The #1 Priority for Redesigning Your Business Website is Hiring the Right Web Design Firm
Lately, I’ve managed website redesigns for several clients. Some projects went more smoothly than others, and the major determining success factor was how much consideration went into choosing the web design team.
With about 125,000 web design companies in the US, finding the right one can seem daunting. But also realize there are many great firms out there.
Step 1: Define the Business Goals for Your New Website
For small businesses, redesigning a website needs to have a tangible business function. Don’t invest in a redesign just for looks. Here are examples of website business goals:
- Lead generation: Effectively guide users to fill out contact forms and become new leads for your business
- Sales: Persuade customers to buy products or services on your site
- Customer experience: Improve the experience for your customers, i.e., customer service, online payments, resources, training
Step 2: Determine the Kind of Team You’re Looking For
Web design is a broad field, with companies specializing in anything from small business brochure sites to huge, complex sites with millions of users each day. Prices for a website redesign also vary widely, from about $3,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Web design companies also vary in their approach and composition. Some are sole-proprietorships with the principal being the salesperson, designer, technical lead and daily contact person. Others are large, traditional agencies with teams of salespeople, project managers, developers and designers. Some small businesses prefer working directly with the designer, while others find assurance in working with a larger team.
You need to right-size your investment to your business goals. Don’t hire a large, expensive agency if you can’t justify the expected ROI. Also, don’t hire a firm that is cheap but doesn’t have the ability to deliver.
Step 3: Evaluate Several Web Design Firms
Your website redesign shouldn’t be impulsive. Don’t just hire the first firm. Meet with at least three options, and feel free to expand your search if the original set aren’t a good fit. (Earlier, I mentioned that there are lots of good web designers out there. The opposite is also true).
Here’s some evaluation criteria you should consider:
- Price (obviously)
- How easy they are to work with
- How interested they are in your business and goals
- Examples of other websites they have designed that share your business goals
- Technical credibility
- Design sensibility
- Organizational and time management skills
- Long term support options
Step 4: Make a Decision and Get Started
Once you decide on the best web design firm for your small business, get started right away! Under good circumstances, website redesigns can take four to six months, so you don’t want to delay the process any longer than necessary.
If you have any questions about managing a website redesign, contact us.