5 questions to ask your web design company before signing a contract
If you search for a web design company on the internet, you find thousands. Even hundreds of thousands! Many are excellent, many not so much. Some will be able to provide you with the exact website you want and need. However, many will not be able to offer you all the services you require. And of these many, many will not communicate this to you until they hand over your “completed” website.
Deciding on a web design company can thus be a rather difficult task at times. You want to avoid signing a contract with a website designer and then realizing after a few days, weeks or even months that you have been taken for a ride.
You also want to make sure that your web design company meets your expectations.
To make sure that you and your website designer are on the same page, here are five questions you should ask before designing a website:
Will my website be responsive?
Will my website be SEO approved?
How much will a website cost?
Will you maintain my website?
How long does it take to design a website?
Will my website designed by the web design company be responsive?
A responsive website is one that works equally well on a desktop computer and on a cell phone. Even though the design on a cell phone might look slightly different (to suit the screen dimensions), the website has the same functionality on your phone as on your desktop.
You can shop via the mobile website, read all the text and view the images comfortably.
If a website is not responsive, it may look wonderful on a desktop screen, but be an absolute disaster on a mobile device. The images may be missing or skewed across the screen, text may be illegible and the design aesthetic of the website is lost completely.
Do I need a responsive website?
Since so many people access the internet mainly via their cell phones these days, you definitely want to have a website that is responsive.
Swerve Designs is a responsive web design company, which means that all our websites are fully responsive.
Will the web design company design a website that is SEO approved?
If you aren’t sure what SEO is, let’s start at the beginning.
Suppose that you are on the hunt for a stationery store in Hatfield, Pretoria. You type the search terms “Stationery shop Pretoria” into your Google search bar, and a list of results appears. You write down the names and addresses of the first three stores that pop up in your search results and decide to visit them one by one.
On your way to the first store, you walk straight past a stationery shop. You peek inside, and it actually looks like a really nice store! You check the name of the store (let’s call it ABC Stationery) and look at the list you wrote down. The name of the store is not on your list.
Later, you type the name “ABC Stationery” into your Google search bar. The store’s website shows up first.
Why does this happen? Why do some websites simply not appear in your Google search results if you don’t use a very specific search term?
The answer is SEO! SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Basically, a website can be designed in such a way that a search engine like Google ranks it more highly for a specific search term.
Search engines like Google do this to ensure that their users get the answers they are looking for when searching for something on the internet.
The process of optimizing a website for search engines includes many different aspects, including:
You need to do keyword research to find out which keywords people search for the most and include these keywords in your written content.
In the above example of the stationery store, the websites of the stores which showed up in your first Google search would have ranked for keywords such as “Stationery Store Pretoria.” The website of the ABC Stationery store would not have ranked for these keywords, which is one of the reasons why it didn’t appear in the first three search results.
Your images need to be clear and the descriptions for the images (part of the image coding) need to be specific.
The website needs to be fast.
The website needs to be secure.
Will my website show up high in Google?
At Swerve Designs, we take care to follow basic SEO principles during the website design processes. Even our basic design packages include basic SEO service.
The better the content on the website is, the better the SEO ranking will be. We can assist you in writing your content to suit search engines. However, we can also write your content for you. This copywriting process includes keyword research and deciding which keywords your website should rank for.
You should be aware that it may take a few weeks or even months for your website to rank in Google. The better your SEO is, the fast this process will occur.
We also offer professional SEO Services above and beyond the basics. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider these additional SEO packages, which can be targeted at a South African or an international market.
How much will a website from the web design company cost?
It is very important to understand exactly how much you will be paying for your website.
Make sure that your web design company explains the cost breakdown to you carefully. You want to avoid nasty surprises where you are suddenly billed for a service that you were not aware of.
Some website design companies’ packages depend on how many pages your website has. Make sure that you understand the package breakdown.
Read this article here about what services an affordable website design package should include.
Also find out if you will be required to pay a deposit, and when your final payment is due.
At Swerve Designs, a 50% deposit is required to begin the website design process. The final payment is due on the completion of the website design and the acceptance of the final design by the customer.
Once a website design has been completed, many customers assume that this website remains functional indefinitely. However, although the basic design of the website will remain functional, there are a number of aspects that need to be updated and checked regularly.
For example, plugins need to be updated and security measures need to be improved continuously. If you have an online store, products and stock also need to be updated.
At Swerve Designs, we maintain your website at a monthly fee. This maintenance includes the abovementioned tasks, as well as numerous others. Our maintenance service also includes customer support should you experience any out-of-the-ordinary problems with your website.
How long does it take the web design company to design a website?
You want to avoid a situation where you pay a web design company to design your website and you are still sitting without one six months down the line.
Make sure that you find out exactly how long it will take your website design company to complete your website. This depends on the size of the website, but also the workload of the company.
However, it can also depend on how quickly you provide the website designer with the relevant information for your site. For example, if you are writing your own content, the designer cannot complete the website until you have provided him/her with all the written text.
If you require a website urgently, be very clear about your expectations. Good communication between the website designer and the client is vital to ensure a smooth website design process.
In conclusion, when you are communicating with a website design company if you require a new website, make sure that you make your expectations very clear.
Remember to ask if your website will be responsive (if not, find a different company!). Check if your website will be SEO approved. Also, make sure that you understand the costing of your website design (and any monthly fees that may follow for maintenance) and how long it will take to design your website.
We aim to inform and educate our readers with the latest web design technology trends, topics and discussions. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think. We are a web design and digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas. Learn about SEO and web design.
Swerve Designs is a Johannesburg Web Design, SEO, Digital Marketing, Graphic Design and Videography business that specializes in providing its customers with professional, modern designs at affordable rates. We also strive to let customers' businesses succeed by ensuring that their websites stand out among competitors including ranking #1 on Google.