Starting a new business involves a lot of time and effort. From planning, right through to budgeting and marketing. One key step is to create a professional website which will provide another avenue to attract customers, and this is not just for online businesses. Bricks and mortar businesses also require a web presence. Choosing a web designer who understands or is prepared to learn about your business is very important. Without understanding what your business is about they will not be able to undertake key activities in building your website. So here are 5 top tips to ensure that you choose the right website designer:
1. Make sure that the person you hire is approachable and open to your ideas about how the website should look. It can be very easy to churn out the same type of website, particularly using a content management system. So take a look at their portfolio and look to see a wide variation in styles. Of course, there are standard pages and structure which should be present, but out with these, there is room for creativity.
2. Find out how much they know about search engine optimisation (SEO), and how they will structure the website accordingly. Many people can build a website, but it is important to incorporate the key principles of SEO.
3. Talk to your web designer about keywords. Make sure that they will do the research required and will give you guidance on using them in the copy.
4. Find out whether they will be training you on using the content management system once the design is finished. One key principle of SEO is to keep website content fresh. Therefore, being able to update it easily yourself is very important.
5. Finally, ensure that you discuss costs upfront. Extra functionality which you thought was standard may be extra and costs escalate. So you want to find someone who is honest and clear about what is included. Find out how much previous clients were charged for a similar type of website.
Website design for small local business does not need to cost the earth. Many businesses which want a website presence can do well on a 3-4 page website as long as it is fully optimised for search engines. The key point is to be in control of what is ultimately a window into your business and that starts with who you choose the design your website.