98% of Amateur Web Designers fail in publishing a website domain
Earlier this month I received an email from someone who needed a website, hardy surprising really is it as that is what I do. They were speaking to a number of developers and had already been quoted a fixed price of £250, without the “developer” in question having actually taking the time to see the customer wish list or really discuss the options. The potential customer had seen some of my previous work and they wondered if I could match that quote. I directed them to my Flexible Website development costs page which detailed what I included in my three different websites bundles. Oh and I can tell you now none of them come in at £250. Although they could come close if you qualify for NBSL funding.
When I see a price like this being quoted I surmise that the offer was by TCMFK (This Chap My Friend Knows) or a SFK (Spotty Faced Kid). A professional web design company wouldn’t be around long if they offered prices like this. Its is doable of course. A set package of Home, About, Contact Us in a fixed format with only the logo and company name to change. But that’s hardly development is it?
We are creatures of belief. We want to think the £2,000 cash back from a car dealer is a deal. We want to believe our children are telling the truth when the evidence is to the contrary. And we want to believe that a £250 web site is going to allow us to build a business.
Marketing your company with a £250 site is a gamble. Your website will reach more potential customers than business cards or flyers (if your developer gets the SEO right) so are you willing to gamble your company’s success on a ‘cheap as chips’ website? Building a high quality web site takes time and expertise by someone who has built dozens or even hundreds of sites.
So to help you avoid that pitfall here are three questions you should ask yourself when choosing a web design company:
Do They Have Success Stories?
The only way you can forecast the weather is to look at prevailing patterns and historical data. Choosing a web design firm is no different. They should have plenty of sites for you to look at so you can see a pattern of historical success, as well as the quality of their work.
Do They Specialize in Web Site Design?
Just because someone is good with computers, like re-installing a printer driver or bringing your laptop back to life, it doesn’t mean they can create a web site that is attractive and generates business. You need someone who is focused on web design.
Are They Concerned About Your Long-Term Success?
A responsible web design company will think beyond just the site design. They will create a site that is also search engine friendly and converts visitors to leads or sales. A company called recently that wanted search engine optimization for their site. The site was created entirely in Flash, which means that the search engines can’t read any of the text in their site. The web designer failed to create pages that the search engines could actually read.
The same questions can be asked of companies who offer search engine marketing. It needs to be a primary service of the company you choose.
Hiring an amateur or inexperienced web designer can hurt you in the short run and the long run. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and the majority of potential customers will find you via the internet. I see people start small business who spent tons of time and money on brochures or embroidered shirts when they should concentrate on a good web site. Having a great web site says even more about you than the great business card. It will be a foundation for your business for years to come. And that can’t be found by having your site designed by an amateur.