If you’re a small business that doesn’t know too much about web site design, it’s hard to know what to expect from your web design agency.
There are lots of things some web design agencies offer that others don’t, and if you don’t know what to ask for then you might end up missing out on something important.
To alleviate this pressure from your shoulders, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of the basic elements you should expect from your web site design.
Our company prides itself on providing everything a business owner needs from their website for only £495. We do offer additional features for business that require it, but the £495 package has all the essentials.
To give you an idea of what to look for when having your business website designed, here is a list of all the features we offer for £495 and why we offer them:
Content Management System
Setting you up on a well-established content management system is important. In our case that would be WordPress, the primary CMS tool used throughout the world today.
WordPress has 58.55% of the overall CMS marketshare and is both the easiest system to use and one of the best systems for web developers to code in.
This makes it incredibly easy for companies to build a bespoke web site design on the system and it allows those businesses that own the finished product to make slight changes to the system.
It also allows you to write blog posts for your website which is the best way to get it to appear on Google when people search for your industry.
When we build a responsive website for a customer we make sure to install the Visual Composer, now called WPBakery, plugin so that our clients can add blog posts, change formatting and layout if they feel they need to, and loads of other tweaks.
The second important element of web site design we provide is a free ‘.co.uk domain’ as part of our £495 package. Our design team works with our clients to find a domain they want to go into the future with.
There are loads of websites online where you can check if domain names are available, i.e., not taken by another company. Simply search “domain name checker” online and try out a few of your ideas.
When you get a domain, make sure it’s either ‘.co.uk’ or ‘.com’ for ease of recognition and branding. If you’re a UK business it’s probably better to go with ‘.co.uk’ but if you intend to work internationally with your business, ‘.com’ is the way to go.
You can check if a domain is free at the link below:
Google Optimised Website
The third element we add to all of our professionally designed websites is Search Engine Optimisation. This is the first step to optimising your site for a search engine like Google.
We make sure that Google finds your site easy to read and rank by coding the website in a readable fashion. We also make sure to optimise all your content and H1 tags for the most searched keywords in your industry.
We extend this keyword implementation to your web site design‘s meta titles, meta descriptions and picture tags so Google knows what to expect from your pages when it reads them.
If you intend to keep your SEO up to date, it’s a good idea to ask your web site design agency for ongoing SEO which usually costs a monthly fee.
Avoid any company that has set prices for SEO as it should be priced according to both your budget, and how difficult it is to rank you for the top keywords in your industry.
Encrypted SSL Security
When you visit a website, the opening of the URL will read either http:// or https://. The latter appears on websites with encrypted SSL security. This security makes sure hackers can’t access information passed between you and your website visitors.
This security is important when it comes to establishing trust with your customers.
This is because if you don’t have an encrypted SSL on your site, your visitors will be able to see “not secure” next to the URL and if they click on it, they’ll be told not to give any sensitive information to you.
The Web Designer Group gives you an encrypted SSL as standard with any web site design you purchase from us. SSLs run out after a year so we make sure to renew it every year for you as part of our £99 annual website renewal fee.
When an SSL certificate reaches its end date, a huge warning fills the visitor’s screen telling them not to go any further because the site they’re trying to access isn’t secure. This is a terrible experience for the customer to have and gives them a damaging impression of your business.
At The Web Designer Group we make sure to give you a year’s storage online, and renew the storage at the end of the year as part of our annual £99 website renewal fee.
Website storage, also known as storage space or disk space, refers to the amount of space on a web server that is allocated to website owners by the web hosting companies.
This storage technology contains all the text files, images, scripts, databases, email addresses and any other files that need to be stored on your website.
You want to make sure your web design agency provides the amount of space you need for your business website.
When you’re hiring a designer be sure to ask about setting up a company email address. This is one of the most important aspects of setting up a website, especially if you’re a business who needs access to their own emails.
Having your domain name at the end of your email address is important too. For example, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. This email shows that I’m part of the business and it makes your business look more legitimate to customers.
At The Web Designer Group we offer you three email addresses for your website, all with your domain name attached.
You can make these addresses whatever you want such as: info@, contact@, payments@, or yourname@. It’s completely up to you which email addresses you’d like to set up, be as creative as you want!
Contact forms are simple calls to action that help you manage workload. Instead of receiving inquiries over the phone you can have your web site design do it for you!
Our agency offers these forms as standard with our £495 websites but we also offer a custom contact form at an additional charge of £45.
The main difference between a regular contact form and a custom contact form is the fields. With the latter you can create the fields you want visitors to fill in, thereby extracting the exact information you need from your potential customers.
Again, you can be as creative as you want with this. Maybe you even want to include a cheeky joke to make your visitors laugh.
Works on multiple devices
Before the agency you’ve chosen to work with decides to launch your website, make sure that it’s responsive on multiple devices. You don’t want someone logging onto your site from a mobile phone and seeing it the same way they would in a browser.
Not only would the text be squished and difficult to read, it’d be even harder to navigate. Accessibility is key when you have a business web site design.
There are websites you can use to check if your system is mobile-friendly such as Google Search Console’s mobile-friendly test.
A simpler way to do this is to take your browser window, press “restore down” in the top right corner next to the ‘x’ button, and drag the corner until the window is the size of a mobile phone. If the page is responsive and fully functional, it should change to its mobile view.
When you hire a designer, you should make sure this is the case so you don’t get stuck with an unresponsive website.
If you’re a company that’s just starting out, you might not have a logo design. You might be an established brand but your logo has become outdated, or maybe you even made it yourself to save money.
At The Web Designer Group we create professionally designed logos for our clients, taking design inspiration from the client themselves such as what other logos they’ve seen that they like, colour schemes, etc.
This is an important part of the web site design process as the whole site has to be branded around the logo design.
You can also use your logo on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook & Instagram to give them a professional look that matches your websites branding perfectly.
Social Media Integration
Whilst we’re on the topic, it’s important to have your custom website linked to your social media channels. This is quite simple to integrate; all you need to do is have the logos of the channels you want placed into the header of your website.
These logos then need to be linked to your specific social media profile on the specified site. There are tons of plugins and web apps you can install to do this for you if your agency hasn’t given you one.
If you want to brand your social media channels, The Web Designer group gives you a quality PNG version of your logo that you can add to your profiles.
If you don’t know now to set up social media profiles, we can do this for an additional cost of £35 per channel, which we will then integrate all your branding and logos into.
These are the 10 primary elements you want if you’re buying a creative web site design for your business.
The website should be built on a user-friendly CMS, have a domain name and set of email addresses chosen by you, be search engine friendly, have an encrypted SSL to show how safe your site is to your audience, have it work on multiple devices, get a free logo designed, and everything else we’ve mentioned.
If you already have a website, The Web Designer Group can include everything mentioned in this post as a website redesign. This will improve your website immeasurably, especially if some of the things on this list are missing from your site.
Thanks for reading this post, I hope you learnt something about what you should expect from a web design agency when you have a website built.
See you in the next post!