Website Design 101 – Finding The Right Web Development Partner
November 22, 2016
So last week we took a look at storyboarding, which is a step that many miss out in the web development process but is vital if you want the site you are designing to have a cohesive flow as early as possible.
Assuming you now have your storyboard in place, it’s time to acquire the services of a professional website developer. The choices are vast in the current marketplace and the decision you make will be dependent on a number of factors, so here we will offer just a little bit of advice.
Decide On Your Budget
Have a set idea for what you are willing to spend on the website. The best way to figure this out is to get quotes from a few developers so you can see what you can expect to pay, before working out what you are actually prepared to pay based of these quotes. Many website designers will be able to provide quotes based on some standard information, such as amount of pages the site should have, but be aware that they may change depending on the features added later on.
Consider Going Local
You will be speaking with your website designers throughout the process, so ideally you will have a local point of contact available. This allows for meetings to be arranged as needed in addition to giving you a central person who essentially manages the project. Working with a company at the other end of the UK can be done, but stay aware this will lead to some logistical issues.
Set Up Meetings
It is not advised to start working with a website designer before you have had a meeting. This will give you the chance to meet the people behind the computer screens, so you can get a better idea of their personalities and what they bring to the table. Furthermore, this will allow you to see what their working processes are like so you can confirm they match your own.
The Key Questions
We’re sure you will have a number of questions specific to your project that need to be answered, but there are also a few general queries that you need to raise in your initial meetings:
- How we will decide on the final design? Do I get drafts and tweaks included in the budget?
- Will the website have a Content Management System?
- How do you incorporate the basics of Search Engine Optimisation into your designs?
- Do you do market and competitor research prior to starting the design process?
- What usability testing do you do?
- Do you test the website across different browsers?
- How can your design help my business?
That last one is important, as there is little point getting a website designed, or having your existing design overhauled, if there are no tangible benefits. Answering this allows you to set goals for the website design, such as increasing traffic by 10% or reducing bounce rate by 20%. It needs to be realistic and achievable, while still offering something of value to your business.
Join us next week on Website Design 101 as we will look at the communication process.