Going From Brick-and-Mortar to The Internet E-Commerce Internet E-Commerce Online...
For small business owners and bloggers in Canada, there are quite a few web design companies to choose from. They offer an array of services, from WordPress deployments to completely customized sites. There are many factors to consider when selecting a web design firm ranging from mobile or iPhone implementation to social networking and development solutions. Keep in mind that some companies focus solely on the design while others may also offer additional services such as PPC, video production and blogging services.
– Even if you just need a small, simple site for your start-up business, you will still need to work with a company that will take the time to understand your business. Otherwise, you might be stuck with a generic layout that doesn’t represent what you or your company stands for.
– Make sure you work with a design company that can implement the right set of tools for your type of site. For instance, if you want to have a store and sell products on your site, work with a company that will provide the necessary ecommerce tools, including a shopping cart, calculator, secure forms, etc.
– Do you want the ability to make updates yourself? Do you want the ability to maintain your own site or blog after the initial design? Choose a company that offers a CMS that is easy for the non-designer to use.
– Consider how much design you will actually need. Do you already have your logos and banners and simply need them incorporated into a layout? Or do you require a new website from scratch? Is the company you are considering capable of producing new sites from scratch? Ask to see portfolio samples relevant to your website needs. This is especially important if you require a landing page, as you will want to work with a company that is capable of producing a page that will entice visitors to want to learn more.
– If you’re unsure of where to start, you can keep things simple and start locally. Look up directories to find businesses in your city or province and find out which design company created their sites. You should also take the time to look over the portfolios of web design companies in Canada to ensure that the company is capable of producing unique layouts. Is every layout in the portfolio unique or do they all look generic?
– While pricing is important, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Even if you only require a simple website for a start-up business right now, you still shouldn’t settle with a cheap looking design that looks like it was made in the 90s. Inform web design firms of your budget and ask what you can realistically expect, and how willing they are to help you.
Take some time and research web design companies before making your decision. Make sure you work with one that is capable of providing you precisely with what you need.
Anybody can throw up a few templates and create a “portfolio”, but not everybody can actually prove that their services brought in results. Which websites were the templates used on? How are those sites doing now? Have there been any modifications since then? How popular are the sites? A good web design firm will be able to answer these questions and provide proof that backs up their claims.
Also, if designers really are good to work with, their clients are willing to endorse them.
If a web company uses effective SEO tactics and marketing skills to generate leads, they should be able to do the same for you. Don’t be shy about asking a web company what they would do to drive traffic to your site and convert visitors into customers.
A “good” company isn’t one that can do everything; it’s a company that understands that it CAN’T do everything. For this reason, the designers do not accept every job offer that comes their way, or promise something that they don’t have the knowledge or skill to do. In short, good companies specialize.
A respectable web design company doesn’t use the exact same formula for every site they make. Designers should focus on what the customer wants and build a website that reflects that. They should take the time to learn about the client’s business, goals, message, targeted customers, etc. How can a web design agency create your website if they know nothing about you or your customers?
While everyone gets distracted here and there, good web designers don’t need to be reminded to work on their client’s project. If it’s a company or a team, the owner/head team member should keep the other designers on task.
They should also provide you with status updates and answer any questions in a timely manner.
It’s important to know beforehand whether the designer will be expected to maintain a site after it goes up or if it will be your responsibility. If you only require the designer to create the site and want to take care of updates and maintenance yourself, they should provide you with the information you need to easily make changes.
Some web design companies don’t actually “design” a site so much as they simply customize a WordPress theme. If you want a WordPress website, this might not seem like a big deal. However, they should be creative enough to design a layout that is unique to you, and not modify an existing theme.
The best website design agencies aren’t always the ones that jump out on the first page of a Google search. Sometimes you have to look a bit deeper to find designers that will be right for you.
– Make sure the agency has experience working with businesses in your area. This is important since location can play a role in search engine rankings. Internet users often include names of towns or cities in their searches these days when they are looking for local businesses. The designers and developers you work with should know how to optimize your site for geographical listings and directories, even if you want to reach out to a global audience.
– Don’t necessarily go with the lowest price. If web designers are offering very low rates, there’s a good chance the work will either be outsourced to a third party or cheap looking with an ordinary template. You will want a quality custom template that does not look like every other layout on the web. Also, it’s ideal that the designers who actually create your site are the ones you are in direct communication with.
– Make sure you understand what is included in a price before you make your decision or agree to anything. Some agencies include development and design in a single package, others only offer design. If you are just paying for a design, you might end up with the template only. If a template is all you need, then that’s fine. However, most businesses and entrepreneurs require additional service such as develop, design updates, search engine optimization, coding, etc.
– It’s ideal that you work with a company that will give you access to the content management system so that you can change and update the content yourself. There will come a time when you will need to do so.
– Choose a company that is easy to get ahold of. Communication should be clear on both ends. Not only should they always be available for you, you should also always be available to them. In order you create a custom website for you, they will need to have a clear idea of what your company is about and what kind of goals you have.
– Look over an agency’s portfolio and read their testimonials. Do a bit of research to see what others are saying about them. Do you like the designs of the websites in the portfolio? If you have a particular design in mind, will they be able to create it? As important as it is that they create a website that reflects your company profile and goals, it’s also important that the design is aesthetically pleasing. You don’t want to end up with a boring looking template.
Whether you only need basic services or require a full package and long-term services, you need to choose a web design agency that you will enjoy working with.