Get Affordable Web Design Services of a High Calibre

Find a Quality Web Designer for under £500

For a small business or sole trader now, having a website is a must. But budgets are usually tight and the choices for procuring a website are huge.  And with so much choice, where does one start? So as Web Design is my thing (and Marketing my background) I’m offering some helpful advice borne of experience and four years in the game. Here’s how you can find high quality AND affordable web design services for your business.

So what constitutes a Genuinely Good Quality Website?

I list it as ticking all of the below . .

Great Visual Design
Your website showcases the very best of your business, it needs to look clean, enticing and professional.
Mobile/Tablet Friendly
Also known as being ‘responsive’ your website needs to work on all sorts of different devices. If it doesn’t you will damage your brand, lose customers and damage your search engine ranking.
Fast
Your website needs to be fast, taking no more than 3 seconds to load. The longer it takes the more users you lose and the worse your search engine ranking. Pingdom is fantastic at accurately measuring a websites speed, just ensure you select the nearest country to you for any testing.
SEO Friendly
Your website needs to be set up so that search engines can crawl each page on the website efficiently, interpret the content effectively, and index it in their database.  Tags such as title tags, header tags, image alt tags, and the meta description tag need to be used correctly. A good Web Designer will also inform their client on keywords and advise them of how they should apply then in their content (text/copy).
Marketing Orientated
Once a visitor is on your page you are going to want them to do something, buy a product or get in touch with you. This is where good design and the use of clear & enticing Call to Actions (CTAs) are key!
Clear Navigation
Like clear signage in a Department Store you need your visitors to easily find their way around your website. If they can’t they will become frustrated and leave the website, it will also leave them with a negative impression of your brand. Some websites these days are stunning to look at but it’s really hard to find what you are looking for. Good navigation should have options on the menu and within the body of the website too.

Affordable Web Design of a High Standard is hard to find . . but it IS out there!

It is certainly not a challenge to find a web designer! Ask any high street shop owner or business with social media. Web designers approach businesses all the time. But of course, what is key here is finding the *right* web designer. And at the right price!

There are a lot of charlatans out there and I’ve had a number of clients come to me after having been burned in the past. From being promised the world and delivering little to finding the price getting higher as the project continued.

So, how DO you find Affordable Web Design of a High Calibre?

I recommend using the google search engine (as it has a huge share of the user market) and searching ‘affordable web design’. It will bring up a mixture of designers/agencies that lead with being ‘affordable’, some will be local to you (google does this automatically these days) and some will be larger national agencies. This will also bring up Web Designers that are good at, and practice effective search engine optimisation.

Now you have your raw results list, it’s time to sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’.

yellow traingle

Is *their* website of good quality?

Look at web designer’s website, does it tick the Quality Website boxes (above)

Does their portfolio look good & ‘the real deal’?

Scrutinise their portfolio, does the previous work look professional? Does it link to the actual website? If so, is the design the same? I’ve found some that link but the client has actually had their website redesigned by someone else! Some think it bad policy to have any links on a website that take a visitor away from your website (I disagree with this, but I always set it so a new tab opens an external link) so this shouldn’t necessarily ring warning bells. But I would recommend trying to find at least 2 of the websites listed on the portfolio page.

Are their Testimonials real?

Firstly, are the Testimonials glowing? And after that, are they real? Do the authors of the testimonials look legitimate? Are both, first name & surname included along with the business name? Are the names ‘in word’ format or mentioned on an image? Any testimonial author should be able to be found by a search engine; in other words, if I gave a testimonial, I should be able to find it when I google ‘Cathy Rowson’, if it’s hidden then it could well be fraudulent. If only first names are given this should trigger a red flag. You need to know that these people are real and that they have said what has been claimed.

Select 3 or 4 Web Designers that claim to be affordable and have passed the test (so far).

They may or may not state their pricing on their website. So the first question you’re going to need to ask them about is pricing to find out if they really offer affordable web design services.
Specifically;
– The entire cost of design
– The amount required up front (should not be more than half)
– What will the hosting charges be (for a small website these should be no more than £10p/m) – Plus: Obtain contract & read before spending any money – check contract is easy to understand with no ambiguous phrasing & there are no ‘catches’ or hidden charges

What they need to demonstrate throughout the process

Marketing Experience

A marketing savvy designer that will get a good comprehension from you of;

  1. What your services or products are
  2. What type of people will buy your products/services (from this your designer should have a strong idea of what the motivations are
  3. Who your main competition are
  4. Why you stand out from the competition, your Unique Selling Point (USP)

Timeline

You’ll also need them to respond to you in a timely manner throughout the process. If a segment of work is going to take more than a few days you should be advised of this. An agreed upon deadline should have been established before the commencement of the project.

Web Design: It’s all in the detail.

A good Web Designer will pay attention to the detail, both when you send it over and again when they apply it to the website. They need to offer unambiguous instructions and questions. And be clear & precise in how and when they want the website content to be sent over.

Integrity

Integrity should be demonstrated throughout the process. You should be advised on the best way forward for your business, rather than what may be easier for them to achieve. They should also explain the basics of SEO keywords & explain how you should find yours along with suggestions on how to add to your content (copy/text).