Launching your new website - part 2
January 21st, 2019
Launching a new business website or getting a re-design of an existing one can be very daunting. To help with the process we've put together a series of short articles to help you be prepared and to help make sure you make an informed choice when selecting your website designer.
What to expect from your web designer
It's always a good idea to get a few quotes before you decide who you want to build your new website however comparing quotes can be difficult . It can also be confusing when technical terms are used which you might not be familiar with. If the process is new to you, you might not be aware of the costs that come with the production and up keep of a website.
You will find that each web design company you get a quote from will have slightly different processes, packages and fees. There are however some commonalities which all of the designers should be able to provide you with information about. There are also some things to try and avoid or at least be aware of to make sure you're making an informed decision. We have asked our customer service team and designers what their top tips are regarding what to expect and what to avoid.
The Build Cost
There is always an initial cost to getting your website designed. This cost is essentially the fee the web designer will charge you for the time it takes to produce your new website. Having to pay an upfront sum can make 'build your own' type websites seem appealing as they typically come with a low initial fee. 'Build your own' websites are not always as cheap as they first appear as there can be hidden costs for key features or limitations on things like how many people can visit the site in a month. The benefit of getting a bespoke design is that its a completely unique design tailored to your needs and you're benefiting from a professional designer's know-how to make sure everything works well and you're not doing anything which can mean you'll be hard to find on Google. Not only will they take care of the things you know you need, but they'll also take care of the things you don't know you need.
The Ongoing Costs
Every website has some kind of ongoing costs. There are important things your website will need for people to be able to view your site. These things range from the website address, the servers your website sits on to ongoing support which are all vital for the running of your website.
Average Build Time
Different designers will have different lead times . We build our websites in around 5-10 working days, however for a small business website the industry average is around a month once all the information has been received from you.
The Brief / Specification Stage
You will need to provide some guidance to your web designer. This is another reason for why it's good to have some information prepared. Some designers may require very little guidance, but this could mean that you may not be happy with the end result. Other companies require a bit more input which will take you a little longer, but then you are more likely to be happy with the end result as they can understand you taste better. Check how many revisions your get during the design process. We for example allow unlimited revisions as long as you do not drastically alter the specification, others might only allow one or two.
There is nothing wrong with companies outsourcing your website design overseas. This saves them on their costs but this often means you cannot speak directly to your designer and if you can it can be hard to communicate compared with someone who speaks the same language natively. Make sure to ask where your designers are based if communication is important to you. We personally think it's really important and so our designers are all based under one roof here in the UK.
Some designers will hide additional costs related to your website - read the terms and conditions carefully. The most common of these are ongoing fees, once you have signed up with them you'll usually be stuck and there will be very little you can do about it without a lot of disruption to your business. A really important one to watch out for is free hosting - this usually means only the first year's hosting is free and after that point you have a ongoing fee to cover the ongoing costs of the site. You should treat free hosting with the same scepticism you would if brought a car and they said you didn't need to put fuel in it. If there truly is no ongoing fee, as there always are ongoing costs to your designer, you will be in a situation where your designer looses money the longer your up and running. This can never be a good idea.
The Hard Sell
Pick a company that feels right for you, not a company that pressures you. No one likes to feel forced into buying a product or service. If you feel that the designer is trying to pressure you into making an knee jerk purchase or using scare tactics, avoid them. If a design company is good, they should be able to sell their services on their own merits and achievements and not by putting other designers down.
This article forms part of a sequence of articles regarding launching your new website. Visit our blog to view the latest parts as soon as they are available.
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