So, you’ve decided you need a website…

So, you need a website

Having just gone into your browser and searched for “free website builder”, “build your own website”, “website designers” “website builders” or any similar phrase (and believe me the list is endless), you begin to melt down. How do you even begin to pick someone from all the choice? Ask yourself a few questions. (When faced with a lot of choice, I tend to make a list of the different options so that I can compare – and so pick up a pen and paper or open up a spreadsheet and start taking notes!)

Price Actually, price not as important as you might think. What do you get for the money, now THAT IS important! Read on, what do you get for the money?

Do you get your website hosted on your own domain? (Tap HERE for a bit more information about Domains) Is linking to your own domain included in the price?

How many website pages does the price allow for? Are additional pages charged extra? Do you have to pay for additional functionality? (This could be things such as extra website pages, hosting on your own domain, not having advertising messages on your website. You might have to pay more if you need an image gallery or integration with Google maps or an enquiry form).

Can I update the words and images on the website easily? In my years of talking to customers about their websites, the biggest issue is that their new website looks beautiful, but they cannot easily update it. Reputable website companies will have a demo version that they can show you. Unbelievably, it is still common to find that you have to contact the developer to update your website and pay for the privilege each time. Alternatively, you are given access to update the website only to login in to the Content Management System (the administration bit) to be faced with technical jargon and no easy way to understand how to insert an image or update the copy. This is really important. Once the website is built you’re stuck with it, ask the question and make sure you understand how it will work.

I’m stuck, I need help! Will you have to pay extra to call someone to help you out? Or is there help at the end of the telephone or email advice? When I contact the company, do they come back to me when they say they will?

Did I like the person I spoke to, were they friendly, helpful and spoke in a language that I understood?

Do I have a money back guarantee if I’m not completely satisfied?

Will the company allow me to talk to other satisfied clients?

I’ve heard many stories from clients and potential clients who have chosen their website provider and not ended up with what they expected. It was more expensive than they were quoted, it didn’t work as they expected, the developer missed the go-live deadline and they were frustrated because their website provider didn’t talk to them when deadlines started to slip. Please don’t fall into this trap. Do the research, ask the questions and talk to your shortlisted companies. If, after all this you do have problems, I’m happy to chat to you (as I’ve done for a number of people over the past year or so) and give help and advice (without the need to tell you that you should use one of our websites!) You can get hold of me HERE.