“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery. ”
What does the over quotation convey? To have a portal, you have to commit mistakes. Isn’t that funny? No, not at all. It may be a motivating sentence, but in business it can turn out to be doomsday for small start-ups along with little investments. This article has been done especially for small start-ups who want to ensure it is in their respective fields and are going to launch their website or looking for a facelift or adding new functionalities to there existing site or normally are not sure about their design needs.
Choosing a Web Design Company
With a multitude of web designers and developers out there, from freelancers, to agencies, to online templates, how do you know what the right fit is for your company, and more importantly, for the goals and objectives? Choosing a website design company is not that a serious job. But choosing a good web design company is a real serious challenge. People say that Web has made business processes simple and global, but how about the complexities that Internet offers which are unique. Simply Search for the term “Good Web Design Firm” on Google, and it comes up with millions of results. For normal human being it’s impossible to search through every result. We will go through the whole process of selecting a Web Design and Development company in the structured way.
STEP 1 – Planning
The first step involves defining your needs. While searching for the right web designer, it is important to possess a clear idea what role your brand-new Web site or a redesigned one may fill. Will it provide information for your customers? Will it serve the needs of the employees? Or will it include an internet shopping section so that you can sell your own products to visitors? Most Web designers will need to know the following:
o The role of your new Web site.
u The intended market or target audience of your Web site.
o Your budget.
Take the time to consider what you expect from your Website and the type of information you want to connect to your potential clients before you approach your designer. This will save you and the developer a considerable amount of time and effort.
STEP 2 – Searching and Creating a Primary list
Looking is a vigorous process and does not require any special skill other than persistance to effectively come up with good results that will fulfill your requirements. Just scan by means of directories, check Google listings upon specific key word searches and ask to get referrals from your friends or business partners. It does not have to be a very comprehensive research work.
Referral: Ask business acquaintances, friends, and family which web design firm designed the website for respective organizations, or if they may otherwise recommend a web design company.
Web sites: Determine the web design firm that is responsible for the websites of organizations that you admire. These organizations may be your competitors, or in related or unrelated industries. Sometimes the web design firm is included in the site credit, or is listed elsewhere on the website. If you cannot find the credits on the site alone, feel free to contact the organization and ask which usually web design firm is responsible for the website. This can also be a good source for referrals for that web design firm.
STEP 3 : Evaluating and Short listing
After you have gathered a list of potential web design firms you are ready to pare them right down to a shortlist. This requires a bit of analysis work.
o Portfolio – It can about the three C’s – Reliability, Consistency and Capability. How constant they are? What are the parameters on which the business is capable enough to fulfill your requirement? Are there any testimonials that speak about their credibility? Do the projects in the portfolio have a consistent quality? Have got they consistently given good results within the given time frame? Has the Web design organization provided solutions to other companies in your market? Have they dealt with similar challenges to those faced by your organization? They are some important factors to consider. When you might have narrowed your search to a few design resources (through recommendations, web directories, or your competitors’ sites), evaluate their online portfolios and their price structure. A web site doesn’t have to be fancy or animated to do its job. Browse sites they have built, verify ease of navigation, organization of information, general cleanliness and visitor-friendliness. Also, consider hiring a firm that demonstrates several familiarity with your type of business. Go through the success stories/case studies that have been made available on their web site and corroborate the credentials through references if at all possible.
o Experience and Fees – This is called the EF of web site design firm. Experience and fees are extremely much inter-related. The general norm will be the more experienced you are, the more you are paid. This interesting story can tell you what experience is all about.
Once upon a time there is a steam generating plant which was not producing much steam. After a frustrating search for the cause, the plant supervisor, in desperation, called in an specialist. After only two hours on site, the expert found the problem and placed “X’s” on 2 pipes that were causing the problem, saying they had to be removed. When given the bill, the plant manager requested the consultant how he could charge $5, 000. 00 for just two hours of work. Whenever he asked for an itemized costs, this is what he got:
1 . $400. 00 – Placing “X’s” on two pipes.
2 . $4, six hundred. 00 – Knowing where to put the “X’s”.
The plant manager got what he paid for and probably a lot more. He had already used up more than that amount on his own staff not to mention losing in revenue while the plant had been shut down. For him, securing the advisory services of a consultant was the right thing to do.
It matters a great deal if the company has a good encounter in diverse business domains and has professionals and specialists from variegated backgrounds. As such they will have an understanding of different business verticals that may be an advantageous point for your website. Another important element is budget. What you pay is exactly what you get – WYPIWYG. Never give up with the quality of your website only for saving few quick bucks. In the long run you will end up on a losing side. Have you ever imagined why American diamonds cost less and than real diamonds when at times it’s difficult to differentiate between your two? It’s obvious – the brilliance and hardness of gemstone. This makes another interesting stage, you can get a cosmetic surgery done for your website for the lesser cost, but it will absence the functionalities and effectiveness. It could draw visitors but can not convert them into business. So when you pay for something, you definitely get a good offer in return.
o Technology – What exactly is their technological competence? Does this match with your requirement? How many projects they have worked on using the same? How frequently their technology is upgraded- both in terms of software and hardware?
o Deadlines – Has the corporation carried out the projects in stipulated time? Time is one of the most important elements as the longer it takes, the higher the input costs get. Some businesses may offer you a shorter time period and might be ready with the design. But there after starts the long and torrid journey of finding and fixing insects which may turn your visitors off.
o Responsiveness – How promptly the business responds to your queries? Does it pay attention to your queries? Are they responsive to the suggestions and questions? Do they explain issues in ways you can realize? Do they share your general eyesight for the site? Are they interested in Revenue for the web site? Do they possess the skills necessary to achieve your objectives?
o Communication Process – Bad communication is one of the major bottlenecks to get business processes. Ensure that the company with which you are working is comfortable with a foreign language. Generally, English (US/UK) is taken as the preferred language to communicate with each other. What are the tools and technologies they use for communicating? How will they keep you updated with the developments with regards your project? These are some of the important factors that should be kept in mind while deciding about the conversation process while choosing a Web Design partner.
o Services – What are the other services that company can offer besides designing? What kind of value-added products or services can the design firm offer?
All these factors will help you to narrow down to the list associated with companies that may offer you viable options and help your cause. The next thing involves inviting proposals from the brief listed parties. Just check through as many cross references that you discover justifiable or will satisfy your curiosity. The more time you will invest in this phase, the sweeter will be the returns afterwards.
STEP 4- Plans
Once you have selected your short-list associated with top web development firms, request that they send you a proposal. Ask that their proposal include an understanding of your requirements and their proposed solution. This will help to determine which web site design firm understands your requirements best. Also ask that each web design firm incorporate a description of their development process along with a price breakdown for the various facets of the website project.
STEP 5 – Evaluating Proposals
Evaluate each suggestion individually on the basis of merit. Take the following points into consideration:
a) Wellness from the proposal.
b) Respective strength plus weaknesses of the companies.
c) Assess the presentation and format style.
PHASE 6 – Selecting the Company
After your organization has reviewed all proposals, compare them with each other. How do these people fare in terms of presentation? How do their processes appear in terms of task management? Do they present scalability and/or upgrade paths for your project, which go beyond the needs of the immediate goals outlined?
After going through all of the above process, you should be able to zero within on to a particular company. If the question persists, establish communication process between likely companies to understand their process and commitments.