Your small business or non-profit may be gathering bids and proposals for a new or redesigned website. You may or may not be familiar with the web design and development process, so we wanted to help you get see the bigger picture, the view from above. While a flashy presentation and a cool website mockup may tempt you, here are some other factors to consider when choosing a company to design your website:
1. Are they going to help you with online marketing?
As a small business or non-profit, you may not have a marketing team behind your efforts to grow your business. Just keep in mind, that not every web designer or developer understands online marketing techniques. A good web design firm will do more than give you a great looking site, they will help you brainstorm ideas and create an online marketing plan with your organization’s website at the center.
Remember a well designed website isn’t all about the way it looks, it must be effective and help you achieve your growth goals as well.
2. Do they have experienced front and back end developers and designers on their team?
Make sure the company you decide to work with has an experienced team of designers and developers. You might get a really cool looking mock-up during the proposal process, but if the company doesn’t work with experienced developers, it may not have the functionality you need or may not work the way you expected. Having a great website is about more than looking good, it’s also about having a good user experience.
3. What kind of support is available after the website is launched? It is included in the cost, or will there be an hourly fee every time you have a question?
Make sure the web design company you choose is not going to pump out a website for you and then dump you. If you need something changed or updated, ask them what their policy is after your website is launched. Don’t get caught paying hundreds of dollars a month every time you need a change to your site.
4. Does the company have a solid understanding of SEO best practices and will those be used on your website?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a complicated and ever changing process, but there are certain best practices that your web design firm should adhere to. If your website is created without the basic techniques that are helpful to the search engines, it’s possible that your website may not be easy for customers to find. Make sure the company you choose to design your website is on top of the latest SEO information and ask them about what they do to help your website get found online.
5. Will they host your website?
Before your website goes live, it needs a host. Some web design companies will take care of the hosting costs and procedures as part of the fee, but some don’t. Check to see if there is a monthly fee associated with hosting or if you need another party to provide hosting services for your website. Also ask who you should contact if your website is down. A good web design company will take care of all of your hosting concerns and monitor the status of your site for you.
Flashy design and cost aren’t the only things to consider when choosing a company to design and develop a website for your small business or nonprofit. Look at the bigger picture of what each company has to offer your before signing on with them to make sure the process of getting your website designed, developed, and launched goes as smoothly as possible.
Clicks & Mortar Websites aims to provide small businesses and nonprofits with a well rounded website design and development experience. We believe your organization shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality service and experienced professionals because of your budget. We do more than just give you a great website, we help you create an online marketing plan with your website at the center and we provide you with the support you need after your website launches, all at a price that is cost friendly to your cash flow.
For more information on our Web Design & Development services, contact us today.