Top 7 things to consider
Hiring a Melbourne web design company to build a high-quality website that fits your budget and is delivered on time isn’t always easy. It helps to begin with a set of criteria before you begin your search for a Melbourne web designer.
Magicdust has designed hundreds of websites and our Melbourne web development team know exactly what goes into making a world-class website.
In this post we share 7 important questions you should ask before hiring a web design company:
1. Does the web design company have an established track record?
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to build a website using a “fill-in-the blanks” template and populating it with content. Websites built this way have limited design capability and end up looking just like several others in the same category.
Aside from this, when your business expands, the limited functionality of such websites will require making costly changes or even rebuild the website from scratch.
Look for a website development team in Melbourne who are experienced and have a track record of building custom-coded websites from the ground-up. Find out how long the company has been in business and ask to see their website portfolio.
It’s one thing to see screen captures of a website, quite another to observe how the websites appear online. Ask for URLs of websites and invest some time inspecting the websites, to see if the pages load quickly, the videos play properly and whether there any noticeable problems.
2. What is the web design company’s pricing structure?
Websites range from a simple blog to more complex ones such as ecommerce stores with a constantly growing range of products.
Before asking your web design company for a quote, conduct some research to find out the price range reputed web development agencies in Melbourne charge for the type of website you want.
Freelance web designers and some overseas web designers will offer to build your websites for as low as $400. The danger of giving in to the temptation of choosing these designers is that the websites they build have severe limitations which may be costly to fix.
The downtime suffered while a website is being fixed can result in a backlash from irate customers unable to buy your products, log in to their membership portals to access important content. The damage to your business reputation can take years to repair.
If you find the quoted price to be unusually high, ask for an explanation of the costs, as it quite likely you may have underestimated the scope of the project or the web design agency may have added on a few, “bells and whistles”, which may not really be required.
3. Can you easily update content once the website is functional?
Modern websites have content management systems which make it easy for people with a non-technical background to upload blog posts, images, audios, videos or other content updates at any time they like.
You may also wish to outsource such routine tasks to an independent professional overseas to save on the cost and time of having one of your team members do it.
A large proportion of websites are now built using WordPress, which has become an industry standard. It is one of the most user-friendly systems which allows for content updates and changes to be made quickly and easily.
4. What are the support packages available?
Once your website is “live”, you will need to ensure it is in perfect working order. The website should load quickly, you need to check if there are any broken links, the “call-to-action” buttons should be functional and manage many other issues which may crop up.
Ask your website development agency what support packages they offer. Aside from standard maintenance, you may want to enquire about packages which include Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Customer Relation Management (CRM) integration. These services might cost a little more, but the long-term benefits can easily outweigh the costs.
5. What is the process to be followed if you decide to part ways with the web development company in the future?
Despite having the best intentions, a situation may arise where you may decide to use the services of an alternative web development provider. Performance standards may have significantly dropped, you may be in the process of selling the business or the designers managing your website may have left the organisation and you aren’t confident of the skill-level of those who have take taken over.
Ensure your contract clearly states how the Domains, hosting and CRM will be transferred seamlessly to the new provider, so there’s no disruption during the transfer process.
6. Does the Melbourne website development agency offer website promotion services or have partnerships with other businesses who provide them?
Once your website is functional, the real work begins. Depending on what outcomes you wish to achieve, you may need to generate qualified leads, build a subscriber list, book consultations or sell products. Online marketing activities such as Facebook advertising, Google Adwords and Youtube advertising are worthwhile investments which help in achieving outcomes faster.
At some stage you will need to give serious consideration to investing in online marketing and it’s worthwhile asking your web design company if they offer any of these services or whether they partner with other agencies who can help accelerate your results.
7. Is the website development team based in Melbourne?
You may discover that several website development agencies in Melbourne subcontract work to overseas web designers.
Communication issues, time delays and a lack of understanding about the Australian small business industry, can compromise the results you expect. A web design and support team based in Melbourne would mean that your requirements will be clearly understood, you will be working with a business functioning in the same time zone and any problems which occur are likely to be quickly resolved.
When choosing a web design company in Melbourne, remember that you are investing in a long-term asset, which will serve you for many years. Paying a little extra for the right company will ensure that you can focus on other important tasks to grow your business, while the website silently adds to your profits.