For many business owners, appointing a website design and development company can be a bit of a nail-biting experience. This is a field where most people who don’t work in the online marketing industry, tend to feel a little overwhelmed and lost.
Ultimately, you want to hire a web design and development firm that will be able to generate leads and sales for your company. Getting the best results and biggest bang for your buck however, rests on your ability to hire the right company and skills for your needs and budget.
To help you find your way through the maze of companies and options, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 questions that you need to be asking when looking to hire your website design and development firm. If they are suitably qualified, they will be able to provide positive responses to each of these qualifying questions, that you can easily understand.
Of course you can simply cut to the chase and call The Formula, which offers a fully comprehensive internet marketing service. But we’re all for shopping around, so take a look through these top 10 questions which we hope will give you all the confidence to really put us to the test!
1. What services does the web design and development company provide?
Unless you have expertise in any of the following areas, you should ideally look for a website design and development company that is able to provide all of the below services:
1. Digital Marketing Strategy: Every successful website is built on a solid digital marketing strategy which is focused on the planned use of a range of techniques including SEO, online advertising and content marketing to attract more people to your website and convert them from visitors to clients.
2. Website Design: An experienced web design company is able to provide website designs that both accurately and professionally portray your brand in a manner that is simple, yet engaging. The website design should also ensure that your central message is crystal clear and should encourage visitors to take the next step in the sales cycle.
3. Website Development: When you look at examples of other websites that the web developer has done, you should see no errors and the entire website should work perfectly. Here’s why this is important.
4. Search Engine Optimisation: Though many think that this now comes standard with any web design package, it often does not. SEO requires a multi-disciplinary approach to work well. Get more detail HERE.
5. Website Hosting: If website hosting isn’t offered, your web developer should be able to provide you with the best, most cost effective option for your needs.
6. Website Copywriting: Not all web design and development companies provide this service. Enticing, search engine optimised website content is essential for a successful website.
7. Internet Marketing:Ongoing internet marketing and advertising is your key to success online today. Be sure that the company you choose offers comprehensive content marketing and internet marketing options for you to choose from.
8. Website Maintenance: Ongoing security updates and general website maintenance are essential. While you don’t need to update the website every month, a good website developer will provide options to provide this service every 3 to 6 months, depending on the nature of your website.
9. Content Management Systems (CMS) and training: If you want to regularly update your website content or add new blog posts, you will need access to functionality to make these changes. A CMS does not generally come cheap, but your website designer should advise you whether you will really need one, based on your update requirements.
3. Does the web design and development company provide case studies or work examples?
The proof is always in the pudding! If you are serious about building a highly successful website, then be sure to find a professional online marketing company, or website design and development company that offers a comprehensive range of services such as those we have already mentioned in point #1. A successful, experienced company will gladly provide case studies and examples of their work, as well as tell you how they helped their clients to succeed.
4. Will the website design team do market research beforehand?
Solid market research is absolutely essential if you are wanting to successfully compete for business online. Your website designer should automatically set aside time to analyse your competitors and market and should ask you questions about your own knowledge and experience within the market in which your company and industry operates.
5. Does the website designer offer custom websites or are they off the shelf?
Off the shelf websites (such as those featured on Template Monster) are often associated with ‘cheap’ websites and inexperienced web design companies. We recommend that you use these off the shelf website ‘catalogues’ to help your web designer with guidance regarding some of your preferences. An experienced website designer, such as The Formula in Cape Town, will provide you with a fully customised, unique website design which has been specifically geared to enhance your brand and promote the active participation of visitors to your website.
6. Will the website design be mobile responsive?
More South Africans access the internet via mobile devices, such as Smartphones than they do via traditional desktop computers, while an increasing number of professionals are accessing the internet via a multitude of devices including desktop computers, laptops, tablets and Smartphones. Regardless of your target market, to do business in South Africa, you will need to ensure that your website can adjust to suit the needs of the mobile visitor, as well as the variety of screens available for tablet, phablet, laptop and desktop computers. The objective is that your website provides a great experience for each them.
7. Will the website designer provide wireframes and layout examples?
In addition to your internet marketing strategy, the planning of the layout and functionality that should be included on your website is extremely important. A professional website designer will provide with you with a wireframe, or basic visual representation of where the content of your site will be placed, as well as final layout examples before the website is developed and finalised.
8. Will the website be Search Engine Optimised?
SEO (search engine optimisation) is absolutely essential to ensure that your website gets found online. Incorporating your content (or website copy), meta-data, alt-tags and linking between various website and social media platforms – professional SEO requires a well thought out, multi-faceted approach in order to be successful. We’ve written extensively regarding the importance of SEO, so browse our blog for more, or take a look at this great article for comprehensive information.
9. What will you need to provide to the website designer?
Before appointing your website company, be sure to find out about everything that they will expect you to provide. Your company logo and brand directives (if you have these), photo’s, website content and links to your social media pages – these are some of the things that your website designer should be asking you about and they should be ready to assist you to easily provide this information should you be unsure or unable to do so.
The cost for a new website will depend on the detail and quantity of information required. The number of pages, special features such as online shopping or subscriptions,
social media feeds and so on will all contribute to the cost. Ensure that the website design and development company provides a detailed breakdown of all costs involved, as well as whether the costs will be once off or ongoing.
At The Formula in Cape Town, our talented, experienced team provides a comprehensive internet marketing service including professional website design and development and all the related services that you need to ensure that your website successfully attracts more clients and boosts your business overall! We also offer our first internet marketing consultation with you, free of charge, so let us get together at our offices or yours to discuss how we can help your business to soar!
Call Garth or Shiraz on 021 556 5661 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your FREE online marketing consultation today.