Nowadays all businesses need to have a website of some kind. Whether that is a comprehensive online store or a simple splash page with company information and a way to contact them. But what frustrates the shit out of us is how website design companies prey on unknowing business owners selling them inferior website developments for way too much money.
The process usually goes like this. A local business contacts a website design company and says “how much does it cost to get a website made for us?” And then the design company provides a quote without any context on how they came up with the quote or what’s involved. As the local business is not hip to what’s involved with developing a website correctly, they get confused with all the technical jargon and buy into the geek speak instead of really understanding what they are getting for their money.
To answer the question ‘how much does it cost to build a website’ you must have the same mindset of ‘how much does it cost to build a house.’ Obviously there are tons of variables depending on what the local business needs for their website. It is the responsibility of website design companies to explain things in a way that makes sense. Using language that anyone can understand.
If you have ever been taken advantage of or misled when getting a website designed you know how frustrating it can become. If this has happened to you we want you to contact us to tell us your story below at the bottom of the article.
Now, getting back to things to keep in mind when getting a website designed for yourself. You will want to have the designer create a treegraph for you to show you how customers interact with your website and how the layout and sections will drive them to purchasing or contacting behaviours. If the designer you are working with does not understand this, they do not know what they are doing and you should find another designer to work with.
Basic Steps to Getting a Website Designed Correctly
- Meet with the design company on the phone or video conference and explain your business to them, they should write down the key points and create a flow of content and calls to actions that will best serve your needs, after which they can give you a written quotation before the next steps
- After the phone call the design company should send you a rough treegraph of what they feel the website will look like, from which you can create text and visual content to fill in the appropriate places and frame the user experience, at this stage you approve the website design costs
- While framing the website layout you will come up with ideas for unique semantic rich text content to best build trust with your customers while getting them to do purchasing or contacting actions, this part helps with local seo in Google and Bing
- Now once all of this theory is finished and you have your logo and branding ready in hand (not necessarily created by the website design company), you will want to pay the web designer a 30% deposit on the work that they will be doing for you, make sure to get this all in writing in advance before payment
- The website designer will then create a rough website for you, and include you on the decision making processes, do not pay any more money until you see a rough finished website that you can interact with on a test server environment
- Once you are happy with this pay another 30% of the total and hold onto the 40% last payment until the very end when you are happy with the end results, never pay for a website design in full up front from the onset, that’s a sure fire way to get ripped off
- Your website should work on mobile and desktop devices and be usable in all browsers and viewing environments, that is a necessity nowadays and any good website design company will be able to handle that for you, plus you should be able to update content such as blog posts easily yourself after the designer gives you the final website, any good content management system will allow this
- You want to make sure your website loads in under 2 seconds, everything is easy to understand and interact with, and your business contact information is available on every page of the website, that way no matter how people are reading they can contact you easily
Of course there is much more to doing a website then the bullet points above, but those are the key things to keep in mind for a local business such as a mechanic, plumber or restaurant. Always ask for referrals from previous design work that the company may have completed and never pay more then 30% up front to get to see a live working website on a test server.
It grinds our gears how much the website design industry takes advantage of local business owners who do not know better. As a business owner here in North Vancouver if you feel something isn’t right or it’s not being explained to you in a way that you can understand, always listen to your heart and demand a detailed explanation before money leaves your hands.
Lastly, you are in control of your website, hosting, domain and brand. Make sure the domain and website hosting is setup in your name so in the future you can use any website designer to make changes to your website. The designer does not need to own those assets or control them. If the design company you are working with wants monthly payments or if they want to register the hosting or domains in their name, they are full of shit and do not use them.
If you need help with getting a website design setup for your business here in North Vancouver use the contact page to chat with us and we can set you up with someone who has tons of referrals and will not mess around with your time or money.