For businesses operating in today’s hectic and highly competitive environment, a website is all but essential. Even if the reason is purely to match the common assumptions of most customers, a corporate identity should, ideally, embrace a website. A website can and should do a lot more for a business than simply ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, however. A successful website should act as the digital shop front for a company, establishing, a distinctive, purposeful identity, whilst providing a warm welcome to curious visitors of all kinds – from prospective customers to future employees.
Website development is an exacting process and, on the whole, business owners choose not to embark on such a project themselves. They prefer to hire a web development company to do the job. However, the website development industry is competitive and there are many prospective companies to choose from, offering different approaches and price ranges. Here then are some hints and tips on choosing the most suitable company.
Start with a clear vision
Before even considering a partner for building a website, it is important to develop a clear vision and purpose for that site and also check out some cost effective tips for building a website, it really helps to develop a website. This does not necessarily need to be a tangible visual design. It can simply be a paragraph of text clearly outlining what will make the site stand out from the crowd and any unique selling points it may have. It is also a good idea to visualise where the site may be in five years’ time – this often helps to clarify the overall purpose. Having a clear mission statement will help greatly when it comes to communicating requirements to a web development company. It will also help in choosing the right company, since the nature of the site may make it easier to exclude some potential candidates.
Try to get word of mouth referrals
Word of mouth referrals are often the best type of referrals and are often the most reliable, for good reason. They are based on solid experience of working with a given company and its staff over an extended period. It is therefore a high priority to canvas colleagues and fellow business owners for any recommendations.
Check out the company website
If a web development company is recommended, or located through research, their website should be checked for clear navigation and structure, transparency and honesty over prices, and an aesthetic, albeit functional, design. Moreover, the way the company uses language can be a strong indicator of their design abilities. Language should be concise, straightforward, and friendly. It is also worth examining and trying to verify any testimonials and awards featuring on the site.
Striking the balance between commercial imperatives and aesthetic appeal
Finally, do make sure that the candidate company makes every effort to balance visually attractive design with ensuring that their clients’ brands receive the right degree of promotion. This is not always an easy balance to strike, so go for companies that take an organic approach to website development; one which seeks to help their clients meet key performance indicators, whilst creating a user-friendly, engaging website.