Web Design Tips For Your Next Project
If you’re struggling to find the perfect solution for your business’ website, the simplest piece of advice that can be given is to do your homework. Do not hesitate to ask questions, challenge statements and take notes. Not all creatives are the same, nor do they offer an equal service, so take a look at their previous work, and choose the team you believe best fits your business. While finding the right creative web team can be difficult at times, making the right choice at the start of the project is essential to avoid additional costs (both monetary and time) further down the track. Creating your website can often be a challenging task, so it is important you do not rush into the task. So what kind of questions do you ask your potential web designer?
1: What web industry experience does the business have?
With this question you will be evaluating their industry experience and overall capabilities. Do they have experience with multiple content management systems (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, Dupal)? Do they have experience with raw languages such as HTML or CSS? Do they have the capabilities to deliver the right web solution for your business?
2: Do you have a portfolio of previous works that I can review?
Any experienced designer will maintain a strong portfolio of websites and graphic designs that they have created for previous clients. Request links to previous sites the team is responsible for, and comprehensively analyse each one. If the design team is unable to supply these documents or links, then perhaps you should question their transparency and accountability. Choose a team whose work and styles appeals to you.
3: What is the pricing structure?
Like most products and services, the choice between different professionals will often come down to the price. The price of a project can be evaluated through four key areas: features, content, service and time. This question effectively outlines any potential costs or prices associated with the work. Find out if you are paying for a unique website design, or simply a touched-up template. Do not enter into a deal with a web company unless all of the costs are provided and understood upfront. Find out how they process payments, and get the price in writing before the project is started.
4: How search-engine friendly are the designs?
As many small business owners do not have the budget to explore design and marketing opportunities for their website, finding a web creative that offers search-engine friendly results is often vital. Search-engine optimisation goes hand-in-hand with good website design. If you want your website indexed in Google, find a web designer that understands white hat search-engine optimisation practices and their importance.
5: Can you integrate social media with the website?
While many companies are failing to keep up with technological advancements, it is important to choose an innovative, modern solution. See if your potential web designer understands how to et up a business Facebook page, or customised Twitter Profile. Your website design and social media should compliment each-other, promoting social engagement and community (regardless of the size of your business).
6: How long does it take you to a website?
It is important your web designer has the ability to balance quality and time to meet your business needs. Obviously the size and depth of the project will have a significant impact on the project’s time requirements, but if you’ve done your research, you should have a good idea of how long it will take.
7: Is support offered after the website is launched?
If the web design team does not offer continuing support or website maintenance, perhaps you should look elsewhere (particularly if you do not have an in-house webmaster). Bringing in a different web design or web management team later after the website launch can often be costly and inefficient.
8: Which hosting provider does your company deal with?
Finding out who the company deals with, and whether or not they are a strong relationship will illustrate their capability to get results. For the best results, opt for a web design company that offers their own hosting solutions. Although this option may prove more expensive, the integration and expertise that comes from a web design company with hosting solutions is usually unmatched.
9: Do you conduct market research prior to the website design stage?
Although their core skills are in web design, your web designer should have an understanding of the target market. A web design should essentially bring you closer to your potential customers. It is important you maintain a focus on the overall purpose of the website.
10: Does your design team involve testing in their work?
Not all of your customers will be using the same technology to visit your website. There will be differing browsers, different devices, different resolutions and different operating systems! While these issues may seem trivial, testing across different platforms is a vital process in the creative process. If your website intends on having a secure payment gateway, it is important to test in a real, live environment.