What Do I Look For in a Website Designer?

If your thinking of having a new web site or re developing your existing site, it’s important that you select the best web design agency for you. Affordable Web Design, offers you excellent service, fantastic websites at a fraction of the cost.

Below we have listed some of the things you will need to consider when planning on have a website designed.

The price of your website may vary a great deal, you can pay a fortune for a very simple one page website, prices generally start at around $400 for a normal web site. This price will vary off course depending on the level of design and functionality that you are looking for in your site. It’s important to keep in mind the standard of work that the website agency can produce, and the amount of customer service that they provide. You will want a web design agency that provides you will after sale service and does not just take your money and run. Remember that you will get what you paid for with most agencies, but it’s best to do some research into the company before you select them. Cheap does not always mean nasty in the web design industry. Many expensive companies can provide you with poor work.

Also keep in mind that the web design company you are thinking of having your site built through can do a search engine friendly site. The term SEO (search engine optimisation) can often be over emphasised by most web design agencies. They promise to get you on the front page of Google, charge you a fortune, but then provide no service for this. Check previous work they have done in relation to this to make sure they can do what they say.

Remember that first impressions make a huge difference to how your prospective client will view your site. So ask as many questions as you need to, because if you don’t you may end up with a website that is nothing like what you want.

It is possible to find yourself an Affordable Website Design agency with minimal effort, but it’s advised that you take into consideration the points stated, and research the design company as best you can, this will save you time and money in the long run, and provide you with a fantastic web site you’ll be happy with for years to come.

How to Choose the Best Web Development Company?

Over the period of years the world has undergone enormous and rapid changes in the technological front. In this era of technology our lives have got a great standard because of the advent of science. The internet has now become the lifeline of people and offers solutions for almost everything in this world. As for the industrial sectors, reaching to a larger section of people is what matters to a great extent. Needless to say the internet has become the most trusted platforms for all kinds of business dealings in the age of globalization which has made having a website an essential aspect of an organization.

Since having a website is so essential, it is to be kept in minds that companies looking to have their own websites should avail the help of a reputed Web Development Company or else the whole exercise of creating a website might prove to be futile. Official websites are meant to be professional and informative and an effective way to market about the company’s products and services. However, there are various kinds of facts that need to be thought upon before choosing the service of the website developers.

Certification

One of the significant aspects of choosing the best services related to website designing is to look for the valid and licensed service providers. It is important to choose the website designing companies who have the repute of working legally and without violating any rules and norms. The authentication of their services should be emphasized by clients while choosing the appropriate website designing company. Legally permitted website designing agencies should be opted for all kinds of developmental services to have a safe and secure way of designing and customizing the website.

Reputation

As there are various kinds of web development companies, the best should be chosen in accordance with their reputation in their respective fields. The professional web designer is entitled to create the website for clients as per their choices and preferences. The technical methods used to create the websites should be compatible enough to create a sturdy database so that the information about the client can be systematically displayed on the website in an effective way, and this can only be done by proficient website designers who have sound knowledge about this field. The more experienced will be the designers, better will be the look and feel of the websites. So clients should always rest the responsibility in the hands of reputed companies who are known to have expertise in designing the websites.

Affordability

As financial aspects are getting new definition all over the world, it becomes absolutely necessary for companies to hire companies who serve in a cost effective way. The budget friendly rates of the web designing agencies are the leading points of their success and popularity. A company should be well informed about the available website designing agencies and their ongoing rates, and can select the most affordable service providers afterwards.

Quality

Needless to mention, nobody wants to compromise with the quality, especially when it comes to one’s website, and so only software development companies having sound knowledge and expertise in website designing should be entrusted with the task of designing professional websites. In the present era, a perfect and appropriate official website can do wonders to reach, the marketing goals and targeted audience in a short time. The highly improved technologies that are used in software development are conducive to enhance the looks and functionality of the websites. Clients should always opt for the service providers who ensure the quality of their services by using up to date and upgraded visual graphics and digital technologies.

Website Design Services

If you have ever had an involvement with a website design company, you may well have experienced a great deal of mis-communication, mis-interpretation and missed deadlines.

