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Choosing the right web designer for your business
Having a website is an integral part of any business now, because even if most of your customers come through your door, they will still take the time to look you up online to find out more about you.
Small business owners especially have a tendency to try to deal with all of the aspects of their business themselves, but getting professional help with something as important as web design can save you time and money, but it can also boost your brand too.
Budgets and planning
Working to a budget is normal practice, so any web design company that you are considering will need to understand what it is you want to achieve, and how much you have available to spend on their services.
Some firms can ask for extortionate amounts to get your website off the ground, but you also need to be realistic about what you need for your business right away, and what can be done at a later date.
Understanding your requirements
When you first speak to a web designer, it is quite easy to get carried away with your ‘vision’. Having an ultimate goal in mind is not a bad thing, but unless your business is a web business that can only function when you have exactly the right website from day one, then you can afford to take things one step at a time.
Spending a bit of time planning out what you are looking for before you speak to a web designer will help you get the most from the service. Think about how many pages you will need, any particular types of services you need to include – for example, if you run a restaurant then you may want to take bookings online.
You also need to think about your branding and the colours you want to use. People react in different ways to the types of colours used on a website, so if buying online is important to you, then you should consider this. Otherwise you need to know what your own brand colours are, and how they will interact on screen.
Know your brand identity
If you are not quite sure what your brand is yet, then you should take some time to establish this before you start the website build. You would be wise to make any branding changes you might want before you build the site, as there is nothing worse than having to spend money twice to correct a site that is built just before a new branding exercise has been done.
Buy your own domain name
While it may be helpful for a web design company to offer to buy your domain name for you, remember that if they own your domain name – let’s say www.mybrilliantshop.com – then if you decide you do not want to use that company anymore you may find it more difficult to extricate yourself from their business.
So always make sure you own your own domain name. You can buy these online yourself from the likes of Cloudnext.co.uk or 1and1.com – different companies charge different prices, but also offer different levels of service. So do a bit of research before you jump in.