If you wound up here, chances are you have a lot of questions about how to hire the right person or team to design and execute your web presence. A simple Google search will turn up approximately 383 million results for “web designer,” ranging from a one-man-show to large website design firms.
Even as you fine-tune your search words to “Atlanta website design agency” to bring up localized results, you may find yourself inundated with choices and even more confused the deeper you wade into each company’s offerings.
We suggest that you start by taking charge of the process and outlining your objectives so you can vet the companies that surface on the top of your list (look for more about defining that list in our next blog). We’ve designed a worksheet for you to use to help you identify what’s important to your end goals.
|Three Steps to Defining Your Website Objectives
1. Briefly outline what you would like to see on your website.
It’s okay to browse the competition and decide on features you do and don’t like about what others in your industry are doing. Features in your outline may include an About Us page, consumer education, work samples or portfolio, product ordering system, shipment tracker, user comment forms, video tutorials, blog section, integration of social media, or any features relative to the end functionality of your site.
2. When do you want to launch your site and how often does the site need to be “worked” or updated?
Remember the swimming pool installation company we profiled a few months ago? That company used their site to primary serve as an educational platform for potential customers. It was moderately interactive, with frequent testimonial and photo updates and responses to consumer questions. Their needs differed greatly from another client, a BBQ sauce manufacturer, who needed a site that would house a complete ordering, confirmation, tracking, and customer loyalty rewards system. How do you envision your site serving your company?
3. What is your budget for both building the site and for its ongoing maintenance?
Most businesses need to purchase their domain name (or website address) and find a website “host” or platform. Oftentimes web design companies will roll this into the cost of doing business with you. After that base building point, almost everything is a la carte and customizable. The more complex the features on your site, the more expensive it is likely to be. There are two choices you have after your site is built. You can have your designer teach you or people in your company how to manage the website, or you can have the website design firm do it for you. Management is usually billed on a monthly basis and can include feeding your website and related social media platforms fresh content, growing your online communities, and responding to your customer base when they post comments.
Take this week to visit competitors’ websites, identify your own business objectives, and write down some descriptors about how you want your website to look and feel. Next week we’ll discuss how to commence your search to find the perfect company to create your company’s digital persona. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to your YDO team with any questions!