What seems like the simplest of notions, turns into a 6 month headache.

As an integral part of a web design agency, i would like to offer up some suggestions as to why this can happen.

Let me firstly give you the web agencies argument, then i will reveal how this whole sorry process can be avoided and save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds at the same time.

An agency works to a spec document, usually prepared by the client or as a joint effort. A paper sitemap is created so we can see the site hierarchy and what links to where.

When this phase is complete, our web designers will begin to create a graphical interface to display your content in the best possible way.

This is where the first MAJOR problem occurs.

As professional web designers, we will proceed to create a website that delivers your business or personal goals, this has a direct impact on site design and layout.

Let me give you an example:

If we are tasked with creating an ecommerce site for selling a product, we will create a homepage where the visitor is guided into the sales process, every click they make takes them further down the path to the sale, after all, an ecommerce website should sell right?

Not according to some clients no, far better in their eyes, to have a beautifully sculpted landing page showcasing the latest and greatest web 2.0 or flash movie intro, culminating in the inevitable ‘click here to enter’ button, centred on the page.

To hell with search engine optimisation, they want their site to look the best!

This is always a bad start to a client / designer relationship and sets alarm bells ringing at web design hq with distant cries of ‘Oh no. we’ve got another one..’ emanating from the design office.

Sure, if you’re a big brand looking to release and market a new product then knock yourself out, but for Joe Bloggs paperclip sales? I think not.

This brings me to my second point – logo’s.

Do you really think that your company is SO important to the end user that they MUST be subjected to the monstrously oversized logo you are forcing the design team to integrate. What’s more, after we submit the site to you for initial sign off – 99% percent of the time we are sat waiting for the ‘can you just make the logo a bit bigger’ phone call.

Your site should be about the product or service, it’s not about your logo, keep this in mind next time you think half a page is ‘reasonable’ logo space.

It’s amazing how many clients play at ‘designer’ once the ball starts rolling.

So after wasting days or weeks on design tweaks that detract from your business goals, we finally submit and give you what you want, a site based on ‘this great site i saw on xyz.com’, a site i should mention that is already old fashioned and already out of date. We work for the future, not the past.

Just to point out that i’m not ranting here, this is cold hard fact, drawn from actual daily experiences.

The next stage can be even more disastrous, the integrating of content.

Now we are getting to the nuts and bolts of the project, the promise of content and imagery suddenly seems like a distant dream. We hear week upon week that the content is nearly finished, but it isn’t, it isn’t even started.

Many clients are under the illusion that writing content is easy, until they begin the task. Nobody likes writing content. Every word or paragraph is important and can be the difference between delivering the right or wrong message to your audience.

It’s not unusual for a web design agency to wait 6 months for content to materialise, it’s even less unusual for us to be asked to write the content. Why not just ask us to do this in the first place?

All the procrastrination is costing money.

For those that do bite the bullet and write the content themselves, they become lost in the Sitemap, many convince themselves that the sitemap is actually incorrect and that a new one should be generated?

This has massive implications, the web site design could well have to be broken down and re-started in order to accommodate the ‘small changes’ to the structure.

It’s not unusual to re-start a project several times, as the real aims of a website finally dawn on the client. By this time, the ever humble web agency is so brow beaten, that they simply agree, in the hope that the project will at some stage be put to bed.

I can fully empathise with the client, i realise that intervention isn’t intentionally done to upset the applecart, it’s just a lack if education and i don’t mean that in an offensive way.

To really drive this point home, imagine that you are a roofing contractor, highly specialised and having gone through years of professional training. You are half way through fitting my new fandangled roof when i casually pop outside and tell you that i think it will look better if you put it on upside down.

Now here’s the good part.

There is a new breed of web design agency surfacing. One where the client is rewarded for allowing the agency to perform their task without interruptions.
The client is asked to create a list of page titles and create content for those pages in advance. The also collect and imagery they wish to use. Design wise they provide a suggested colour scheme and a list of website they find inspiring (for design cues). Lastly they provide a list of keywords that will shape the tone of the site i.e fun, modern, contemporary, corporate.

All this material is submitted to the agency and that is the last input the client has.
The agency can then use the submitted material to create a fully functional website within a very short timeframe.

