Many businesses ask themselves if they need a web developer for their existing or potential website.
A lot of people who don’t know much about making a website use a CMS system (Content Management System) or page builders using templates, however, these can be confusing if you have not done it before.
Also using templates rather than building a website through code could have a negative impact on their SEO or performance.
The aim of a website is to have an online presence for people to easily find information about you or your business.
For those who want to sell products or services online the main question to think about is, how to get customers to your website.
In order to get more engagement on your website, it needs to abide by Google’s rules, such as good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
To make a website that is successful you would need to upload merchandise photos, write descriptions, set prices, explain the delivery method and so forth, which can get confusing, however, some platforms can remind you to perform these tasks, which can be helpful.
When making a website yourself, you also need to consider how much control you’ll want over the website’s appearance and if you’re willing to share a percentage of your profits with a platform that provides you with page builders or templates.
For example, if you choose to create your online presence on a photography platform, you may have less control over things like colour, text layout and how your company logo is displayed.
Using these types of website builders, you’ll also be bound by the terms of service and the policies of that platform, which limits the control of most aspects of your website.
If you choose to make a separate website for your business, it will require more effort, but you can decide exactly how everything will look and you will have more control over what content you choose to provide.
For some platforms, such as Google My Business, you can do everything yourself, from displaying your address on a map, to adding a photo of your shop. However, adding these features to a custom website may require help from an experienced professional.
But where do you even start to find the right person to help?
If you don’t think your website is accessible or running the best it should do, then it’s time to think about contacting a web developer or designer.
You may not need to make a new website, they can simply optimise your site, so it can run smoothly for users.
There are many web development companies around the North East (including us!) so there are plenty to pick from.
Web designers and developers often have online portfolios so just Google your location and keywords surrounding website developers.
Look through their portfolios and see if they have built user-friendly, good-looking websites that you like.
Once you’ve found web designers or developers that meet your standards, get in touch with them and narrow down your list.
However, once you do find someone to work with, you’ll need to meet and review the content and the structure of your site.
Things to consider similar to looking at your website on a desktop, are aspects such as when you open them up on a mobile, how do they look? Do they load fast? Is it easy to order products?
So ask them questions like; How many pages should it have? And how will users click from one place to another?
The more questions you ask the more your web developer will understand your website and business concept, which will help you portray what customers you want to attract and what kind of message you want to send to them.
Always make sure to clearly explain your goals, so the web developer knows exactly what you want to achieve.
This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. So leave plenty of time and don’t expect your developer to have only you as a client. More than likely they will be booked months in advance, so ask ASAP!
Depending on what you want to be done to your website, time may vary. Special features you may want to add to your site like shopping carts and payment processing may add to development time.
Once you get your site changed or optimised, make sure you ask yourself; “Does my website look good and function correctly across devices and browsers?”
Check out our blog post on “What is your website saying to your customers“
Keep in mind your site will need to be updated on a regular basis and you may need to add information about new products, or add new content that requires addition functionality.
Make sure your developers will be available to maintain your site and add new content to the future or that they teach you how to use the tools so that you feel comfortable doing this yourself.
And now, your site is live but the work is just getting started…
If you are considering hiring a website design agency to help you with your existing website, or perhaps a new website is on the horizon, get in touch we’ll be happy to have a chat! [email protected]
We currently offer ongoing monthly support for websites, especially if you are on WordPress!