Fifteen Important Questions you must ask a Prospective Web Design Company
The Internet is too competitive a landscape for your business or personal image to take a chance on a web designer that doesn’t have a proven track record. We have compiled a list of questions that will help you select the best company for your needs – however large or small. At F1RST we are always here to help in regards to any questions.
1. Do you custom design or use templates?
Some companies only use templates; others only do custom design work. At F1RST we can leverage both approaches. Templates are a great way to get a business online fast in a professional manner. To other clients, presenting a unique internet presence is vital. Whatever your needs, call us, and we can tailor make a solution to fit all circumstances.
2. Are your designs tested for multi-browser and cross-platform compatibility?
A designer should at least create their websites so that the content and layout looks relatively the same on Firefox 2, Firefox 3, and Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 7, Explorer 8, Safari and on Apple Mac’s as well as PCs. Ask us how tests will be made to be sure your website will display correctly.
3. Do you have sales or marketing experience?
The best designers are creative people who can *sell* things with their design concepts. Make sure you hire a company that has sales and marketing expertise to be your designer. We believe our extensive knowledge in these fields sets us apart from our competitors.
4. Do you offer any Internet marketing services?
A Website and Internet strategy should have one main purpose, and that is to achieve business growth in one way or another. We can optimise your site for search engines and go through the submission process for you.
5. Will you create a logo for my site too?
Most website designers will offer logo creation as an additional service. Logos are becoming increasingly important on websites as a branding issue. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you could get by with a neon sign with plain red letters. On a website, however, the logo needs to have a graphic appeal that matches your message. Ask about our custom logo services.
6. Who will own the site design when it’s done?
You should always own your website design. Be aware that designers are legally able to claim their designs as their own copyrighted work. Negotiate these terms in advance and make sure that you will own all original artwork. With F1RST you ALWAYS own all the design elements.
7. Do you offer maintenance training & answer questions?
If you are not familiar with the HTML editor used in the creation of your website or making changes to content through a live CMS system, ask us about our customised training. You can always sign up for our all-inclusive Website Management Plans if you don’t want to deal with the codes.
8. Do you charge by the hour or by the project?
This is something very important to understand about design work. We offer all-inclusive website packages and set out clearly exactly what is included. We try to avoid hourly rates if possible as they force you as a client to only stick to minimal changes without reaching the full potential of your website’s capabilities. Our Website Management Plans give you the freedom to get as many updates done as you need. Time not used for updates will be spent on search engine optimisation so that you always get value no matter how your demand for updates is.
9. How visible will our site be to search engines such as Google?
Google in particular and search engines more generally are the single greatest source of traffic for most web sites. While there are many tricks and techniques for increasing search engine visibility, there are some basics that many sites simply don’t get right. All of the sites we build are ‘Google Friendly’, and we also submit your site to all of the commonly used search engines.
10. What do I (The Client) have to provide?
Usually, clients will have to provide the text, images, and feedback. If you cannot provide these, we offer services to purchase stock photos and copy writing services on your behalf.
11. How do we communicate about this project?
Experience has shown us that communicating by email is usually more convenient and more effective. However, we are always available if a client feels they can express their needs better by telephone or in person. If there are any questions communication is key.
12. How long will it take?
We make the promise to deliver your business-grade website within 30 days. To be able to do so we will need our clients to provide us with the information that is required.
13. Do you provide hosting?
Yes. Our website management plans are all inclusive and come with business-grade web hosting without restrictions such as metred website traffic.
14. Do You Do Market Research Before Creating Web Designs?
Our Ultimate Website Package includes comprehensive market research as well as competitor analysis.
15. Are you able to create online shopping carts?
If you plan to do e-commerce in the future, a web design company should have the resources to provide this service. We utilise the best e-commerce technology available to build robust and attractive e-commerce sites.