Website design prices are a closely guarded secret. Whilst some web design companies do advertise the price you can expect to pay for website design, most companies don’t.
An article posted in Website Design SA in February 2010, although a little outdated, gave interesting information regarding the prices they were given when inquiring at various website design companies throughout South Africa. In our own experience at Brilliant Creations Website Design, the feedback we have received from our clients was just astonishing! Hugely inflated prices were quoted for very basic websites.
Cheap is not necessarily better, but make sure you don’t get ripped off either. Getting more than one quote will help you weigh up your options. However, price is only ONE out of many factors to consider.
Another shocking fact that permeates the industry in South Africa was the lack of service. Often our clients found that they received little to no feedback after requesting information or quotes from various website design companies throughout South Africa. When getting more information, find out about the web design company’s turnaround time. How long do they expect you to wait for a website design? If they cannot give you a definitive answer, then you need to wonder why.
Regardless of price or service, however, one has to carefully weigh what you are receiving for the price you are being quoted. Does the website design fee include server hosting? If not, will that company assist you in hosting, or do you need to organise it yourself? Although not a tricky aspect, hosting can sometimes cause frustrations, especially if you are not sure what goes exactly where. Ensuring that your website design company will arrange hosting for you if you do not already have this in place can be a great stress relief!
Other than hosting, will your web design company be willing to make regular changes to your design? For a website to be truly SEO friendly, and “Google-licious”, the content on the site cannot be allowed to stagnate. Regular updates need to be made as a necessity, and some companies might charge you for each and every change. If so, make sure you know how much this is going to be before committing to a website design company.
Another element to consider is the overall approach of the company. Are they professional? Do they respond promptly to your queries and give you enough information to make an informed decision? Do they seem flexible, or stubborn? When asking for a quote, was it simply given as a “proforma” invoice, leaving you with more questions than answers?
Before contacting any web design company, have a look through their own website. Is there enough information on the website for you to glean approximately how much they charge? If not… then why not? Do they have various methods of contact available, or do you simply have the option to phone them directly?
If they have a portfolio, can you enter the actual website which was created? A telling sign is if a website design company only has images of their portfolio, and do not display links to the actual sites they created. If they do have links, why don’t you get a direct referral from one of their clients and find out for yourself how that client found the experience of dealing with the web design company.
Always ask about Search Engine Optimisation. SEO has to be done correctly from design stage, or you risk your website losing page rank fast! If they can attest to ensuring SEO is adhered to on all pages/posts during design stages, then you know they are on the right track!
And last but not least… do they care? Although it might be difficult to shed light on this pertinent issue before even making initial contact with the website design company, by looking through their website, you can gain valuable insight into their own personalities and work ethics. If their design is clean, efficient and intelligently laid out, then your’s will be, too.