There are plenty of website design companies in the UK and around the world, but which one is right for you? In this blog post I will explore how to choose a web design company and what exactly they do.
Whether you are a home business or an individual, it is vital your business has an online presence and an attractive website. Setting up a decent website is probably one of the best things a modern company can do to generate sales.
Even for an individual, a great online image is crucial to success. Obviously, this success is partly based on content, but it is also down to an appealing and professional website design.
It’s very easy to build your own website with lots of online templates and tools available to make the whole process easy for most people nowadays, but this might not be the best choice for you and your business.
You may not have the time to build your own website, you may be clueless when it comes to good-looking website design or you may not want to be limited in the functionality of a premade and restricted template.
If so then your best option is to hire a great web design company if you want the most appropriate and appealing website for your business.
Important things to check when choosing a web design company
Here are a few key things you should look for when choosing which website design company is best for your business:
- Previous clients - check out their portfolio of previous clients and take a look at their website to see if you like the design and functionality. Good web designers clearly show their portfolio on their homepage so you can see many previous clients and examples of the web design they perform.
- Reviews - check out their testimonials from previous clients and don’t be afraid to reach out to their clients to ask if they would recommend them and for their honest opinion, especially if you are looking to spend a large amount of money.
- Pricing - find out about their fees and charges and ensure it suits your budget.
- Who manages the website once live - some website design companies will set up the website and then leave it to you to manage once it is live and ready, others will manage the site for you so you don’t have to deal with it at all. Decide what option is best for you and your business and ensure you know which options the web design company uses.
- Discover who your contact will be - find out who will be responsible for building your website and how you are able to contact them. You want to ensure this person understands your vision, you get along and that they are contactable when needed.
- Features and functionality - you need to have an idea of what you want your website to be able to do and achieve to ensure a web design company are able to build an appropriate website. Below are some suggestions for some of the key features they should offer.
Key features a web design company should offer
It’s important to check the features on offer when hiring a website design team. Really a good design company should have pretty much unlimited options in their custom made websites. This is the beauty of having them build your website in the first place, so you are not limited by restricted functionality such as the website building templates that are already available online.
· Bundle packages
You should, first of all, consider bundle packages before more limited services. Avoid website design companies that do not offer things like email services as a matter of course. Good website designers will want your experience to go as smoothly as possible and having these services as part of the package ensures that.
If you find a web design company that offers hosting, domain and email services all in one, they might be the one. These bundles will often be cheaper than finding the services separately, and more importantly, they save you the massive headache of setting them up independently.
You may also want to only consider a web design company that uses WordPress. This is not a necessity, but WordPress is the most supported content management system in the world, meaning that the maintenance of your website will be simple, intuitive, and unproblematic.
· Great customer support
You should also look for a company that provides comprehensive support. Especially for internet novices as maintaining a website can be frustrating, even with a really simple interface. The best providers will fix any faults on your site for free and will answer any queries you have in a timely and helpful manner.
Make sure they have several support options such as email, live chat and telephone. You don’t want a major issue with your website on a Friday evening only to discover they are only contactable by live chat which doesn’t open until Monday at 9am!
· Responsive design
More people than ever before are accessing the internet using mobile or a tablet so it’s essential that your website has a responsive design. This means it is mobile friendly and your website design will alter to suit whatever size screen it is being viewed on. Not only does it make a more user friendly experience, but Google rank mobile friendly websites higher. Make sure a responsive design is a standard part of your package.
· Website management
Make sure the company gives you everything you need to manage your website in one place. You want one login screen where you can manage everything for your website to keep things straightforward. This includes CRM software, analytics, and all of these extras that are going to give you full clarity and insight regarding your business and your online efforts.
· Social media integration
Social media is undeniably a massive part of today’s society and staying on top of your social media pages can even lead to business success. Choose a website design company that can fully integrate all your social media channels into your website. Make sure customers can go to your social media pages directly from your website and also let them automatically tag you if they share anything from your website pages.
· eCommerce software
You also want a company that provides eCommerce options if you are hoping to set up an online business selling items, whether digital or physical. Using the best companies means that your selling experience could not be easier. If you’re handling customer orders then you’ll need some additional software so you can handle stock management, receive customer orders and process payments.
· A blog
Adding unique, helpful and relevant content to a website is important to ensure it is discoverable in Google. Make sure you have the option of adding a blog to your website where you can share important information with your customers.
So there you have it: everything that you should expect from a web design company and how to choose the right one for you!
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