Whether you are starting a new business and need a website for it, or have an existing business and wish to improve or even replace your current site, unless you are a website developer, you will need to employ a website development company to do the work. if you do some research you will see there are literally hundreds of them out there.
Some of these will be one man or woman operations, whereby the person designs and develops websites on a freelance basis. Whilst many of them are excellent at what they do, and can often design a very impressive website, they are not what most businesses need. They often cannot back up the design with elements relating to SEO or conversion, for the simple reason that they specialise only in design.
For a more comprehensive service that can not only design your website but also ensure it has every chance of ranking and converting well, you need the services of a website development company. One huge benefit they have is a team with all the skills required to ensure that every necessary element is optimised. Such a company will also be more able to offer you continued support after the website has gone live to implement any updates which be necessary.
The question now needs to be ‘What should you be looking for in a website development company?’ and by answering that you will ensure that when you employ them, they can provide the service you are expecting.
The first thing to look for is the portfolio of websites that they’ve created for previous clients. You may find they have links to these on their own website, but if not, they will certainly direct you to them if you ask. When you land on the websites they’ve created previously, take them for a ‘test drive’ by clicking through and looking at the content, its structure, its navigation. and of course, how it looks.
Ideally, you want to see a range of different types of websites which will indicate that they are able to create websites of all types, including the one you would like. Be cautious if every website they have created looks similar as this might indicate that they have limited scope in terms of design and may only be using one or two templates or themes. This would hinder any options you might have to make your website unique and limit the scope of SEO elements.
When checking these websites also look for contact details of the business. In this way, you might be able to contact the business owners for first-hand accounts of how well they liked the way web development company provided their services. You can also ask the website development company for testimonials and get the feedback that way.
You should also ascertain what the process will be. A reputable website development company will be able to outline the entire process for you from the initial discussions with you, through to completion. Better still, if they provide a single point of contact for you to communicate with and get updates from, this is also a sign that they care about their clients.
You’ll want to determine what kind of time frames the website development company can offer you. If you need the website to up and running quickly a digital agency with plenty of resources, including staff, should be able to accommodate this. Be wary of any agency which is reluctant to commit to a time frame as this could mean that are incapable of, or worse, have no intention of, meeting deadlines.
Finally, you want to know what your web design and development will cost. A digital agency that operates efficiently will be able to confirm a fee with you beforehand, and which you can both agree upon, including for any additional services which you may have requested, such as ongoing SEO after your website is live.