So you need a new website. Now what?
A good, informative website is an essential form of marketing for any business, but how do you go about sourcing a suitable web designer? Unfortunately, there are some rogue web designers out there who charge next to nothing but provide a less than satisfactory service. But luckily, we have some top tips on how to avoid getting caught out and being stuck with a website you’re unhappy with!
1. Check their Portfolio
You might be lucky enough to be recommended a good web designer, someone that a colleague, friend, or family member have used and been delighted with. But it’s still worth checking their style and the type of site they specialise in to make sure it’s suitable for your industry or business model. For example, here at Online Designs, we specialise in front end, client facing websites for small businesses and not complicated eCommerce. If you're looking for something clean, modern and affordable, we're perfect - but maybe another larger design company would be the right choice if you need a huge online shop.
If you’ve found a web designer via a search engine, you really need to do some research to check their credentials! First, check their portfolio. Do you like their style? Are they what you’re looking for? Do they specialise in providing the kind of website you’re after? We showcase our work on our own website to illustrate what we do. We have designed websites for various industries, including kitchen design, playgroups & nurseries, construction, accounting, catering, wedding photography and many more. But they all have one thing in common - all the designs are simple, uncluttered and built to last.
2. Check what's included
Look out! Lots of people get caught paying for extras that should be included.
When the website has been designed, will it be optimised for search engines and will it be optimised for mobile, desktop and tablet? Will the designer issue an SSL certificate to instil confidence in your customers that your website is completely secure and safe to browse?
What happens if you receive a beautifully designed website, but find that the customer management software isn’t GDPR compliant? (which could land you in a whole heap of trouble!)
We include all these features in our standard website design package, plus we give you 1-year free domain registration to get your website live (and it will always be registered in your name so you're the legal registrant). And no matter what your budget and chosen package, rest assured that we always start from a completely blank template. Your website will be completely unique and will stand out to your customers!
Here are a list of extras we've seen other companies charging for, and the average price:
Mobile site Average = £100, Us = FREE
SEO Average = £200, Us = FREE
Not from template Average = £1000+, Us = STANDARD
3. Check their reviews
It’s so easy to find reviews online these days, whether they be recommendations on a Facebook page or a review on Google. Do your homework and check to see what other people have said about them. Have they worked with anyone you know that can personally recommend them? Our lovely customers have been kind enough to leave reviews such as these on our Facebook and Google pages. We're also proud to be on theBestOf St Neots, where we have over 230 great combined reviews!
4. What other services do they offer?
Running a business is one thing. Asking a web designer to sort you a website is another. But coming up with the content for your website is time consuming, and can be challenging if you're not a writer, so it’s worth checking to see if they offer copywriting as one of their additional services. We offer copywriting as an optional add-on to save you time and make sure your website sells your services in the best possible way. We work with Alistair Ryder, a freelance journalist and copywriter, who knows how to tailor your brand to help find an audience.
Does the website designer you’ve found offer logo design or a branding pack? Without proper branding, there's nothing to tie your business together across your digital presence, print, signage, and marketing. This is one of the first things we ask when we begin a new website project. We can still create a website without, but we always stress it's an important first stage.
Are you looking for someone to manage your AdWords campaigns? Check that they can help with this too. We can refer you to our AdWords partner who are local to St Neots and are perfect for working with local businesses. They can provide solutions for any business regardless of size, location, or market.
5. Is this their full time job?
Why use someone who’s doing it on the side when you can use specialists like us!? We’re always developing and using our time to learn the industry, it’s our job after all!
We have helped hundreds of clients with their new websites and get nearly all our work from recommendations. If you choose us to design your website, you can be sure you have selected a web designer who hates hidden costs, who has a varied portfolio, who can boast glowing reviews and offer additional services to help you get the most out of your website!
We are an approachable, flexible duo who love seeing people's ideas come to life in our local community! We have a huge passion for supporting new businesses and watching them grow, as well as reviving and modernising established businesses. We have packages to suit all sizes and requirements, and every single one of our websites is created completely from scratch so you know you'll have something completely unique to you and your business! Get in touch today!