Five Questions to Ask Your Website Design Vendor
A new or updated website design project can feel as complicated as this construction project. So you’ve finally taken the plunge and started that big website update – congrats! You found a local website vendor, paid a deposit, and handed over keys to the current site. You’re done right? Not if you want a useful site! Besides the fact that you need to dive deep in the strategy of your site (or hire a strategic partner), you’ve also got to mind the details if you want a successful project. By the way, not sure you’re ready to start yet? Click here to browse some of our website design work.
Five tips to help make sure your new website is a success….
1. Speed matters.
Over 60% of Users abandon if no load within 3-5 seconds according to Google Insights. Do you have a consumer brand? Do your customers browse your site predominantly on mobile devices? If the answers to either of these are yes, then it’s even more critical to have a fast loading website. Speed of load is a complex issue , and it’s not just solved by an expensive hosting plan. Sure, fast hosting is important, but the quality of the coding and site architecture is even more critical. Don’t settle for less when it comes to animation, images or design elements. A well-built site can still perform quickly with all of these features. The key is a plan, and an experienced team.
2. Is it responsive?
This should be an absolute no-brainer for any competent web-designer. But like most things, the details matter. So, first what does responsive even mean? The simple answer is that your website properly re-sizes and scales from the largest screens to the smallest devices. Now for the details. Make sure that your design team is taking this a step further in two areas. First, specific device testing. It’s critical to test across a range of devices. iPhone X, the Samsung series, laptops, 5k displays – yes all of these should be accounted for.
3. How do you make simple edits?
If you know how to code or don’t mind the meter running on hourly charges, then don’t worry about this one. But for the rest of us, this is important. Every website should have a frontend editor which allows anyone with basic computer to easily edit text on the website. This also keeps you from having to pay your website developer every time you want to make a simple text change or add new content. We recommend the WordPress platform for several reasons.
- WordPress is safe and secure
- The platform is proven and used by over 30% of the web globally
- It’s user-friendly and scalable
- There’s no cost to WordPress itself
- It’s customizable for a wide range of needs
4. Can Google find it?
This one is critical to every business, regardless of size or industry. I’m surprised that I still occasionally run into people who says their business website doesn’t matter because all their leads come from referrals. They don’t realize those same leads are “googling” and making assumptions and decisions before they even reach out. So, how can Google find a website easily? Make sure your new site is built for speed (back to point one above), H1 & H2 tags are properly set up, an SEO plugin is used, site indexing is set up, slugs are thoughtful, and that keywords are intentionally planned throughout the site. If your web developer hasn’t discussed this with you, just ask. And if they don’t know what you’re talking about, run! Any competent web developer should be able to build a site properly with these building blocks. This doesn’t guarantee ranking on page one of Google. Rather, it’s a starting point for a long-term plan for SEO and Google ranking.
5. Who owns it, where is it?
Intellectual property is an important aspect of every design and digital project which is often overlooked. Do you own the site or just lease it? Where is it hosted? Who owns the domain name? Do you own the code or just the visual design elements? All of these questions are up for negotiation, and the answers will vary from firm to firm. I recommend confirming three things in writing:
- Who will own the design and code?
- Where will my site be hosted?
- Where will my domain name live?
At MG Marketing, we always turn over all design and code to our clients upon full payment. In simple terms, once you pay, you own everything. We also recommend that your site be hosted on a third party platform, not directly with us. This gives you control and options. We also help our clients set all of this up – aka the “easy button”.