Before you pick up that phone to call a website design company, get yourself prepared.
The way people find your business has changed. Gone are the days of driving downtown and walking up and down Main St. to find your local small businesses. Phone books are obsolete and more and more people are ditching their cable / satellite plans so now you’re stuck with reaching your clients in different ways. Hopefully these points below can prepare you to meet with your website design company for your website redesign!
– Set a Budget
This is key #1 for a reason. Websites can run from $2500 – $25,000+ depending on the needs and wants of you, the client. If you want to sell your great products online and have a fully-customized store, that’s going to cost more than a website that just lists what you do, has some great photography, a great logo and your location. Set yourself a budget and make it clear up front what your budget is. Some companies won’t talk to small businesses with small budgets, here at Duo, we don’t turn away clients just because their budgets don’t have enough commas.
– Compare and Contrast
Some of the easiest and most-successful website projects that we’ve ever been a part of happen because the client had a list of websites they loved and websites they hated. Maybe you love the way the photos rotate on one website, but you hate the monochromatic color scheme of another website, these are all great things to bring to the discussion.
– Research the Terminology
C.M.S. – Content Management System. CMS’ are great ways to keep your content fresh which can lead to more traffic to your website. Sometimes they are overkill though, if you have a site that doesn’t have a lot of information that needs to be updated all the time, it’s cheaper to go without a content management system. Here at Duo we like to use WordPress, or IRIS for websites that need a content management system.
Responsive Design – This is just a fancy way of saying your website will fit perfectly on a mobile phone, a tablet and a computer all at the same time.
There are so many more acronyms out there, but these two are probably the most common.
– Shop Around
Just going to one website design studio in your area isn’t going to give you the ability to see what others can do and see what others estimate your project to be. Maybe Company XYZ is going to charge you $10,000 for a semi-customized WordPress website, but another company might only charge half of that price because their company overhead is lower than normal. That’s the advantage that we try to offer to each and every one of our clients. We keep our overhead low so we can keep our prices and rates far lower than that of a large agency.
Sign a contract, pay your deposit and setup a design / development schedule. Schedules aren’t always created for every project, but they are nice to have for large projects and undertakings. The biggest thing that people need to remember is that if a creative agency needs information from you for your website design project, you need to hold up your end of the bargain. We can’t create a website out of thin air if you don’t tell us who your target market is and supply some sort of content idea. We have content writers that can take your work and refine it to be ready for the web, but we aren’t the professionals in your specific industry, so we need your help to get the content correct!
Website projects are never simple and easy, this is the first stop that many consumers will see when researching companies in your industry so these projects should never be taken lightly. Websites are a big deal, we think of them that way, and so should you.