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Choosing the Right Web Design Company for Your Business

By: Benjamin Bruner at Ben Bruner Web Productions

Submitted on Wed, Apr 9th, 2008 6:38 am

You have developed a business you are proud to put your name on and have established a reputation for great quality and customer satisfaction. Now, you want a website that conveys that message and properly represents your company. There are thousands of Website companies and Freelance designers to choose from and picking the one that is right for your business is not a decision to be taken lightly. A poorly designed website may actually end up costing your business money.

I am sure you are already aware that having an effective website is becoming increasingly important to the success of your companys future. In this article I intend to shed some light and lay out a few steps that will help find the right Web Design Company for your business.

Website Styles

While browsing the Web, you may have noticed there are many different styles and genres of Websites. To name a few: Beautiful Flash Designs, Graphically Stunning Websites, Powerful Database Driven Websites, Simple-Strait forward Brochure Styles, and E-Commerce Websites. Depending on the needs of your company, it is likely one of these styles will be best suited for you. Knowing your needs and expectations will help you choose the right company for your business.

How it Looks vs. How it Works

Graphic Artists and Search Engine Optimization Consultants have long been in disputes over what is best for a website. Search Engine Optimization consultants typically will look for lots of text and bullet lists to help you Website achieve high results on search engines. Where, Graphic Artists look for lots of captivating images and stunning graphics to help sell your product/service. Depending on how you plan to market your website one of these methods may work better. For example, if you plan on marketing your website through advertisements in magazines or direct mail then more graphics may be better suited for your needs. However, if you plan on getting the majority of your traffic from keyword searches on Google, then Search Engine Optimization is going to play a key role. Knowing your long term marketing plan will help you choose the right Web Design Company as well as help to achieve the results you are looking for.

Understanding Your Needs

A good Website Design Company can help you answer the following questions, but it is smart to have thought about these before speaking with the Design Company. Taking the time to know this information ahead of time will better prepare you when speaking with a Website Design Company, as well as help you gather more accurate quotes when comparing a few companies.

1. What is your budget for the website? And how long before you intend on seeing a positive return on your investment?

2. What is your budget for future maintenance as your business grows? Would it be worthwhile hiring someone in house to perform the future maintenance?

3. What are the must have features for your website and some of the optional features you would like?

4. When would you like the website ready to post live on the internet?

5. What are some websites you like and what is it you like about them?

6. Who is your target audience? How will they find your Website?

7. Are there any trademarks for your company such as colors, fonts, or logos you would like incorporated into your site?

Choosing your Designer

Any honest Web Design Company would not say they are the best choice for every business. Taking some time to better know your designer will help you decide if they are the right company to be building your online presence. Some of the tips below will help you establish a better understanding of each Website Design Company and evaluate their services.

Research their Work

Take some time to look at their portfolio and ask yourself some of these questions.

1. Do the websites reflect the look and aesthetics you are going for?

2. Is the navigation in their portfolio easy to follow?

3. Are their bugs and broken links?

4. Do they have any examples of work from clients in your industry?

5. Are there examples of the functionality you are looking for?

Customer Service and Open Communication

Good communication between you and your Website Development Company will be vital to seeing your website reach its goals. Ask yourself the following questions when shopping for the right company.

1. Are they responsive to my questions, or does it take a while for a response?

2. Are they easy to understand, or do they use a lot of confusing jargon?

3. Do they ask insightful questions about my business, or just simple design questions about my Website?

4. Does the company seem genuinely concerned about my objectives for the Website?

5. Does the company have a thorough testing process to ensure security and flaws are taken care of?

Check up on them

Do not be shy about calling some of the clients listed in their portfolio. Ask if the website is meeting the goals set forth. Also, ask if the company is prompt about repairing any troubles that may have been encountered. Additionally, ask if the company was able to meet the original budget.

Legal Concerns

Often an overlooked part, and important part, of choosing a Web Design Company is who is going to own the images and source code once your project is complete. If at all possible you want the company to give you the rights to all images and source code used to develop your Website. Find out if the company is using any purchased images, 3rd party scripts, or programs. If so get the copyright information that applies to those with your source code.

The Extras

Find out if the Website Design Company is able to offer you anything extra to sweeten the deal a bit. Many companies can offer you deals that can sway your decision if you are torn between two great companies. See if the company is able to offer maintenance training, hosting, brochures, or other things that may help your company grow.

Making the Final Decision

Remember, it is important not to rush into the decision of choosing a Web Design Company. A well made website that is properly maintained should suit your company for several years. Following these tips will help you make an informed decision, as well as improve your communications with the Website Design Company you choose.

About the Author

Benjamin Bruner
Ben Bruner Web Productions
Ben Bruner is the Lead Developer and Quality Control Manager for Ben Bruner Web Productions. (BBWP) is a Florida Website Design Company

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