the service provider or may enjoy the services of a dedicated web developer for the time that the client business development requires. The hired web developer works exclusively for the client as an extended employee of their company outside their organization. Web development in Australia is comprehensive of a full software development lifecycle (SDLC) wherein on receiving a request query the web service provider analyses the client business development requirements and their competition. On analyzing the project, a proposal is passed and the actual web development kicks in. First a web design is created that would loyally identify the business and convey the intentions precisely. Coding is done along with testing of the system. Once the web application has been approved by the client it is deployed at their workplace.

Hence the enterprise gets a comprehensive website solution from a professional web development company. This would significantly boost the web presence of the client enterprise and make them visible to more audiences on the Internet. Targeting and reaching out to a maximum audience increases productivity and improves profitability multiple folds.