What Should You Consider Prior to Choosing a Website Design Company?
Vision. First be aware of your vision for your company’s website. Write down what you would like your site to look like, collect a few web addresses of other sites that you like. Think about color choices, graphics, copy (include your keywords) and then roughly figure out how many pages you’ll need. This can be determined by looking at other sites as well then adding “links” or new pages as desired.
Budget. You probably already know what you can spend or are willing to spend on your company website. Start by calculating the number of pages by at least $80 per page for a simple identity site. Add an extra $10-$20 (per page) additionally for file downloads, uploads, blogs, feeds, etc. Now, those of you who are panicking right now…STOP THAT! This is just a very basic way to come to a rough estimate. It’s just a guideline. The cost can and will fluctuate higher or lower by as much as 20-80% depending on who you hire. And, yes, I find that amazing as well. Add to the above any extra graphic design or logo work, photo optimization services, scans, text (copy) special programming or scripting to that amount. Rates for these separate services vary but start at around $15 per hour roughly. That’s what most kids out of school charge at a minimum. Be fair, they aren’t working at McDonalds. They have a skill and should be paid for it. (That’s another article and no I’m not a recent graduate!)
Additional Services. How do you know if you need special programming or scripting? ASK. If you need a database or some special language or scripting, your designer should know this as soon as you present your “vision” along with your examples of other websites to them. You have to simply ask the question, even if you don’t quite understand the answer. It generally comes down to cost. If you don’t ask then it would be very easy for your designer to charge you an additional amount later having known you required the service at the start. Be aware.
Talent. Wow! There is so much talent out there that it’s scary. There are the creative designers and smart programmers. There are even some who have no real talent in either design or programming, yet they can take a template and change it to be used for your company website. (Not recommended) There are those who are expert “Search Engine Otimizationizers” (I know it’s not a word) and those who can write copy that can make a viewer laugh or cry—or buy—on demand. There is more than enough talent so how should you choose? Look for a company who can multitask. The success of your company website will depend on it. In short, attempt to find a Tampa website design firm who employs creative designers, writers, programmers, and who has a background in marketing. I know, the cash register in your brain is “ching-chinging” away, but you’ll be surprised how affordable hiring someone with all of these skills can be if you take the time to look.
Customer Service. I can’t stress enough how important customer service will be while your website is being designed. You will want to communicate often with your designer. As with any type of service, you know how frustrating it can be to be either put on perpetual hold or to sit for days or weeks awaiting a call back. We take pride in setting high standards when it comes to providing you with excellent customer service. From 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. six days a week we’ll be available to you and we don’t think that’s going too far. You won’t be connected with a “representative” either. You’ll speak directly to the person who is building your site… every time. Ask for references and read the testimonials of all prospective designers. Don’t rely solely on testimonials. Call or email your potential designer’s previous customers and ask about their experience with them. It’s not just the end result of the design that matters. It’s the overall experience you’ll have with your website designer.
This should help you to narrow your choice down and if you take time to look you’ll find that obtaining not one but ALL of the services mentioned above and wrapped up into one website design company can be affordable.