It’s a brand new year. You’ve cleared all the emails left over from the Christmas period and the embarassment of the staff party has finally worn off. The first thing on that extensive to-do list is to sort out that new website.
The idea of putting together a new website is a daunting prospect, so what should you do and what should you look out for when planning our your new website? What should you consider when approaching companies to create your website?
- Plan. Know what the goals for the website are. Are you looking to increase sales? Are you trying to become more social online and therefore want better integration with Social Media? Are you looking to increase footfall on the website? Are you a retailer looking to sell your products via your website? Know your targets and ensure the company you employ to create the website knows this too.
- Do your research. When you speak to a web company, they’ll really appreciate you having done your homework. Have you planned out what pages will be on the site and what each page’s purpose is? Are you having any SEO work done? If so, by whom? The web company should be able to offer recommendations if you are yet to consider this.
Also, find out what you will get from the web company. Are you getting a bespoke design or are they just going to amend a template for you? (many companies use a few templates and edit these, so you will not get a bespoke website). Will the website be responsive (ie, adapting for mobile devices/tablets)? Will hosting be included in the price? What about maintenance/updates? Will you be able to access the Content Management System (if there is one)? These are some of the things you should ask to ensure you get the right website and company for you.
- Know your budgets. Most web companies will not expect an exact figure (as usually this would change depending on the website specification) but knowing how much you are able to spend on the project will mean you will not waste your time speaking to companies who charge more than this. Even if you only have a ballpark figure, it will help the web company understand your limits and if they can work to those limits.
- Have a (rough) Timescale…and try to stick to it! It’s a well known fact; the best laid plans of mice & men etc. But having a plan of when you hope to have the project completed by will help focus both parties. Be prepared to move on this though if necessary – remember that the web company will have other clients such as yourself and as such may wish to move this deadline back (or forward!) if need be. Obviously if the launch coincides with a major event then make this clear – the more transparent both parties are the better for the project’s smooth completion.
- Compare & Contrast. Don’t just get one quote for the project – speak to different companies to see what they can offer. You may learn other valuable bits of information you had not considered before!
Using the above, you will be much more prepared to approach companies, understand the process involved and ensure that the project flows smoothly and you receive the website you want at the end of the project.
If you have any questions or suggestions then feel free to discuss them with us!