So you are looking for a new website but don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips on what to look out for and what to avoid when searching for your new web designer!
The golden rule
This may seem obvious but the most important thing when buying a new website is find a web designer you can work with and trust. We always recommend a local small company or individual as you usually get more for your money and a more tailored package rather than an out of the box solution.
Working with someone you can trust will allow you to develop your website as your business grows and changes. Larger companies often want to charge for every change where smaller companies that value your business will often do small tweaks free of charge as a gesture of good will.
Responsive or not responsive?
The latest website craze is responsive websites, but is it the right thing to do?
Usually they cost more money so you have to weigh up the benefits of having a website that will adjust to various screen sizes and mobile devices.
If you choose a non responsive site make sure that they offer a mobile version of the website so as not to be wiped out on Googles mobilegeddon!
The only thing I will say about responsive design is ask to view an example of one they have made for another client as I have seen many responsive websites that are really buggy when adjusting to screen sizes , throwing content all over the place.
My take on it is a static website with a good mobile version can save you money and still deliver a fantastic design, so dont rush to shed out the extra pounds.
Its all about SEO!
Search engine optimisation is key to a successful online business whether getting new leads or generating online sales. No matter how fancy your website looks if it doesn’t rank well on Google its pointless having.
Keep some money back to invest on SEO. Ask your web designer if they regularly manipulate the page titles and meta description, do they create a sitemap and are the pages optimised for Google.
Google likes content, don’t get caught up in a minimalist design with a low word count. Aim for 250 – 1000 words per page, with strong H1 and H2 titles.
Do you need CMS?
Lots of our clients ask for a CMS based website where they can edit the website themselves. For some online shops this is essential but if its a display website give the web designer a small monthly retainer to do the changes for you. By doing this the website will maintain a higher quality and you will save time that can be invested in progressing your business and learning how to add content to your website.
On top of that non CMS websites are usually less expensive. We find that most of our CMS website clients used it for the first few months then didn’t bother due to being busy with their business.
The secret to a good looking website is the image quality and media content. Invest in a photography to create a library of High Definition photos that you can use on your website. Sharp images can transform the look of a website.
Don’t forget to add some videos, this will help with SEO but also keep the visitors on your site longer.
Own your domain!
So often clients come to us without domain ownership and it can be a nightmare to get the domain transferred from a previous web designer especially as they have just lost a client.
There is no reason for a web design company to own the your domain or host it. We recommend that all of our clients register their own domains and have full control over them. This means if you ever fall out with your web designer or they disappear you still have the most valuable thing, your domain.
You business is based abound your www. , it may be printed on vans, stationary or be well known in your industry and to clients. Not having ownership and control over it is online suicide!
We can help you!
Our friendly team at Quay Websites is here for you. We can help build you the perfect website for a small showcase website to a large online superstore. Whats more important is that we are SEO specialists so we can make your webite rank well on Google and other search engines.
We are based in Cheltenham and Gloucester but cover the whole of the UK. Contact us by visiting www.quaywebsites.co.uk