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Hopefully you realise by now that we create websites. When companies choose us that’s great. We like the chance to get to know prospects and their business. It helps us determine the scope of a project and price jobs accurately. Who we work with and the synergy between us is also surprisingly important for both parties.

Here are our thoughts, an overview rather than a detailed guide, about how to appoint the right web designer or agency.

First different web designers, developers, agencies, programmers – whatever they call themselves – approach projects in different ways.

Some come at it primarily from a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) first perspective. Afterall, what’s the point of having a brilliant website if no one can find it? A variation on this are marketing focussed folk who imagine how the website will fit an overall strategy to help your organisation achieve it’s goals. This is good – let’s keep in mind that your website is a marketing platform and a business tool.

Others, are more design focussed where aesthetics and hopefully usability are high priorities. If someone ever gets to these sites they will be attracted by the care taken with the overall look and feel. They will not be turned off by mediocre graphic design.

There are other types too, like agencies who have their own award-winning or latest trend directed agendas, separate from whatever the brief might be, and techie-obsessed souls where the means is more important than the end – watch out for these!

So, which one is right for you? We’d like to say choose the one that has a well-balanced approach incorporating all the best facets. In practice, we all have strengths and weaknesses – we gravitate more in one direction than another. So find out what sort your prospective designer or developer is by speaking to them in depth. You should also take a deep dive into their website and project proposal.

Engaging with them has another major benefit. A really good relationship between the parties pays dividends. Do you like them, their company, how they interact and operate? You’re entering a union more akin to a marriage than a one-night stand so factors like trust and rapport are key considerations.

So far we’ve not mentioned cost. Of course, you need to find out what the work will cost. Get an estimate. What’s included, what’s not. How many sets of changes are built-in, who is writing the copy, who pays for stock library photos. Make sure the one-off development fees are separated from ongoing costs like website hosting and support/maintenance. Provided the costs look fair, everything is transparent and within your budget, then price is not the deciding factor. So hopefully our tips above will prove invaluable. Choose wisely!

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