Shopping around for a website design quote is not an easy task. Web design rates vary so much it’s really hard to tell who is being fair and who is trying to rip you off. However, there are some factors you can consider to make your decision easier. One main factor for most small businesses is price, but price should not be your number one deciding factor, because if you factor in your return on investment compared to other forms of advertising, web design, combined with an effective online marketing strategy, usually gives the best ROI.
Points to Consider When Hiring a Web Designer
Sometimes it’s tempting to just hire the first firm that calls you, however it’s usually a good idea to get several quotes first and then choose the best one. Following are the main factors to consider before hiring any design firm.
Prepare Your Project Details
Depending on how complex your web design project is, it might take very little or a lot of planning. In either case it’s best to be over prepared than under prepared. The main reason to prepare is so that the design firm knows exactly what you want and therefore, can provide a more accurate and details quote. For example; if you require an online store you will want to include the type of products you are selling, what sites you like, is it wholesale, retail or downloadable goods? The more details you give them the more accurate the quote will be. The quote should be lower, because there is far less guesswork involved in the quote.
Check to make sure the company has been in business for at least a few years and make sure they have a portfolio and testimonials from past clients. Also try to make sure the portfolio is really theirs and that the projects in it are real. Sometimes a firm may have a lot of designs in their portfolio, but with closer scrutiny you will notice that they are simply templates or even worse; someone else’s work. An easy way to find out is to simply click on the links in their portfolio, go to the website and give them a call to ask them if this company actually built their site and while you are on the phone, ask them if they had a good experience with them. Or you can sometimes look in the footer of the website and see if there is a link to the designer’s site. Also, be sure to review the site of the design firm itself, if their site is not finished or does not look good, then the one they design for you probably won’t either.
Website Packages or Custom Quotes?
Some companies give you a custom quote based on your project requirements, others have package offers and some have a combination of the two. Ask the design firm if they have a package offer first, because this is usually less expensive and you may find that it fits your needs perfectly, or at least it might be close to the website you want and you can possibly modify the package slightly to fit your needs.
What Extras are Include?
Every website will also require other services, such as online marketing, social media marketing, domain name registration, SSL certificates, hosting and possibly others such as logo design, link building and so on. So when you get your quote for the website make sure you ask them what they can include with the site to sweeten the deal. You will be surprised what you get for free. For example we offer a free logo, hosting and other things with some of our package offers, so always ask if they give any freebies.
What Customer Support do they Offer?
This is probably the most important question to ask, you need to make sure they are going to help you during and after the project is complete. Some firms will build your website but then you are on your own, others will offer a time period of free support to fix bugs. Also make sure they have a support system on their site and what methods of contact they allow for support. Usually the best form of support is a ticket system, so ask them how long you get support for and what type of system they use.
Do they provide all the services you will need?
There is nothing worse than hiring a design firm only to find out that they don’t offer website maintenance, hosting or online marketing. It’s always best to hire a firm that can do all of these things. Having your site maintained by the designer that built it is very important because they built your website, they will have a better idea of your target goals and how to correctly optimize your site. It’s also more convenient to only have to call one firm instead of several.
Do you like them?
You may think liking your design firm or freelancer isn’t important; however it’s probably the most important consideration when hiring a web designer or any freelancer. This is a firm or freelancer that you could be working with for many years and will have to rely on for a large chunk of your revenue. They should be friendly enough to take your support requests and organized enough to keep your site in order.
In the end it’s a gut feeling that wins here, but you need to also be sure that the person that sold you the site is also the person you can call when something goes wrong. With larger firms this can be a major problem, for example; sometimes a friendly sales rep will give you a quote, sell you the moon and then they are gone. You call for support a week later and a support rep who knows nothing about your project picks up the phone. I think you can see how this would be a major problem.
Thank you for reading my article, I hope this helps you find the right designer for your website.
If you need a quote for a project you have, please contact us today. If you would like to give it a try simply fill in this Request Web Design Quote form and you will get our quote within a few hours.