Of course you want a custom Web Design, you are not building that website for fun. You are building it to help your business gain more business from Internet. It is not practical to think that you can buy some fill in the blanks kind of template and develop it into a full-fledged creative custom website, which is exactly what you’re going to need if you’re going to compete successfully on the net. Of course, you also want affordable web design that doesn’t rob your business of half of your marketing budget for the year. The good news is that with a little research and a bit of patience you can have both the custom website that you want and the affordable website that you need. Here is what you do.
Whatever you do in trying to begin your website development, do not scrimp on your end of the work. It is okay that you cannot sit down and do the coding necessary for your custom designed site, what you must be willing to do in order to have the site you want and keep it affordable ps to spend the time necessary to collect and organize all of the data that your Web designer is going to need in order to build your site. There’s no question about the fact that if your Web designer sees that you are shortcutting the steps necessary for him to have all of the information that he needs to build your site rather than come back and beg you for the full information, he is likely to take the same kind of shortcuts and either eliminate important information from the site or worse guess at the information and get it wrong. You must take this initial step seriously. So if you spent the time and effort necessary to gather the information together that you’re a web designer is going to need. Now you need to evaluate and research several designers, look for various recommendations, look at the competing sites and speak to the references in order to evaluate the team you’re about to hire.
If you’ve taken these first two steps seriously, you now have a competent, qualified web designer and are handing over to him the information that he needs in order to build your site. Now finally the ball is in his court but your confidence level is high, because you checked him out pretty thoroughly. Now you ask when you can expect to see it rough draft of the site. When that day arrives if the rough draft does not, you call that same day to ask how things are going. Remember that things happen. They happen in your business, so very likely they happened in his as well. Exercise a degree of patience, but be persistent enough to get a firm commitment as to when the rough draft will be available. As long as it comes in by the second promised date you are very likely ahead of the game. Do not be shy about criticizing mistakes that have been made, but do not be shocked if you find that part of the problem was the communication between the two of you. At this point, the more often you communicate, the better off you’ll both be. In fact it’s probably a good idea to set a review time daily in order to reduce the surprises until the completion of the site occurs. If your Web designer makes suggestions that you are not sure about, listen thoroughly, and decide whether to follow his recommendation, based upon the validity of his argument. Remember this may be an issue that he has encountered before, which you have not. Try to get him to explain all of the options here, because some sort of compromise may be in order.
When you build a site for someone who knows specifically what they want, but allows you a certain amount of creative freedom in getting to the end product you tend to be willing to go the extra mile for that person when they wish to add a step or a product that they forgot to tell you about. Conversely, when someone has underestimated the amount of products or work that they need from you and are obviously trying to get as much additional work included in the original price as possible you tend to be less flexible. What you as the website owner want to see in the end is a fully functional and good looking affordable website. However, if you overburden your designer with extra work, if you change your mind repeatedly while building the site, you may find later that your Web designer leaves out some of the important steps that you do not see such as researching keywords, selecting the best title tags or other important search engine optimization.
So, usually the very best websites come in very close to budget and are only significantly over budget if the website owner has agreed to pay additional monies because he realizes he wants additional work that had not originally been specified or he has changed his mind several times during the Web construction process and therefore is willing to compensate the designer for this work. It is important to remember, that both the Web site owner and website designer have much to gain by working together closely and helping one another. If you take as much care as you can to follow this plan you will very likely obtain an affordable custom-made website that truly helps your business grow.
About the Author
Gene Schwerman is founder and head marketing consultant for Truly Unique–Small Business Website Design. Truly Unique provides a wide range of SEO and website design services to sites like Tri Flo Tech.