Why having a website built for you shouldn’t be scary or stressful

Have you given up on trying to build your website yourself, or realised you just don’t have the time to create an effective website that doesn’t look like a half baked attempt at something? Yet the thought of getting a professional is a bit terrifying too. Maybe the thought of being hounded by a merciless marketing person from an agency, manipulating you into buying a sledgehammer to crack a nut or an influx of newsletters is enough is putting you off. 

Here are a few helpful points to guide you to the best and least stressful result.

What do you want?

What you want affects what kind of website designer or organisation you go with. 

Do you want a full service marketing agency to promote your business as well as your new website if you have a large budget, or just a website designer to do a good job. 

The marketing agency could be a bigger and more expensive solution that you need. Whereas just having a decent website created for you could pay for itself and save your business money. 

Unless you’re absolutely sure you want a big marketing campaign as well as a website, seeing if a newly created website does the job could be enough to get enquiries. It may be worth going down this road first and adding on a marketing solution later.

If you do just have a website created, you will need to promote it and keep updating the content here’s what we mean ‘Why you need to feed your website like a pet and take it for walks’. That way your website could pay for itself in no time at all.

Reviews - take a shortcut before enquiring 

If you don’t want the website design company to know you’re checking them out, one way to get reliable information is to see what their customers say. The best place for this is where you know the reviews are genuine and not written by them on their website. Bear in mind the odd negative review may be written by an unscrupulous competitor. 

You can see company reviews in Google under Reviews from the Web:
 

 

Or their Facebook page. If you’re going to an individual rather than a company, then check out any recommendations on Linkedin from previous clients or previous employers.

Make sure though, that those reviews are up-to-date, sometimes a change of staff or management can make a big difference in the quality of service. 

Do speak to a few of their customers  

If you're on Facebook or Linkedin, you can find these people by sending them a private message, they may not all answer, so asking a few increases the chances that at least one will. You may be able to do this on Google but you will need a Gmail account to contact them.

Another way is to visit the website designer’s website if you haven’t already, and see if their work is on their website, you can go to those websites and get the contact details from there, they should have their email address or a contact form and social media links for their customers to make enquiries. If their sites don’t have obvious contact points, then you may want to question if you want them to build your website. Get a least three companies to give feedback on their website designer and ask, what was the experience like, did they explain things well? We’ve created a full checklist here 'Questions you need to ask when getting a website designed' to help you.

Budget

How much do you want to spend? Prices vary but so do the types of features each website designer offers. Some may add access to Google Analytics or even making the website mobile as an extra. 

The best way to be clear about this is to decide what you want to spend from the outset, what will your website be worth to you and can the website designer fit in with your budget? 

Will it be a one-off cost, will there be any charges later? 

Get a detailed quote so you know exactly what you’re getting.

If it’s not detailed and they’re evasive when asking specific questions then that may be a red flag as to whether you want them to create your website.

Hidden costs

Make sure you see their terms and conditions, there should be a link on their website. Get a contract to see what's included in the price and if in doubt ask. If they’re hosting your website that will be a yearly or monthly cost and if they’re going to keep the security up-to-date, does this include bug fixes, DDoS attacks and spam from the contact form.

Ownership of content 

If your site is built in an open-source platform such as WordPress or Drupal then it falls under the GPU licence and this means no one, not even if there’s been code added by the website developer can claim ownership. The text and images on the other hand are owned by you, this is your intellectual property if you’ve supplied it.

Make sure that this is in the company's terms and conditions or contract.

Getting control of your website

As above, make sure your website provider understands your intellectual property rights but also make sure you can transfer your website from them should you choose to do so.

Your website designer should be approachable and answer questions in a way you can understand.

Your website designer should not dictate to you how they think your website should be, without first listening to what you want your website to do and seeing what websites you like. They shouldn’t be patronising or try to blind you with science and web jargon. The experience of having a website built should be a pleasant one, where you work with them to achieve what you want from your website, I emphasise ‘your’ enough here! It’s your business, your reputation, therefore your website should be something you’re one hundred per cent comfortable with, if not totally over the moon about! 

Anything being designed needs to be a well-communicated process, if not, the result is bound to be flawed and the ongoing relationship could be strained.

If you’re torn between website companies you’ve shortlisted, then have a meeting with them if COVID restrictions allow, or meet them on a video call if you’re comfortable doing so or use the good old fashioned telephone to see how well you get on with them.

The development process where everyone is happy and opinions respected m, means the result will be much better or even exceed your expectations.

We hope that you found this article helpful and if you're considering getting a new website created for you,  you'll consider Polyspiral to take care of it. 

Contact us here, we promise we won’t hound you or add you to our newsletter list. We want to hear from you so you can have a successful website as soon as possible.