If your company is not online right now, chances are you are missing out on some great opportunities to reach out to local, regional, national, and perhaps even international clients. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data (2012), almost 75 percent of U.S. households have internet at home, and more than 85 percent of people ages 25 to 44 use the internet on a daily basis.
Unless you own a computer programming business, chances are you are not an expert at building and maintaining a website. Fortunately you don’t need to speak “computer programmer” language to have a great online presence. Here are some tips to get an amazing website from a quality web design company, even if you have never heard of a CMS and you have no clue what hyper text transfer protocol is.
1. Review the Portfolio
All web designers are not created equal. Hiring a web designer with extensive experience in creating sites for attorney’s offices when you own a catering company is like hiring a really experienced electrician to fix your plumbing. Regardless of how much experience the web designer has, if they don’t have the right experience you probably won’t get the site you expect. Check the designer’s portfolio first before you hire to make sure they have the skills you want.
2. Set a Schedule
Work with the designer to outline a specific (and achievable) timeline for completion. This will create realistic expectations on your end and give the designer a hard deadline to meet. Set small milestones along the way so you can see the progress and make sure the designer is staying on track.
3. Plan Together
There are several different components to a website, including:
- Navigation structure and sitemap
- Design elements (colors, fonts, graphics)
- Social media integration
- E-commerce integration
Since you know your business better than anyone, it’s important that you spend time with the design team to outline your vision and expectations for each of these areas. Remember that you are designing a website for your customers (not for yourself), so make it functional and simple to use. Some web designers focus too much on creativity and beauty and not enough on functionality, but a great looking website is useless if customers can’t figure out how to navigate through it.
4. Get an Estimate
As with any business project, it’s important to get an estimate of all the costs of the site in advance. Make sure to ask about charges for more complex programming, such as creating forms, calendars, event registration, e-commerce functionality, and more. There may be a few things that come up during that process that you did not anticipate in advance, but a great web designer should be able to provide you with a fairly accurate estimate up front.
5. Have Regular Follow-Up
Schedule frequent follow-up calls or visits to review progress and keep everyone on the team focused on the goal. Otherwise you risk the project getting pushed to the back burner as the initial energy and excitement start to fade.
Get Started With Your Web Design
When you’re ready to improve your online presence, call Webstract Marketing at 855-201-5800 to get a free quote and current site analysis, and discuss how we can help you get the ideal website today.