how to choose a web designer
For any type of business, choosing a web designer could mean the difference between getting sold a free template from Wordpress at top dollar (because you didn't know any better), or getting a custom built website designed by a professional web design company to suit your exact needs.
Far too many (using the term lightly) web designers these days are using free templates from Wordpress and selling them on as their own work. Allot of the time, these templates look pretty good but when it comes to the end user updating and maintaining the web site, its a totally different ball game. Plus the templates are very rarely optimised for search engines so they might look decent enough but if no one can find your website then you have a site that only you and your staff or friends can actually see!
I have taken on so many clients who have had a Wordpress website designed that they could never control. When you have me or any of my staff design your website, the site will be based on our own custom original designs and be built around your exact needs and abilities.
So this article is about how to choose a web designer, so lets get some points out the way.
- is the web designer using a free template for your design?
- does the designer use his own system?
- is the system you will have in place easy to use?
- what technical support will you get with your package?
- is your site hosted on a secure dedicated server?
is the web designer using a free template for your design
I think I have already covered the first point here, but to ask the question again, will the site be a free template that the designer has found online then sold on to you for top dollar? Well its pretty simple to find this out. On your browser you can see the source code of the site you are looking at. All you have to do it press CTRL + U and this will show you the source code for the page you are looking at. A Wordpress template is very simple to identify - have a look at this image.
You can see in the line I am pointing to here, it says wp-content which is telling the browser to reference this folder which is part of the wordpress system.
The theme I have shown here is a great looking theme but its 100% free and I can bet that if you were to have this site installed from a web designer that you would have to pay hundreds even thousands of pounds for this.
does the designer use his own system and is the system you will have in place easy to use
As you will know by now, we use BluCMS, which I personally built from the ground up to accommodate each clients exact needs.
I built the system to be simple for the end user (you the client) to update and maintain their own website without any real knowledge of how the internet or a website works and functions. I have taken the core BluCMS system and changed its functionality to suit each users ability and needs. As an example I recently built a website suit a client who had a wordpress website that kept breaking down when the site tried to update its self. She was pretty much afraid to do anything at all with the site as it constantly broke down whenever she added images to her gallery and products to the E-Commerce section of the site. Not only was the E-Commerce system pointlessly complicated, it also never actually suited the type of sales she wanted to provide. Also when the site was used on her tablet, she was restricted as to what the site would do as it was not touch responsive in any way. I designed a bespoke BluCMS to be full compatible with her tablet and of course designed it around her very limited abilities. She now has a site that suits her exact usage style and is never out-with her abilities as an end user.
So when you are considering how to choose a web designer, keeping in mind how you are going to use your site is a very important factor. If you cant maintain your site and dont have the ability to update it in an intuitive and simple way, your site will get less updates by you as you will be afraid to go near it.
what technical support will you get with your package?
A major factor when choosing any web design company is to consider what level of technical support do they provide to current clients. Remember that at the end of the day, you are paying for a service that will change your business so do not be afraid to contact your website designers current clients and ask them what they think of the service.
When I am attending the first consultation with any client, especially clients who currently have a website and are looking to have an upgrade or redesign done, I tell them that they are free to contact any of my current clients and ask them what they think of my company and my systems. I do this in the first consultation because I am so confident that my clients are more than happy with my services and systems. I provide technical support on the same level for all clients with no favouritism. My clients know they can contact me 7 days a week for any type of technical support and if i can not help them over the phone, I will go to their office that day and assist with any problems they have. Its that simple.
is your site hosted on a secure dedicated server?
Another major factor when choosing any web design company is to ask what type of web hosting they provide with the website. Allot of website design companies will use what is known as VPS or Shared hosting. Our hosting is on dedicated high spec servers based right here in the UK. Have a look at the web hosting page for more details.
So when it comes to choosing a web design company to build your next website, feel free to give us a call on 01382 252 896 to see what we can provide for your business. We will build a bespoke system designed for your needs that you can actually use.