If you are a business owner looking for a web developer in the Northampton area, there are dozens to choose from. The challenge is finding the one who can transform your ideas into reality. This guide is designed to help ensure that you pick the right web designer for your company.
1. What is your ideal website?
Most developers will present you with a wide range of web designs. For this reason, you first need to have a clear idea of the type of website that will best meet your requirements. You should begin with a basic specification and then add features as the project moves along.
When creating your website, make sure you discuss the following elements with your designer.
a. Purpose – Will you be using your website to sell products, offer services or both? In addition, you probably also want the website to do one or all of the following:
- Increase sales
- Accommodate customer inquiries
- Boost general traffic
- Appeal to your intended audience
b. User experience – Do you have an idea of what your site should look like? How do you want to manage it? These two factors should go hand in hand. There is absolutely no point in creating a great-looking site if you cannot navigate around the pages. Therefore, you need to make sure that you design the site according to your customers’ behaviour.
c. Site structure – What kind of layout do you need? How would you like the site to operate? Start planning and compiling a list of your ideas, and then consult the developer on how to implement them.
d. Budget and timeline – The amount of money you are willing to spend on your website will significantly affect the final product. The developer will tailor their proposal to the limits of your budget. You should also make it clear as to when you want the website to go live.
e. Your competitors – If you want to get ahead of your competitors, you need to gather some information about them. You don’t have to imitate their sites exactly, just make sure you obtain the same results and incorporate even better features.
Although budget constraints may force you to scale back your project, fortunately you can still improve the site at a later date once you have sufficient financial resources.
Many developers also offer affordable design options … all you need to do is ask!
2. Do you want to include SEO?
The majority of your online traffic will come from Google, Bing and other search engines, which means your website needs to rank highly on the results pages. This is why you need to utilise search engine optimisation (SEO). There are various methods and techniques you can use. For instance, if you want your business to improve its ranking in the Northampton area, you will need to adopt local SEO strategies. You should pick the right web designer based on their ability to make your website SEO-ready. They should also be able to explain their optimisation techniques in detail.
3. Does the web developer understand your requirements?
If your web design requirements are extensive, it is advisable to hire a developer who has relevant experience in your particular field of operations. Ask them if they have worked on websites similar to yours. Also, always remember to scrutinise samples of their work. In fact, you can conduct an online search of your prospective designer’s previous work. You need to ask the following questions:
- Do they respond quickly?
- Do they provide the information you are looking for?
- Are their sites easy to navigate?
- Does the design look professional and can it support your brand?
As most people use their mobile devices to connect to the internet, you will certainly need a mobile-friendly website. Don’t forget to emphasise this point to the designer.
Providing feedback during the web development will help ensure that the project is kept on the right track. Furthermore, make sure you have approval first before the final design is released.
4. What type of maintenance support and updates can you expect from the developer?
Even after your website goes live, you will still require some technical support now and again. Your developer should be able to provide you with regular updates and maintenance.
It may not always be possible to call the developer every time a minor site issue arises, but they should give you access to the content management system (CMS). This will enable you to make minor corrections, such as editing text or changing images. If you are not familiar with CMS, make sure that the developer provides some training on how to use it.
Website maintenance is a routine undertaking. In some instances, errors may unexpectedly cause your website to go down. If this happens, you need to be able to rely on your developer to take remedial action.
You also need to clarify what kind of ongoing support, if any, they can provide. For instance, if your site does go down, what is the expected turnaround time for the developer to put it back online? Make sure you consider every possible issue to ensure that you have the best support available. You can also ask the designer if they can provide you with training on how to troubleshoot problems.
If you want to create a website for your Northampton-based business, you will usually need to employ the services of a high-quality web developer. You will also need to take steps to ensure that your proposed website is built according to your expectations and budget. Another matter to discuss with your developer is the expected completion time and subsequent activation of your site. You should also make sure the developer is committed to providing maintenance and remedying any unexpected shutdowns. However, for simple updates and errors, the designer should be able to train you on how to solve the problem yourself.