Web Design for Business
High Quality Web Site Content
At Fencl Web Design, we want to work with you on your business's web site. We realize there are many complex questions about web design, so we have compiled a list of important questions and tips to help you make an educated decision. Please call us toll-free with any questions or concerns.
High Quality Web Site Content
Working with the right web design company is one of the most important choices you will make for your web site. Here are some very important questions to consider, when choosing a web designer.
Here is a list of some questions you should ask:
- Have they developed other sites with similar functionality to the web site they would be developing for you? If so, have them show you some, so you can test them for yourself. It is especially important to test their portfolio of e-commerce sites, membership sites, and message boards, if that is what you are looking for.
- Are they a full service web design company? Do they just hand you a disc with the files on it, or do they upload the web site for you, and have everything functioning correctly on the web server? Make sure they can handle all aspects of your project.
- Do they own the shopping cart and/or other software on your website? Can you take it with you in the future if you change web design companies? What parts do you own, and what parts of the website are copyrighted to others? Can you imagine loading 3,000 items into a shopping cart system, then finding out you can't take it with you if you decide to change companies?
- Do you have a particular person you speak with when you call, or are you randomly thrown at anyone in tech support, left to explain your situation over and over? Do they have a Toll-Free number for you to use?
- What are the hourly rates for future updates? Some web design firms charge hourly rates as high as $150 per hour, with a 30 minute or one hour minimum! Make sure you know the price of your web design updates, in advance, so you know what to expect in the future. How many changes will you need to make per year? Make sure to figure this in with your quote, and leave a little padding for unexpected changes.
- How long will it take them to complete the job? That is a VERY important question. Get an estimated time frame for the web site development. I have seen people wait a whole year for their job to be finished. Estimates are just that, estimates. Because of the nature of web development, time estimates can be hard to calculate. Just make sure it is at least within reason of your expectations.
- Will they be using UNIX or NT based servers for your web hosting? Will there be any applications you will be using that are ASP or PHP? If there will be ASP, SQL, or Access applications, I would recommend a Microsoft NT server. For PHP, MySQL, Perl and CGI applications, I would recommend a Linux or UNIX based server.
- Will you be able to take your domain name with you if you want to change web hosting or web design companies? Make sure you can take it with you if they register it for you. I would recommend buying your domain name yourself. It is fairly easy to register a domain name. Once you set up your web hosting, you can then login to your domain name account manager and point the nameservers to your web hosting company's DNS servers. Your nameservers will usually look something like this. Example: ns1.nameserver.com and ns2.nameserver.com
- Will they be performing any search engine optimization on your site? If so, make sure they don't use hidden text, or anything that could get you banned from search engines in the future. If they claim they are going to build you hundreds of "doorway pages", I would recommend going elsewhere. Proper web site optimization is a way of cleanly building a web site so that it works well with visiting search engine robots and spiders by not blocking them. See the webmasters guidelines on Google and Yahoo if you are unsure about something.
- Are they performing the web design in-house? You should know if the people you hired are actually the ones performing the work. They could be outsourcing the work to another country. If you have a complex web site and they lose their relations with this overseas company, they may not know how to fix a technical problem with your site.
- Does the price seem too low compared to other bids you have obtained? Too low of a price should be a good warning sign. If you have received several bids how can one be so much lower?
- They might be a beginner without the experience to handle your job properly. Experience plays heavily in having a well-developed and easy to use site. Small changes can make big differences in your customer sales conversion ratios.
- Something might be missing in their bid. Read it closely to make sure all items are included, that are in the other bids. If you're not sure, have the web company use the same bid specifications at the other one.
- Are past clients happy? See if you can get some testimonials from past clients. This may give you a better representation of what to expect.
- Is it a template or an original work? Are they designing your site from the same pre-made templates other sites may be using? Is it an original work of which you own the rights to? What if you thought you were purchasing a custom web site and then saw other sites using the exact same design?
- Is web design their full-time career, or is it just a side job? This is where experience really shows. Working on web full-time makes a well-rounded designer, who knows how to deal with unexpected situations. Remember you are hiring a professional, to do a professional job. Would you hire a part-time lawyer to help you with your business legal issues? Your web site represents your company's image.
- How many years have they been in business? The Internet is an easy place to go in and out of business cheaply. Hopefully your business will be around for more than a year, so think long term.
- Do they have proper contracts for your web site development? Have your attorney prepare contracts for you if they don't. You need to get your contracts in writing to protect both you and your developer. Things usually go smoother when everything is clearly spelled out.
High Speed Web Sites
Speed is a main consideration in the design process. We need to look at every aspect including: ease of use, reliability, and speed.
- Graphics that are not optimized
- DNS problems
- Old servers
- Overloaded servers
- Internet connections
- Your web sites backbone connection
- Poor coding
- Bad web design and mor
Searches and Visitors
Can your site be found? What percentages of your visitors are converting into sales? What are the best methods of search marketing? What type of web statistics or stats counter should you use? What search engines should you pay for, and which ones should you avoid? There are so many choices. We can help you determine a marketing plan for your business. We can save you time and money, because we have been there before. This is where past experience helps.
Web design that Makes the Sale
If your company's web site is designed to make sales, then get to the point. People want to find what they are looking for quickly. It is amazing the number of e-commerce web sites, that make it tough to find out how to actually purchase the product. Make pages on topic. Don't send them through a maze of pages to make a purchase on your site. Your web site design should flow them into the sale. Make it easy to find the buy now button. Having a good credit card payment system is also very important to making smooth transactions on your web site. We offer the ability to take online credit card transactions on your web site, with an easy to use web based interface.
Bad web design techniques
Do you ever visit a site you just don't like? Does it hurt your eyes? There are many bad web design techniques that can ruin a good web site. Horizontal scrolling, flashing objects, pop up ads, frames and bad music are just a few things that can send your visitors away by the droves.
See the following article for things not to do, things that will truly annoy your web site's visitors. Top 10 bad web design tips.. It is never too late to make a change! Make these easy design changes and watch your traffic counter rise.
Would you like an upgrade?
Would you like more speed, or a cleaner look? We can assist in redesigning your web site to meet this competitive market place.
Would you like a brand new web site?
Fencl Web Design can assist you in designing a custom web site to meet your business needs. We can handle all of the details from development to web hosting. We want to make your site a success.
Note: Our company name is Fencl, but some common misspellings are Fence, Fenci, Fencil, and Fencel.