t’s something which most small business owners will be familiar with: having to get your very own website set up and running on the internet. For many of us, we choose to work with a web design agency because we don’t have the technical capabilities or expertise to do it ourselves, so we choose to employ a company with the specialist techniques to produce a website for us. This in itself can throw up a number of new problems, not least the worries of having to understand all of the technical terms that a web design agency might use when talking to you. How should you know what to expect? What sort of timeframe do you usually have to work to? What does it cost? What will the web design agency need from you? These are all frequently asked questions and are completely valid concerns to have. However, you need not worry any more as we have put together the answers to these questions and more, enabling you to complete your new website hand in hand with your web design agency.
So What Happens From Here?
A web design agency will take care of the whole process of designing and developing your new website, but they will need your help. You will need to provide them with your branding and company colours as well as any text and images you want included on the website. This sort of content is always best when it comes from the customer, and that’s you, so get thinking! Your web design agency won’t know all of the information about your company and industry – certainly not as much as you do – so this is information which you will need to provide to them.
Your web design agency will usually then put together some concept designs which they will send over to you for your perusal. Once you have settled on a design and layout you are happy with, the web design agency will embark on developing the design and coding it into a fully-working website. If you have any concerns about the design and layout or want to make any aesthetic changes, this is the time to do it! If you leave it beyond the design stage, your web design agency will most likely charge you for the changes made to an already-signed-off design.
During the development process, the web design agency will code your new website using a base of HTML/CSS and any other server-side technologies which may be required (for example, if you have any advanced requirements which require additional coding). It is at this stage that they will require the text content for your website so this can be coded in as well. You should ensure that the text is clear and concise as writing for the web is very different to writing for print. Your web design agency will be able to advise you on this, but the basics are to keep it simple and engaging. Get to the point and don’t waffle: people simply won’t hang around to read it if you do.
Once this has been completed, your website is ready for final testing. You should ensure that everything works exactly how you want it to. Check every word, every full-stop and every image. Do all the links work? Does the website display correctly in every browser? Once you have signed off the website it may be too late to make any changes (and your web design agency will almost certainly charge you for them) so it is imperative that you ensure you are completely happy with it.
The Site is Built Now…What’s Next?
When the site’s live, you may want to talk to your web design agency about which internet marketing services they offer. Many web design agencies offer ongoing search engine optimisation or pay-per-click marketing packages which will help to bring additional traffic and visitors to your site. After all, what’s the point of having a brand new website if no-one is able to find it? After the time and money you have invested in having your web design agency put a new website together for you, you will want to make sure you are making the most of it and getting as many potential customers to your website as possible. You can also help by advertising your new website address and trying to work your way into the new online market. This is especially important if you are selling products through an eCommerce website as the outlays to your web design company are likely to have been high and you will need to see a return on investment.