Setting the Scene
It’s time. Even though your business website was only built a few years ago, website technology has moved so quickly that your online presence is now dated, drab and even worse… a turn off to potential customers. Your small business desperately needs a website redesign.
So, you go online to browse a bunch of your competitors’ websites and notice that most of them have older websites too. All of them look terrible on your mobile phone and iPad.
One competitor, however, has a brand new website that functions well and looks great. It’s clean, bright, and well organized. At this point, you think you know what you need for your own website and it’s time to find the right web designer to do the job.
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You know that picking the right team to build your website is an important decision. So, even though you’re pretty busy with your own work, you decide to get three quotes and choose the best one.
Three Potential Candidates
Let’s say that your first call is to your old web designer, a freelancer who was nice enough the first time around. You see that his website has not been updated in a few years but you shrug that off to “the cobbler’s kids don’t have any shoes” syndrome. He doesn’t answer his phone so you send him an email… which he responds to 48 hours later. You email him back and ask him to call you, which he does, the next day. You try to tell him why you want a new website (without offending him of course) and how many pages you think you need. A week later, an email arrives with a price that’s pretty close to what you expected. It has a few details about what’s not included and what that will cost if you want those features too.
The next firm that interests you is one of the first results in Google. They have a nice looking website, so you give them a call. You are immediately switched to a very professional account representative who listens attentively and asks some good questions. She walks you through their website which has hundreds of pages explaining how they work and what they can do for you. When you get to their client list, you gulp, as it includes a bunch of huge, international companies… but not too many smaller businesses like yours. The account rep assures you that they often work with smaller companies of 500 or less… you gulp again. You’re intimidated but have come this far, so you ask for a proposal. It arrives in a few days, and you are impressed by how detailed it is. On the last page, you are smacked with sticker shock, but you know you should not choose who does your website redesign based on price alone.
The third web design company, a local business, also answers their phone right away. You’re connected to a principal and she’s a good listener too. She asks a lot of the same good questions, including some things you never thought about before. When you start discussing which pages your site will need, you realize that the sitemap you have on your old site is way too complicated—and really needs to be simplified. She asks questions about your target audience and what you want your site to accomplish. As a savvy business person, you know these are important questions, but never understood how essential this information is to planning your new website. Within just a few hours, you get your third proposal, which includes everything that you discussed and decided upon. It costs a bit more than you expected to pay, but it’s still way less than the last one you got.
Making the Right Decision…
So you’ve got three website redesign proposals to choose from. The first, from your old web designer, provides familiarity at a good price. You may not get the dramatic change you were hoping for, but you’ll probably feel okay about the end result. The second, from a highly respected (and expensive) web design agency, will almost certainly result in a professional website presence. Your big fear, however, is that you won’t receive the attention that their bigger clients demand. You may even get stuck with a brand new hire, cutting their teeth on your project. The third option is the local firm who, on the surface, seem to know what you are looking for. While the price is a bit more than you were hoping for, it seems like you will have their attention and hopefully that will translate into getting what you actually need.
So how do you choose? Unfortunately, it’s not a simple answer, and there really isn’t any one-size-fits-all formula. The fact is that every web designer has unique design styles and the websites they produce all have a variety of different features. It’s up to you to prioritize your needs and boil each potential candidate down to those specific factors.
One thing you can do to simplify your decision, is to eliminate the skimpy proposals. If a website redesign proposal doesn’t have everything you need, make sure your bidders actually add it in. If they don’t, move on to the next.
Below, we’ve provided a link to get one of our own website proposals. Know before you go!