Creating a website can be a daunting task, especially if you are not very tech savvy. But even if you have a technology wired brain, website design can be a very complex and frustrating experience. There are many companies out there that claim to create the best website for any kind of business. They may be right, but you need to properly vet any company or person offering to create your website. Below, you will find many helpful questions to ask yourself and your website designer before you get started creating your new website.
Before You Call Your Website Designer:
What is the goal of your website? Your website should have 1 of 3 goals: make sales through a shopping cart, generate leads, or brand yourself and your business. If your website does not fit one of these goals, when you should not spend your time and money creating a site.
What is appealing to your target market? If you are in outdoor apparel sales, then a flowery background with pink fonts will not be very appealing to your customers. You must know what your target audience will be responsive to and create a site built around them. A website that is built to the owner's liking is useless. A website that is built to the customer's liking is a home run.
Where will all the content come from? More than likely, the website designer will not create the text and take all the pictures for you. You will need to provide the designer with all of that, including your logo. Your logo becomes very important because a good web designer will design the site based on your logo's colors and font.
Do you have examples of what the site should look like? Go do a Google search for websites in your industry. Make a list of the ones that you love and hate. This will give your designer some guidelines on the creative side. It is a lot easier to communicate to your designer with pictures than it is with words.
During Your Conversation With a Website Designer:
How many years have you been creating websites for? You don't want to know how long the company has been in business for, but rather how long they have been creating websites. There is nothing wrong with hiring a newcomer in the industry, but things such as time, price, and communication can all be affected by experience.
Have you ever built a website for a business like mine? Creating a website for a realtor requires some industry information, as does any other industry. If a designer has experience creating sites for one particular industry, they already know some of the challenges and obstacles facing that company. If a designer has no experience in your industry, realize it may take more time for the designer to research your industry and create your website.
Do you have a designer or do you use templates? This is a very important one. Many website companies will claim your site will be "custom made and created just for you," when in reality all they are doing is using a pre-made template on WordPress, SquareSpace, BigCommerce, etc. Some businesses will customize a template, and there is nothing wrong with that. But you do not want to pay the premium price for a totally unique and customized website if they are just using a common template and make a few minor tweaks.
How many people will be working on my site? This is just a sneaky way of finding out how many people work for the company you selected. It may not matter if the company is a one-man-shop or a large 10 person company, but the size of the business may be an indicator of how long the project will take to complete.
Do I legally own the design and content? Not many people know this, but the web designer technically owns the intellectual property of the site they are creating. You need to make sure that they transfer ownership of the site to you, preferably in writing. If the website was created on a website builder like SquareSpace, Weebly, Wix, or maybe even WordPress, then the actual theme is not owned by either you or the designer - it is owned by the website builder company themselves. But you do own any of the text, photos, customized coding, etc.
Is hosting included in your pricing? Always find the price breakdown of the quote the website designer is giving you. Some very important internet things, like hosting, is a necessity and you need to make sure your web developer's pricing includes those things.
Can I updated the site myself? How is it done? Some web developers create an easy to use system where you can edit the text on each page. Some require you download an expensive piece of software. Others will charge you money for them to make any changes. You need to know how easy it is to change the content on your website and if there is an additional charge to do so.
Will my site be optimized for tablet and phone? A large part of Google's search engine optimization is the responsiveness of websites. What I mean by that is how your website looks and acts on mobile devices. You need a site that will automatically resize pictures and text boxes when you view a page on mobile devices. Your web designer should be creating your website with a responsible design.
Does your service include ongoing SEO work? It does not matter if the company does initial SEO work, mostly because search engine optimization includes ongoing work and changes. Proper SEO includes monthly additions in content. And by content, I mean the text of your website.
What is the typical turnaround time for a website like mine? This is the hardest question to answer, because website design time varies depending on needs. It is good to get a tentative time frame, but it is more important to get the designer anything they need from you in a timely manner.
After Your Conversation With a Web Designer:
Did they ask about your customers? If they did not even talk or mention your target market, their focus for the website may not be directed to the right audience and you may need to find a new company. Your designer should develop a site that is targeted for your clients and customers.
Did they speak normally to you or use complicated words to try and impress you? You will be communicating with this web designer quite a bit over the next couple of months. You will need to be able to communicate very clearly and efficiently with them.
Below is a list of the website design companies in Bowling Green, KY that I recommend. Each one has their strengths and weakness, but they all are reputable and come recommended from myself.
- SOKY Business Solutions (www.sokybusiness.com)
- DP Media Group (www.dpmediagroup.com)
- Sublime Media Group (www.sublimemediagroup.com)