Choosing a website design company – Part 2

Yesterday we looked at what you should expect from a web designer in the way that they work with you.

Today we’ll look at what you can expect for your money.  It’s like most other things in life, generally you’ll get what you pay for.  If you’re lucky you’ll find a talented young guy or girl trying to break into the market who will charge a small amount to try and build up their portfolio and deliver a really good product.  More likely, however, is that you will end up getting a website designed by someone who has a bunch of templates that they’ll tailor to your company.  This might be fine for what you need but don’t be surprised if one day you end up on someone else’s website that looks very similar to yours!

Templates are all well and good but they don’t usually look very inspiring and that uninspiring feel from your website can reflect on your company.  If you’re a cool brand trying to attract fashion conscious youths but have a website that looks like it came from some cold corporate company then you’re wasting your time and ultimately damaging your business.  Remember, your website should reflect your company so you will want to spend a bit of time getting it right. It’s your shop – if you’ve spent a lot of money getting the feel of your shop just right then you should do the same with your website otherwise you’re damaging your image.

If you don’t really have a brand – perhaps you’re an odd job man and just want to put your contact details online – then a template is fine so don’t spend hundreds of pounds on a website unless you have some good ideas that you want to put online.

It’s all about assessing what you want from your website – whether it’s to build your brand, create another revenue stream or just put your contact details online.  Once you’ve worked out how important your website is and what effect it can have on your business (remember to look at the positive and negative view – can a bad website damage your business?) then you should have an idea of how much money you should invest in it.  Then you can start to look at web designers but remember what I said yesterday – they should work with you and use their expertise to establish what you’re looking for and ultimately be able to realise your aspirations for the website, not just run off and design what you’ve asked them to!

Gregor Spowart is a partner in Mass Media Design, a website design and web development company based in Reading (Berkshire), Swindon (Wiltshire) and Cardiff.  Gregor is an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) specialist.