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Three Questions You Should Ask When Picking a Web Design Firm

If you are in the initial stages of planning a web design project out, one of the most important considerations you’ll have to factor in is which website design company you hire: but what exactly should you be looking for in the organisation you choose?

Before you hire a web design firm, it is important to ask yourself the following questions about the services they can provide:

Does the company offer bespoke design or a choice of ready-made templates?

Buying a website is much like purchasing a new outfit: you can go down the route of picking something off a shelf, or you could ask a tailor to craft something for you from scratch;

Whilst it is possible to find an existing website template for your project which will ‘do the job’, it may require some adjusting before it meets all of your requirements, meaning that you’d most likely have to pay for additional development time or hire a free-lancer to fine-tune the design/add in functionality: additional costs which may not be at the top of the list of things that such a company’s sales advisors will want to highlight during your initial interactions with them.

By paying for a bespoke design, you’ll end up with a new website which has been built from the ground up to specifically meet your needs: this approach allows for a more in-depth development process, in which your finished website design grows from your ideas in an organic, natural manner: of course, this all depends on the skills of the company you hire, but can, with a focussed approach, produce results which more effectively meet your goals than ‘backward-engineering’ an existing design to ‘fit’.

Does the company possess the skills required to help your new site achieve your goals?

The only way you’ll truly know the answer to this question is once your website has been built and tested: however, you can learn a lot about a company by performing some research:

  • When speaking with a web design company’s advisors, ask them to show you examples from their portfolio which demonstrate their capabilities to you, in particular, abilities which prove that your goals can be met by their team.
  • Look for independent customer reviews to see what other peoples’ experiences of the company have been like.
  • Perform adequate research into just how feasible your concept’s intended functionality is from a developer’s point of view (i.e. within the timescale and budget which you set) and try to gauge just how complex you expect your site build to be, before asking around for a quote: unrealistic expectations about what is possible with today’s technology can lead to disappointment, whilst knowledge of how much work will be involved to achieve your goals means that you run a much lower risk of being overcharged.

How much control will you have over your website when it has been built?

It is vitally important to think about what parts of your website will need to be edited and updated on a regular basis, as well as what sections can be left as-is:

  • Some companies may hit you with fees whenever you’d like to apply edits to your website: this can include things like: changing body text, replacing images, making new pages, etc. – Whilst this is just fine for a site which won’t need changes to be applied often, it can prove to be an extremely costly process when you require frequent edits to be applied.
  • Whilst it is only fair that a company charges for their time, it is also possible to get a website which won’t require your web design company to get involved every time you want to apply certain changes: such systems will typically feature some kind of CMS (Content Management System) and a back-office which allows you to easily apply edits to your website.

About Graham Lyons

Graham is the SEO and Social Media Marketing Manager at Cozy Digital and the editor of the Cozy Digital Blog as well as contributing content for most of our social outlets like Facebook, Twitter and G+. Graham has been working in, and writing for the SEO / SMM industry since 2001 and is still as dedicated and passionate today as he was when he opened his first Website Design, Ecommerce and SEO company in 2004. You can connect with Graham and Cozy Digital via the social media links below:

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