Get your small business website right first time

If you are in the market for a ‘cheap’ web site you will find hundreds, if not thousands of ‘designers’ out there. Anyone who has done a course or experimented with web design software and thinks they are an expert can set themselves up in business as a designer.

But, anyone who is in business knows that just having talent in a particular field doesn’t guarantee success in a business venture. You probably have staff working for you that are ten times better than you are in the actual production or service that your business is about – but I bet you wouldn’t consider that they could actually run the business!

In order for us to have a successful business relationship, we need to be able to discuss your web site project from the point of view of your business, not the technology that makes it work. Our role is not just to deliver a web site for you, it is also to ensure it promotes your products and services as well as any advertising or promotional tool can.

Some of the pitfalls in using the cheapest solution you can find are:

Generally if you pay cheap you get cheap with web design. You are unlikely to get that extra knowledge of usability, accessibility and search engine optimisation which are key to a web site’s success.

Many small businesses and non-profit organisations make the mistake of designing their own sites. Are you really saving money by designing it yourself? The time and money you spend buying and learning how to use a software package, coming up with a good design, searching for a hosting company and tracking down the cheapest domain name could be more wisely spent on your small business.

Cheap web sites are nearly always hosted on overseas (usually US) servers and the access to your web site can be slow and unreliable. Although server ‘uptime’ can never be 100% guaranteed, website reliability varies considerably among hosting providers.

Many designers never bother to check if the site is compatible with browsers other than Microsoft Internet Explorer. This means that people who use a different browser to access your web site may not be able to read or navigate through it. We always confirm that a site is readable and functioning in the other major browsers.

Websites that are poorly designed or slow to load will put users off, losing that potential customer.Your website is a bit like a shop front, you need to have it looking great for the user to continue to browse. The first few seconds on a website is crucial to the visitor continuing.

Some designers will not even bother to proof-read what you supply and simply ‘cut & paste’ it onto the site pages. You want someone that will take the time to advise you on layout, content and other areas of your website.

Websites are no longer just about design but need to be functional, interactive, accessible and actually be an integral part of a company’s marketing and promotion. You should be building relationships with your customers and other players over the internet, not impressing them with ‘eye-candy’.

Quality is the key word here. There will always be clients who are only interested in a quick solution. Something that does the job. Then there will be those who believe quality comes at a cost, and good design and continuing support is worth paying a fair price for.

If you are the latter, we can do business!

Andy