Essential website buying guide
Let us help you navigate your way to your new website
Things to expect
- The build cost - To make your website there will be an initial cost. This is essentially the price the web designer will charge you for the time it takes them to produce your website.
- The ongoing costs - Every website has some kind of ongoing costs as there are important things it will need for people to be able to view your site. These costs include the website address, the servers your website sits on and the ongoing support your might need.
- Average build time - We build our websites in around 5-10 working days, however the industry average tends to be around a month.
- The brief / specification stage - You will need to provide some guidance to your web designer. Some may require very little guidance, but then you may not be happy with the end result if they've made a lot of decisions for you. Others may 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 tastes better.
Things to avoid
- Overseas development - There is nothing wrong with companies outsourcing your website design overseas to save on their costs but this often means you cannot speak directly to your designer or 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 located if this is important to you.
- Hidden costs - Some designers will hide additional costs related to your website. The most common of these are ongoing fees as once you have signed up with them you usually will be stuck with little you can do about it. Watch out for free hosting as this often only means the first year's hosting is free. After that point you may have to pay a high unexpected ongoing fee.
- The hard sell - No one likes to feel pressured into buying a product or service. If you feel that the designer is trying to pressure you into buying now or using scare tactics we recommend avoiding them. They should be able to sell their services on their merits and not by putting down other designers.
The questions you should ask
Will my web designer be based in the UK?
Often low prices are achieved by outsourcing the design and/or support overseas. Check where your designer is located and how easy it will be to speak to them if you need to. Our design and support team are all in the same UK office.
What marketing help do you include?
Marketing is a key part of the success of your website and therefore your business too. What do they offer in terms of search optimisation and ongoing support? We include search engine optimisation as standard with all our packages.
What are the ongoing costs, including costs after the first year?
There is always an ongoing fee of some sort. Check what the ongoing fees are for the website for the first year and the years that follow. Check that that fee includes everything you are starting of with in the first year e.g. if a SSL security certificate is included, is that also included in following years? Our ongoing fees are clearly indicated next to each of our package options.
Will the website adapt for mobile and tablet screens?
Your website is probably going to receive at least as much traffic from visitors using mobiles and tablets as it does from full sized computers. Make sure that your website has a 'responsive design'. This is also an important ranking factor for Google nowadays too. All our websites come with responsive designs.
How long have you been in business?
Check how long the company has been up and running for. It is important that they not only give you a great deal but they have been running long enough to prove that their business is sustainable. A great deal from a company that goes out of business is not so great. We have been building websites now for over 14 years.
What are their reviews like?
So this one is maybe one you would be better researching yourself than asking them directly. A quick Google for 'Reviews about...' or 'Complaints about...' can save a lot of pain in the future. For our reviews take a look at our testimonials page and Trustpilot reviews