The internet has not only taken over a large proportion of commercial activity, but it’s where people now look to discover your organisation in the first place. Having a website is as indispensable as a telephone.
However, there is more to a website than installing a phone. Businesses who think all they need is an off-the-shelf shopfront and customers will automatically flock through their digital doors are soon disillusioned. An online presence requires constant data input, copy-production and marketing investment (SEO). Failing to design and maintain your website properly can turn off customers you already have, let alone new ones.
Many “website developers” are primarily hosting companies trained in network administration. Designers need two skills network administrators don’t necessarily have: an understanding of your business and creative talents.
If the developer doesn’t ask the right questions about your business, don’t expect the website to answer your business needs. Similarly, if his draft layout lacks any sense of aesthetics, coding genius won’t stop it looking terrible.
Online processes are an extension of your other business processes and should be mapped, integrated and audited with the same professionalism. Choose a developer who begins your consultation in a way that demonstrates business management expertise. Professional Web Design Yorkshire companies are available from sites like www.etempa.co.uk/
Unless you understand website functionality and code, you won’t be able to judge much from appearances. References and recommendations are stronger evidence.
Barely any coding talent is needed to develop a WordPress or Shopify site based on ready-made modules. For more complex projects ask about their experience of programming languages and more flexible frameworks like Magento and Drupal.
Domains and Contracts
There is a place for gentlemen’s agreements in the world but not in web design. Detail everything your site must do. Own your own domain name, because if any dispute arises they could have you over a barrel.
If they say they can understand your business and customers, design the structure and appearance, install and test the functions, write induction materials and go live in “two weeks”, you should feel insulted not delighted.
You shouldn’t need an expensive maintenance contract with a developer forever. Have an understanding about a warranty period, but major issues mean work already paid for wasn’t done properly.