It can be daunting purchasing a website. It can be a decent investment for your business and you don’t want to be stuck with a lemon.
But how do you sort the professionals from the cowboys?
We’ve put together some questions to ask before choosing a provider so you can feel more confident to make your decision.
Everyone has their own opinion but personally I don’t like templates. There, I said it. Templates are a website design that exists already and basically the company will change the colours, swap the images and make a couple of tweaks to fit your business to it.
What does this mean? Firstly, templates are built to cater for a huge variety of companies, which means you are likely to end up with about 60-80% of clunky code in the background that’s loading on your website, but you’re not actually using it. This can slow down your website and affect your ranking in Google.
Secondly, your business is unique, so I personally don’t think you should be making your business fit your website template (it deserves more than that!). Instead, you should be making your website fit your business. Plan out the journey your audience takes, lure them to a lead or a sale, make them consider an upsell and keep them engaged with your website.
Also, templates aren’t great for building onto later – you want your website to be flexible to grow and flourish with your business.
So you say, that sounds great Shay, but how much extra will coding from scratch cost me? Honestly, it can be less than you think.
It pays to get a couple of quotes, you might have one company charging similar prices for a template website as another is charging to build from scratch. It comes down to hourly rates and also the ninja speed of the developer.
Even if it is a bit more initially you really need to weigh up what will convert better and last longer for you long term. You don’t want to redo the whole website a year later!
Think of the end result, the leads you will get with an infrastructure that is built for your target market, the better ranking you will have in google and the money you will save on relying on hefty google Ads campaigns.
And of course, we always offer obligation-free quotes for you 🙂 (just contact us)
Wow. This is a biggie. Somehow some select web companies are still using their own CMS (content management system).
This means you are locked in for life. No divorce possible!
Make sure they are using an opensource CMS and that they confirm if you want to leave with your website you can! For example we mainly use WordPress for building our websites – completely opensource, so you could easily move to another website provider if you wanted to (but we look after our customers so well that they never leave 😉 )
If they say they are not going to use a CMS, this means you won’t be able to edit the content on your website, you will need to pay them each time. Yikes!
Lastly, if they say they are building their website on Wix, run away fast, run away very fast.
This is so important. But this is especially important if you are redesigning your website (rather than building your first website).
Why do you ask? If this is done wrong you could lose any SEO ranking you have built up over the years to date. Make sure they plan to do redirects to ensure all your old pages are going to the same pages on your new website or pages with similar content (rather than 401 pages)
Ask if they will be writing your metadata for you or at least that you will be able to access to write all your own, and that they are building your website using the schema tags etc.
We all want everything yesterday. I totally understand. Make sure they let you know a clear timeline, not just a start date.
Also, you need to consider the fact that you will need to add the content in yourself after the finish date before it can go live and this can sometimes be the most timeconsuming part! To help things tick along more quickly, start preparing your content during the site build ready to add to the CMS once you have access.
Make sure in your quote it mentions that you have a couple of rounds of design changes.
The website needs to be exactly what you are looking for (we at Idyllic strive for even better!). This might be left out especially if you are building a template website, as there are limited sections that are “easy” to change.
It’s important to understand the web providers’ support system.
Your website in an ideal world would never ever go down, but very rarely it might. You need to feel confident you are working with a company that will have your website up and running again presto and not leave you stuck on hold for hours or are uncontactable, potentially losing you sales in the meantime! “We will respond to your request in 24 hours” is really, just not good enough these days.
I hope these questions help you feel a little more confident about deciding who to trust with your website build. We believe your website shouldn’t only be a painless process, it should be a delightful one.
If you would like to get in touch with us and talk about your next website – contact us today, we’d love to hear from you!
Author: Shay Starrenburg
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