Choosing a web design company: what to avoid

Choosing the right web design company can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be with these tips from Kevin Woods on what to avoid.

A professionally designed website will help you reach more customers, keep up with your competitors, and promote your products and services online 24/7.

However, with so much choice, trying to choose the right web design company can often seem overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be.

Watch out for these common pitfalls, and you’ll be able to choose the best website provider for your business:

1. They don’t offer continuous support

To enjoy a successful online presence, you need to work with a web design company you can rely on for ongoing support. Think twice about working with anyone who offers lots of support during the sales process but makes no mention of aftercare.

Ideally, you’ll have a dedicated point of contact you can easily reach whenever you need website advice or assistance.

Beware of any company that is difficult to get in contact with, and always try to work with one that has an in-house team so that there’s someone available to provide professional support at all times.

2. They don’t use secure servers

Website security is more important than ever, with websites that don’t offer customers a secure browsing experience now ranked lower in Google search results than websites that do.

If you don’t want your website’s ranking to suffer, the website design company you choose should be using a safe and reliable hosting service, and one that allows HTTPS so that you can encrypt your site with an SSL certificate. This will show customers your website is secure by displaying a green padlock in the address bar.

3. They expect you to pay high upfront fees

Your website is an investment, but that doesn’t mean that handing over thousands of pounds at the outset is the right thing to do.

Not only should your website be affordable, it should also be tailored exactly to your needs. Beware of companies that try to bamboozle you with tech speak in order to make you shell out for website features you really don’t need.

Make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for, and watch out for hidden costs. Companies that ask you to pay for your entire website in one lump sum could charge you for new features once it’s live, leaving you with an expensive outlay or a website that will quickly become outdated.

4. They create unoriginal, templated designs

Looking through a web design company’s portfolio is often the best way to assess if they’re right for you.

If your website is going to be effective, it needs to look great and perform brilliantly. It should also be unique to your business, so take care that the company you’re considering isn’t trying to palm you off with a templated design that’s used by countless other businesses.

If the sites they’ve created do appear to be professionally designed and bespoke to each client, check their reviews. If they’re really a reliable provider who creates effective websites, their customer testimonials will prove it.

5. They don’t provide easy to manage websites

It’s important that the company you choose to create your website uses a built-in, easy to use content management system (CMS). Without one, you’ll be left with a site that’s impossible to update.

Being able to edit your website is crucial, as you need to regularly add fresh content to ensure it performs well in Google’s search results and accurately reflects your business over time. Without this capability, your website is useless.

Not only will your website’s effectiveness be restricted, but it could prove costly too. Without a user-friendly CMS, you may find you need to contact the designer every time you want a change made, and it’s likely that there will be a steep charge – and a long wait – for even the smallest of website edits.

Choosing the right web design company doesn’t have to be complicated. Have a clear idea of what you want, research your options, and focus on building a long-term working relationship, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a successful online presence.

Kevin Woods is head of design at it’seeze Websites, a creative web design company offering UK businesses professionally designed, bespoke, and affordable websites with ongoing support.