The best recipe for finding a good web designer
Would you hire just anyone to create your brand, logo or design? No? Well, it’s the same for your website. A website functions like a business card, though available to millions of users. Nowadays, many claim to be experts in their field. That’s why it takes time to find the best person for the job. Finding that rare pearl on the first try is like winning the jackpot. How can you make it happen? Read on for the recipe to win!
First, you have to find the right ingredients for the recipe. Of course, by ingredients, I am referring to the needs and expectations for your website. Would you like the focus to be online transactions? Is it to showcase your products or services? What kind of content do you hope to publish? Do you have specific expectations about appearance and functionality? How can you work with SEO to find yourself in the top position on Google? Would you like it to attract more clicks, generate more store visits or open new markets? In short, the motto of Socrates, “know yourself” makes sense here.
Once you have determined the basics of your recipe, you will need to begin shopping for ingredients. To do this, it is recommended that you create a comparative analysis of your competitors' websites. Take stock of their strengths and weaknesses. Which style suits you best? Another option is to ask for references from colleagues, friends and family, especially if you know anyone who has recently commissioned a firm to redesign their website.
Get at least three quotes for your new website
Once you’ve completed the first step, it wouldn’t be wise to take the first firm referred to you or found online. No, no! There are still several steps to follow if you plan on concocting a recipe for the best website. First, the golden rule to remember is to contact at least three service providers. Request a quote from at least three firms and choose companies that offer expertise in all areas of the web (design, graphics, navigation, etc) and not just in one particular discipline. It is essential to obtain a site that is both aesthetic, functional, adaptive and user-friendly!
Meet the service providers in person and exchange ideas with them. See how they listen to your needs and expectations. Evaluate their availability. They should be able to answer you the same day without a service call procedure, especially if your site is down or there is a problem with it. This is vital; if your site is not functional, you lose time and money.
In short, to take the next steps, these providers must demonstrate to you that beyond your portfolio, it is the success of your project that matters to them above all.
Before ending a meeting with these firms, ask them for a list of three websites that are similar to your project. Once they’ve left, take a look at their work and check to see if you enjoy browsing as well as if they are well referenced on search engines. Even further, contact their clients to get feedback on the services they’ve received. This will show you if the walk follows the talk!
Take time to ask for training that shows you how to access and understand their CMS (Content Management System): advocate for autonomy in minor jobs such as small changes to the text or photos. This will facilitate and speed up those little things that are sometimes of great importance to you. To do this, make sure the firm employs a simple, user-friendly management system. Ask for a demonstration.
Another important point to ask is how many approval rounds of content editing will be allowed at no charge. What are the retouching possibilities of the site so that it’s scalable, allowing you to add different content as needed? What are the fees charged for changes? What are the processing times? Does the firm regularly update the websites they work on? What are the hosting costs, if any? Finally, are you interested in the return on investment: will you have a dashboard to analyze the traffic statistic of your site and adapt your content accordingly? Will you be in charge of owning your site and domain name?
Beyond the price
Invite the three firms you meet to send a quote detailing the various points discussed. and set a deadline. This will be the test of reliability.
If you are not comfortable with the vocabulary of the world wide web and you find it necessary, seek the help of an external specialist who can review and compare the quotes you’ve received. Keep in mind this important element: in the world of the web, high prices do not necessarily mean better quality, and big firms are not necessarily synonymous with excellence. To make your choice, rely instead on the answers you’ve received, your perception of the offered customer service and the concrete evidence you’ve collected. Remember, the web remains a mix of creativity and common sense!
Now, you have all the ingredients that you need on hand to find the best cook, one who will put together a website that meets your expectations. Good luck with your research!
Author: Stephen Carroll is President and Partner of SV2 Marketing Inc. in Saint-Hyacinthe. A business manager for more than 16 years, he has developed extensive expertise in web design, communication 2.0, advertising, marketing, public relations etc. He has worked in a variety of fields including media and advertising. He is recognized as a visionary with multiple ideas that fuel challenges and change. His passion: to solve the problem of his clients quickly thanks to a multidisciplinary approach that allows him to offer a turnkey service.
This builder, recognized as an expert on the Web, is not at the head of an agency recognized by the Quebec Retail Council (CQCD). SV2 Marketing Inc. offers web design services, graphic design, marketing consulting, photography, printing, advertising, strategies, research and analysis, social media development etc.
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