Times, they are a-changing. Remember back in the early 90’s when all that mattered when you were trying to get a website created was basically….getting it online? How do I get these pretty pictures and a couple of links out there on the “web”? Well, it certainly isn’t that way anymore. Just like with everything else, things get more complicated as time goes on. Nowadays there are certainly easy and fast ways to get your information online (i.e. a free blog hosted by a 3rd party company or a quick template/hosting package from companies), but if you want to do something right, you’ve got to dig a little deeper.
Many web design companies out there, even some of the best graphic/web designers you’ve ever seen, can put your site up and make it absolutely gorgeous, but they have no clue what they are doing when it comes to people actually finding your site. Let’s put it in a way that’s easier to understand. If you build the most beautiful and functional stadium in the world, it doesn’t mean a thing if people don’t know where your stadium is located. The same principle applies to websites. Sure, your site may be unbelievably beautiful and user friendly, but if I can’t find…well, I just don’t care. Nobody will search 12 pages deep in their search results for something. Typically, if the site can’t be found within the first 1-3 pages, it gets skipped altogether. Obviously, being on page 1 increases your odds of getting traffic by…umm….a HELL of a lot!
So here is the dilemma that’s presented to most people looking for web designers. First, many times the work is outsourced to other countries, which doesn’t jive well if you’re trying to have a hands-on experience building a custom website that meets your every needs. Secondly, if you’re lucky enough to get a website that meets all your artistic needs, the web design company can’t provide the functionality that you need. For example, can your web design company integrate a shopping cart? Can they create you a shopping cart from scratch that is completely your own code? Can they create a database for users to search through your products/services/listings and whatnot? Can they create scripts you need written? Are they versed in Flash or AJAX? Do they know how to do those cool motion graphics you’ve been seeing all over everyone else’s websites? Odds are, the answer to most of these questions is no. Lastly, do they know how to implement the proper online marketing and search engine optimization techniques to ensure your website gets traffic and can be easily found? Again, probably not.
So how is this solved? How does one go about finding these one-stop-shop design companies? It’s certainly hard, and a lot of the time, many companies who advertise they can provide these services don’t really know what they’re doing. Our suggestion? Obviously, call for references on the companies that are your candidates. Ask for results. Ask for consultations. Demand to know what it is their company can do for you. The last thing you want to do is get stuck in the middle of a web design project with a company and find that they can’t do all the things you thought they could do.Google+