What to look for in a quality website design company
Websites have become such an integral part of any Australian based business over the last 3 or so years. With the adoption of smart phones and tablets, you also need to be sure that your website is completely optimised and viewable on a number of devices – not just a computer.
This is why choosing the right website designer is such an important factor in the overall success of your online marketing strategy.
In this article we will discuss some basic questions and requirements you should be asking from your current website designer to make sure that you are in good hands. We will also look at some of the more common keywords & buzzwords that you may not be familiar with regarding the ever growing world of Web Design.
Communication, Eye for Detail and Subject Matter Expertise is crucial in choosing a web designer
The first thing you should be concerned with is the availability of your web designer – how accessible is this person, small business or company? There is absolutely nothing worse than dealing with substandard customer service, especially in an industry that helps produce leads or sales for your business.
My advice is to find out how you can contact your web designer and their team, including what methods are available:
Social Media including Face book, Twitter or Skype
If you are constantly being placed on hold, calls not being returned or your project is continually put on the back burner then I would advice to start looking for a better team to work with.
Responsive Website Design
Responsive Design – this is such a big topic in the web industry at the moment and is continually being misused, abused and downright forgotten! There are more mobile phones than people in Australia right now and we have seen a strong switch of traffic from PC / Mac only users to smartphone and tablet based users viewing websites. The ipad is a great example of people surfing the web both on the go and whilst lounging at home.
It’s crucial that your website designer is up to speed on responsive design and is willing to adapt to your website project to function on these devices. Generally this can be done during the development of new websites but if you already have a website, it’s not a massive job to adapt your website to multiple devices. Usually it’s a case of changing a bit of CSS by adding in specific screen width rules which will adapt nicely to different devices visiting your website.
From iPhones, Android Smartphones to iPad Tablets – People viewing your website are now doing so on multiple devices
My best tip here is to track your analytics closely and if you are finding more than 1/3 of your total traffic is coming from smartphones or tablets then it is time to invest in turning your website into a responsive website to provide a much better web surfing experience for your customers.
Just a quick tip to see if you are dealing with a company that not only talks the talk but can back it up too is to view their existing client portfolio. Look for unique design aspects and client testimonials as well as the age (project date) of these website design projects. Like any great artist, a website designer’s work will speak for itself – it will make sense and usability of it will be intuitive.
Quick Jargon Buster
Responsive Design – Are rules in your websites CSS that tell the website to change it’s style (visual looks) depending on the screen size viewing it.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) – is the visual looks department of your website. This is the place where background images are loaded, font colours are changed and widths, margins and padding are all stated.
Analytics – Systems such as PiWik or Google Analytics provide you a detailed insight into how your visitors interact with your website. Track what devices are viewing the website, what keywords or referring websites brought the visitor to it and even how long they spent exploring your website.
My best advice would be to build a trusting relationship with your website designer, get to know how they operate and be sure to listen to their opinions when suggesting ideas – it’s actually a great thing if your designer says “No” to you sometimes, you don’t want to work with a “Yes Man”.