Having a strong web presence in today’s business environment is essential for many reasons. Not only does a well-designed user-friendly website increase awareness of a business or service and directly impact how your clients or customers perceive your business, but it can also help you understand who your customers are, where your customers are from and what products and services they are most interested in.
A website is a highly visible way to communicate sales or special offerings and news about your company. A website is also a powerful sales and lead generation platform — allowing you to generate leads and sell products 24/7.
How we are using the internet is also evolving. Mobile digital media time in the US is now significantly higher at 51% compared to desktop (42%). The phone is now an extension of the computer. A little over a decade ago, websites were little more than an online brochure – offering some basic information and brand awareness, but not much more. Today, websites are dynamic with advanced features to help customers locate local services, pay online and much more. Finding a website design and development company that can understand your business and create a dynamic website that can showcase your products and services in a stimulating way is more important than ever.
Below are a few tips to finding the best web design and development company:
- Know your business goals. What are your online goals? Are you trying to increase brand awareness, generate user engagement/comments/shares, offer a product/service for sale? Understanding your overall business goals online will help you locate a team that can build the right type of website to enhance your specific business needs.
- Know the technology –What do you want your web site to do? Today there are many options for your website. Check out your competition and see what they are doing online (what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong) and integrate this insight into your web development plan.
- Know Your Budget: A budget for a website can range from $1,000 to $100,000 depending on the complexity of the site and your specific software development and design requirements. Before choosing a website design and development company to get quotes from a few developers but do not always go with the cheapest. You can have a checklist of your needs (hosting, updating, e-commerce, etc.) so you can get to a budget that makes sense for both your business and the developer. Make sure to look at the previous work from the designer or developer and match it to your business goals. That will help you determine if the designer/developer is right for you.
- Maintaining a website: Once your site is up and running, who is going to host it? Who will make updates or respond to customers? Maintaining a website is just as important as the design and intial development phase. Your website designer can help by setting you up to make minor updates as well as host the site for you. A site that is well maintained will often do better in online searches and have stronger SEO. The Forum of Private Business recommends “Some sites use a content management system or are built on a blogging platform like WordPress, which makes your site easy to update yourself.” Always make sure to discuss all of these aspects with your web designer so these issues are addressed.
- Look at the big picture: Many developers will add special services such as helping you with SEO marketing. Developers that nickel and dime you can cost a lot – ask your potential design team if they are willing to provide extra services along with the cost of designing the website.