When searching for a web design agency, business owners and managers sometimes look for web service providers who demonstrate all the bells and whistles on a few client website examples. Bedazzled by the moving, blinking and flashing, they (business owners) often neglect to ask the designers whether they adhered to “Best Web Design Practices”. Here are 5 Golden Rules that you must insist your website designers follow.
The Golden Rules
There is a saying that: “Any fool can make a rule…a bigger fool can break it”
While rule breakers think that the rules were foolish in the first place, those that don’t follow them are, in fact, the greater fools! That definitely applies to these simple rules. The following website design rules are in place so as to protect you (the client), as well as your website designer. Make sure your service provider follows them diligently.
RULE#1: Transparency Is Paramount: When you first make contact with your website design team, you must insist that all correspondence is open and frank - whether it is to do with project pricing, time-lines or service level agreements; it all needs to be upfront. With everything on the table, you – the client – can then make informed decisions that are in YOUR interest, NOT theirs!
Some web designing firms receive “referral fees” from other companies, like hosting service providers, to “strongly recommend” those services to clients. Knowing about such agreements can assist you in deciding if you truly need those add-ons, or whether you are better off sourcing them yourself.
RULE#2: If It Isn’t Written Down…It Wasn’t Said: “Trust me”, “My word is my bond!”, “Take my word for it!”…that’s all fine for site designers to say to you when negotiating and discussing a website design service offering. However, one of the golden rules is to never go on words alone. Get them to put it in writing. If your service provider is reluctant to write down that which they have agreed during negotiations, then they are very likely to disregard this 'agreed' elements when you speak to them about it in a few months time. Plenty of other website design companies are straight forward and honest and they will add to the contract any specific items that you have agreed with them and they're the kind of company you need to work with.
RULE#3: Cost Matters, But…: Remember that cost is not the deciding factor for which web design partner you should choose to work with. Always insist that your service provider talk about “value for money” and “total cost of ownership” first, in terms of what it is they will be providing. Website designs build costs can often be used as a red herring to distract customers from the substance of the overall web service. If you get a website package right now and it's half the price of all the other quotations you received, don't you think that there is a reason that all other quotations were double that cheapest quote? You may not 'pay' now but you'll pay sometime – all good website packages costs around the same – it's just a case of when you pay the full amount and how you pay it.
RULE#4: Speed Matters: The single most important rule that you should enforce with your site designers is around website page load speed. If you agree that a certain website page response time is vital to your business needs, then that’s something you have to receive. A professional web design agency may use various tools to demonstrate different speed metrics to measure what they have delivered. Make sure you are fully satisfied with the results.
Receiving a poorly designed web site is more than about not getting value for money. It can also impact customer retention and erode your bottom line. No one likes to buy from a website that takes ages to load. Do some page load testing yourself continually and make sure you are always getting a premium service. You will find that your website visitors have little patience for slow loading web pages – that's just a fact – and they will move elsewhere as soon as they see that your website loads slowly.
RULE#5: Service Counts: Good website design service is more than just getting a well designed site, with everything in accordance with your contracted website agreement. It goes beyond that, and that’s where another cardinal rule plays a role: Always ask about ongoing service! Don't be left alone once the website goes live – make sure you have a website team there for you, just a call/email away.
Many a great website project has been abandoned because, either the web developer isn’t able to support it after the initial website go-live date, or because the site owner didn’t understand the ongoing costs associated with continual updating and maintenance of the website. Putting a new website live is on thing – but keeping it secure, live and health for the coming year is another. If you buy a car, surely you’ll check what the cost of maintaining it will be? It’s the same with web services. If your web design agency says “Don’t worry about support…lets design this thing first!” – Remember Rule#2.
Remember that rules work both ways though. If you agree to a certain response time (Rule#4), but insist on a much faster website once it’s delivered, Rule#4 will preclude that from happening. And that’s fair…you should just get what you pay for.
Rules That Matter
At the end of the day, website designing is an art that’s based partly on the science of code-writing and page construction; and largely on good faith and trust that a website owner has in the web design company. One part cannot work well without the other.
Using a professional web designing agency guarantees that you get value for your money, and that the above 5 golden rules are adhered to. If you have any questions about the above, your website or website maintenance, give us a call on 01-6216866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .