I must congratulate you first of all for the fact that you have finally decided to have your own website. And little cautious and calculated steps will deliver you a website that have the potential to be your cash cow on the long run. As I mentioned above you need to be little prudent and below are 10 points which you should consider while hiring a web designer for you.
Do your research properly. Both online and offline by asking people, gathering intelligence etc. Every step of hiring needs research and it gives a better idea about what you need, background checks for vendor, prevailing prices, design trends, future affiliations etc. So a well-researched person has a head start compared to others and little chance of being laid astray.
2. Design agency or software company?
No ambiguity here. If you are a software company, then select a software agency. And there will be a good coherence between the two. But if you are any other agency, then choose a design agency. They have the advantage of delivering great visuals, the website will be synced with the brand guidelines and yes they do have guys for backend requirements.
Their service is better than software agencies as they are normally true blue ad or marketing agencies and customer service is ingrained in them. Software agencies normally do a decent visual job but their whole attention lies in the software part and this is where an ad or design agency is better.
3. Long term relationship
The relationship with your vendor is going to be a long term one. So Choose someone with whom you can have a long association. Check his background, service history, customer attrition rate, bungling reports etc. You can get the company’s reviews from Google my business, Glass door etc. You can directly ask any of their previous clients. This will give you a fair idea about whether you can work on a long term basis or not.
Note : All companies have their pros and cons. Do not expect all the negative review they have received are 100% true. Its all good as long as they can fulfill what you want for you. Also don’t believe all the rave reviews.
4. What are the other services apart from web design?
There are many other services that needs to be incorporated for a website to turn profitable. You need a dedicated SEO service to rank higher in SERPs. If you don’t have branding, then logo and other branding needs to be incorporated, Like wise other online marketing activities like digital marketing & social media marketing needs to be done.
You need a company that offers you the complete solution under one roof. Separate agencies for different functions will be time consuming and costly as well. So choose someone who can offer you the best of all services. There will be consistency and sync in these activities as well.
5. Previous Works (design profile)
See their previous work of the same industry. How those companies are faring in their online effort. If you are satisfied with those results then proceed. If they don’t have previous industry related experience then talk to them. Because experience counts and company without niche experience will be a problem.
6. Content writing
Content is king and see how they will help in your content building. Many times it is the client who provides the content. At least in cities like Bhubaneswar. In those cases you are putting as much effort as them. Find if they can provide you with rich content themselves. Because that is the flavor of the day. They should also write meaningful blogs for you. Choose such agency who can richly contribute to the overall content.
Many times clients are misled with the price tags. Take every details about pricing. Low budget websites often have hidden costs like domain hosting cost, domain name cost, content writing cost, payment gateway integration etc.
Afterwards you find that their cost is same to other industry leaders. This way you may deprive yourself of better quality and service just for the sake of that initial asking price. Ask them about the server details, where your domain is going to be hosted etc. Payment method needs to be ascertained as well. If they take everything in advance or part payment is allowed.
Consider all these points and see who is affordable and select wisely.
8. Project delivery and misc. things
What is their delivery time is as much important as the price itself. You cannot neglect the fact that Time is Money and we all operate in a cut-throat environment. Delivery time varies depending upon the content and pages but the company must ensure timely delivery and taking to them will allow you for a calculated guess about whether they are bluffing or actually deliver you on time.
The Images used needs to be copy right protected. Else legal problems await you in future. Ensure that. Content needs to be original as well. That way you have better chance to succeed and engage customers. All these factors will decide whether your website will be a success or not. Hence the agency needs to ensure these things.
9. How they help you to grow your business
After choosing a website design company the most important step is make a brief conversation with them. Building a website and doing all the necessary stuff doesn’t enough. Ask them how they can help to turn your website visitors into a customer which is the toughest things to do.
You need to tell them about your business, your competitors, current business model of your company, who are your target audience and many more. Then ask them to make a prototype of your website which is the first step to move forward.
10. Final thought
A website is your 24×7 sales man on the most important platform today. So one cannot neglect it and build one just for the sake of it. It needs research, investment of time and money and dedication to make it fructify.
So choosing the right company that will make it is extremely important and one can always follow these above steps to take the correct path.
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