About This Post : Website Designers for Small Business
So you are looking for website designers for your Small Business.
You search Google, and go for the first on the list.
They are a big name, first on Google, and so design the best websites right?
This is not always the case.
Below is a step by step guide on how you SHOULD go about choosing your website designer…
Gary Evans | Quillations Affordable Website Design
Email | [email protected]
How To Choose A Website Designer for your Small Business
So you run a small business, and are in need of a website.
You could have gone for a “create your own website for free” package, but have gone for the sensible option.
You want a website designer to take care of it for you.
Of course you do! Time is money, and you want to spend your time working on your business – not designing a website!
So you have searched for a website designer to do the work for you.
And low and behold, you have a list of some big names on the front page of Google.
They appear on the first page, so they are the best.
You click on the first link, are taken to a website designer, and you request a quote.
Perhaps you may compare the top 3 website designers for small business and get 3 quotes.
This is when you choose who has the best quotation.
But this is where many people go wrong.
Yes, price is important when you are a small business.
And yes, you want to go for those website designers who show up on the first page.
But this shouldn’t be what you base who you choose on.
Below is a step by step guide on how to choose a Website Designer for your Small Business.
Step 1: Recommendations on a Small Business Website Designer
Before you run a search for website designers for small business, you should always ask for recommendations.
- Go on to Facebook and use their nifty little “looking for recommendation” tool. Someone will always be willing to send you links to Facebook Pages of designers.
- Go on to Twitter and Tweet the message “can anyone recommend a website designer”.
You will always get replies from companies who can help you out.
- Ask friends or family.
Word of mouth is powerful in business, and even if they havn’t used a website designer before, they may well know someone who has.
Now you have a list of potential companies to choose from.
Step 2: Look at their Social Media Accounts
The next stage is to check out their Social Media activity.
By doing this, you will see who is more pro-active in Social Media, and if they have any special offers etc.
It will help you see how they interact with their customers, and also show their reviews.
Social Media is huge these days, and people always seem to be honest when it comes to their online reviews.
But don’t be put off if their following is not large, or they have no reviews.
Website designers like myself tend to be independents.
We are small fish, fighting against the larger companies.
But it doesn’t mean we are not as good – if not better – than them.
Step 3: Gather their Portfolio
Some of the website designers for small business will have their Portfolios on their websites.
Some may be on request only.
But out of the list of potential website designers you have, any who will not be willing to let you see some examples should be taken off of your list.
Once you have gathered their Portfolios, try and find one website they have designed which is similar to the one you wish to have.
The idea of this, is so you can see a rough “like for like” comparison.
If they have already built a website like the one you want, then you know they can build it!
But don’t worry if they havn’t.
Just choose a website you like the look of instead.
You will need it for the next stage.
Step 4: Run Background Website Checks
You now have a list of designers, and a list of websites which look good.
The next step is to see if these websites are fully optimised.
These things are the most important for any website, and are the basics in which a website designer should be implementing.
Speed is a must for any website, although this may not be down to the website designer.
A lot of the time, it could be due to the website host which their customers use.
There are 3 main things to help check a websites health:
- Website Speed
- SEO Optimisation
- Background coding (meta descriptions, cache etc.)
Check out my article on the best way to check a websites health.
It will give you a break down on the best techniques and websites to use.
Step 5: Request A Quotation
By now, you should have a breakdown of website designers who are the best.
Using this list of website designers, it is now that you should check on the cost.
Drop your designers an email, or fill in their online contact form.
Once you have sent of your requests, you should wait until you have received them all back.
Just remember to make sure you know what they are offering for your money.
- One may offer Hosting and a Free Domain Name
- Another may offer Hosting but no Domain Name
- And one may offer neither
If you receive a quotation really quickly, it should raise a few alarms to you.
Has the designer asked you any questions before sending a quote?
Are they really looking to see if what you are after is the best for what you need?
Those who take their time to send you a quote, are the ones who really look at what you are after.
They should also not be afraid to tell you to that what you want is too much!
A decent website designer should be honest and open with you.
After all, they should know what works for small businesses!
Step 6: Review your Quotations
Now you have your Quotations, delve in to what you are NOT receiving from them, and work out the costing.
So say you need to purchase Hosting – then find out how much that will cost.
Say you need to purchase your Domain Name – get the price.
Now add everything together, and you have the TOTAL cost of what using that website designer for your small business will cost you.
Then you need to break it down in to Monthly and Yearly costs.
Because for 1 designer, you may need to pay £800 to get your website, but then it will only cost you £50 per Year after that.
Yet another designer may cost just £100, but your Monthly cost thereafter will be £60 UNTIL THE END OF TIME!
Just because it may be cheap to start with, doesn’t mean it will stay that way!
Always break the costs down.
Step 7: Choose your Website Designer
You now should have a list of website designers for small business who create well built websites, and have a Yearly costing for each.
All that is left to do now, is to pick which one is suitable for your needs.
Who was the most honest, and gave you advice?
Who is the best value for money?
One thing on this: Don’t be put off by the cost.
And don’t always go for the cheapest option.
Some independent designers will probably go above and beyond what you pay for.
I know we do at Quillations!
If the best website designer on your list is the most expensive – you can see why!
If the worst designer on your list isn’t the cheapest, then avoid!
Common-sense and personal preference is the key to deciding who to choose for your website designer.
NEVER just jump in and go for the biggest name.
And NEVER go for the cheapest until you work out a yearly cost, as it may cost you more in the long run.
You should ALWAYS study the results from the tests as well.
These show you that the website designer knows how to BUILD and website, and not just make it look good!
Oh – and don’t forget Quillations for your quotation!
I hope my suggestions will help you in finding the right website designer for your business.
Is the cost higher than you expected?
Then it may be worth looking at how to create a small business website yourself.
Although beware: It isn’t a quick job!
A website for a small business will not have an immediate impact in terms of sales / visibility.
But by investing in SEO for your site, eventually you will be noticed by those who require your services.
By starting small and growing your website, it will definitely be worth it.
Read our article on why you need a website to find out more.
Regardless how small your business is, a website is a great way to show people you are here!
It makes you look professional, and allows you to grow trust in your business.
It is worth the effort in the long run.
About Gary Evans
Coming from a customer service background, and managing a large magazine account in London, Gary knows how to treat customers right.
Designing website is a huge passion for Gary, and he is always checking his customers websites to ensure they are all working correctly.
Gary always goes out of his way to help his customers, and always goes above and beyond.
Are you in need of a Website Designer?
Hi, my name is Gary Evans and I love nothing more than making websites look and function as they should.
Will you be my next client?