The client has to trust that both his submitted information is correct and that the agency will do a professional job.
The clients reward for this is a huge cost saving, sometimes thousands of pounds on a single project.

The agency is allowed to provide a professional service with a lightning fast turnaround time.
Now in the real world, there will always be clients out there who want to control the web design process, but for those who recognise that the job should be left to the experts, the rewards are multiple.
It certainly pays to be prepared doesn’t it?

Finding a Digital Agency: What to Look for in a Web Design or Web Development Agency?

Narrow down your digital agency selection using our handy top ten tips on choosing a web design agency.

1) Check out their own site

Do you like it? Does it sell to you? Does it contain all the types of skills that you’re looking for e.g. good web design, well designed user interface, well built, works on mobiles. Does it impress you?

2) Ask to look at their portfolio

Are the case studies recent? Do you recognize the company names? Do a Google search and check that the companies exist and have the same website that the agency designed. Do you like the website designs they have produced? Ask yourself: Do they represent the company well? Would you use this website? Do they have experience of website design in your field? Do the website’s meet their objectives?

3) Check References

Ask the web agency if they can send you references or testimonials from customers. And when you get these testimonials, make sure you check them out. Call the clients up and check that the testimonials are real.

Finally, ask how long the agency has been running. Age doesn’t always matter, but it does help to identify experience.

4) Capabilities

All agencies will be good at some things and not at others. Find out what they have experience in and what they do well, they often have a bias to one content management technology or another. Often, it’s helpful to get the CV’s of all staff employed. The best agencies will have a balance of online marketing, development and creative. If you have specific requirements – make a list and ask the agency what their proficiency is in the specific skills.

5) Availability – Service levels

Check that they can meet your needs. Quite often companies have a client account team in the UK but their main development team may be based elsewhere. Make sure you get a phone number not just an email address (and not a premium rate number either). Ask the web design agency what the turnaround time is for responding to emails.

6) Resourcing

You want your web design agency to be big enough to ensure that if your account manager is off sick or on holiday your business is not forgotten.

Do you prefer a larger, higher resourced agency or a smaller, more flexible agency? The general rule would be to find a web agency that’s resourced to reflect the size of tasks and projects you require. If you have 1000 employees but your actual marketing and development budget is reasonably low, you are only likely to need an agency of 5-10 employees. If you have 100 employees, but you are heavily reliant on outsourced projects, a larger agency may be more suitable. No one size fits all!

7) Age of agency

Age doesn’t always matter, but in this industry it can be an important factor. The web has seen many changes in a relatively short space of time, if a website design agency has been in business for five or more years it have obviously been managed well. The internet has seen the boom and bust of many company’s; those that live to tell the tale are obviously being run well.

8) Are the staff approachable and professional?

It’s important that you connect with the people managing your account. The best results will be created when you forge a partnership with your web agency.

Do they provide an off the shelf package, or do they tailor their resources to your needs? Do they use a lot of jargon or explain things clearly? Have they provided relevant suggestions suitable for your business? Far too often, company’s try to sell you products that you don’t need and are not tailored to your needs.

9) Check out the agency’s terms and conditions

This is quite important and helps avoid problems further down the line. Here’s some helpful questions to ask:

  • Are there any hidden costs, like set up fees or holding fees?
  • Can you make staged payments for your web project?
  • Are updates and maintenance included in the website design fees?
  • Are bug fixes charged for?
  • Will you get a copy of the source files?
  • Who owns the source code?
  • Who owns copyright of the design?
  • Are the files back-up?
  • Will it work on smartphones?

10) Do they outsource their work?

Check to see if your project will be developed in house or if it will be outsourced. Ask to meet the design or technical team. If work is going to be outsourced, find out where, are you able to contact the team? There are many cases of company’s who have an account management team, and an outsourced development team. It’s common for technical development to be done off shore as resources abroad are cheaper. The problem with this scenario is guaranteeing the quality of the work produced. Does the account management team check the back end code? Does it meet current guidelines and legal requirements? Can they be flexible enough to meet your needs?

Want a web agency with a difference contact Alchemy Interactive