Not With Everything, But With Web Design – You Get What You Pay For
I love getting a great deal! So many industries are entirely based on getting you the best product and service for the cheapest price and many can lead to an enormous amount of savings. Especially in this economy, it seems that the businesses booming the most are the ones that will get you or at least claim to get you the most or best for your money. I’m all for getting a good quality item or service for cheapest price and often find fantastic deals on what I’m looking for and am proud and pleased with many of my ‘finds”. In some scenarios though, I’ve regretted wasting money on what turned out to be not such a great deal and spent more money trying to getting what I was really looking for in the first place. Can’t tell you how often I’ve worked with clients and friends that have gone down the road of bargain hunting for their design/development projects. Each time they went for the cheapest design and web work they ended up being disappointed, wasting their time, and/or left with unfinished work. Eventually, they ending up having to go back out and pay for “real design” on their project.
Additionally, I believe people forget that a website is more than a one time product purchase, instead of realizing it is a continuously evolving online presence that importantly represents their company, organization, message, or brand. Your web project will need maintenance and updating. If you hire a professional to design your website, you will already have the connection you need to make changes and updates to your site from the person who originally put it together and who is already invested in your success. This relationship is key to providing you with a professional and informative web presence that is cost effective and stress-free.
All of that said, here are some helpful strategies on what to look out for and things to consider when looking to hire someone for your web and interactive projects.
Things to Consider & Recommendations on What to Look Out For:
- Flash Builder Websites – These templates will lock you into a site design and structure that allows little to no flexibility, you’ll find yourself looking to add something that isn’t doable. Additionally, these templates will not allow viewing by iPhone, iPad users as they may not provide a default or html option for non-flash web browsing.
- Off the Shelf or Online Builder Template Websites – These will allow for more flexibility but are often implemented by IT groups or developers alone and will leave your site functional but much to be desired with design and a custom look & feel. You may also come across another site that uses your exact same template, YIKES!
- Trying to develop your own WordPress, and the like, website with purchased templates can lead to stress by trying to work in an environment that isn’t within your expertise. Additionally many paid templates do not cover everything you’ve set out to accomplish and can lead to broken links and layout structures.
- Do your research on what design styles appeal to you, look at other sites on the web that are attractive and well laid out and don’t be afraid to look at websites outside your industry. Providing your designer with these are a helpful tool for them to design something with your sense of style and desired functionality.
- Don’t be afraid to get an estimate from a good designer or group, they are be more affordable that you think and well worth the investment.
- Hire a designer/developer you really like… you will be building a relationship with them and are always willing to give you a deal for future work and add-on features.
- Consider hiring a designer or team that is local, as they will be more flexible and reliable when working with someone in their own community.
- If you have a large or multi-tiered project, consider working with a small design team or individual designer who has work that appeals to you instead of going with the large agency, as they will have a network of creative associates that they can bring in to work on aspects of your project that may be outside of their specific expertise and coordinate the efforts for you. Additionally this choice will save you a bundle!
- Hire a web designer who is also a developer, as they can minimize outsourcing and bring the time and work savings to your project cost.
- Make sure you get who you pay for – sometimes firms will sell you with their best designs and then either assign your project to the most junior person on staff, or you will find out the person who did all their best work moved on to another company. A small firm or individual designer will work directly with to achieve your project goals.
- A professional designer will design with an eye toward the future – give you a look/feel that will stand the test of time, and an open architecture to expand your web presence over time.