You are ready. After years of preparation, you are taking a leap into building a website for your small business. Or you are looking at rebuilding that website that hasn’t been touched in 5 years? What should the first step be?
You know that you don’t have the time to build a website on your own. You can afford a web developer but do not know how much to pay. Neither do most of your competitors.
You know you need a website that converts and you have some ideas of what to start with. 56% of small businesses listed their website as the most important marketing tool according to the WASP 2019 State of Small Business Report.
This just touches the surface. Let’s get into how we decide how to find the right Web Designer for your job.
What do you want your website to do?
Everybody at this point knows that we should have basic pages such as:
- Events or News websites
- Blog about relevant topics to your business
- Reviews or Testimonials from clients
- About the team
- Products, Services, Pricing pages
- Home page
What does your website need to do?
- E-commerce or Online Sales focused website
- Website for Promotion of an event
- Branding for an artist website
- Portfolio of work for a photographer website
- Informational website to help you sell services
Most small business owners say it may be a combination of a few of these as their business grows with time.
Some businesses have an old archaic website that needs to be updated. In this type of situation, it is important that they work with a developer that realizes the current SEO value. You need to be very careful that your website provider includes redirects so that your years of backlink gathering from other sites remains.
Make a list of the features that you want for your website and be clear with the developer up front of your expectations. Once you have your list prioritize the must haves so that you can convey this to the web developer to get you what you need. You are basically making a roadmap for what you would like the web designer to create for you
Identify similar websites with qualities that you like
One of the best activities you can do to convey what you want to a web designer will be a list of screenshots and URLS demonstrating features you want. You may identify a form from one site, some fonts from another site or page outlines from a third site. This will make it easy for you and the website developer to mutually understand your goals from a cost perspective and an operational perspective.
How much should a website cost?
This is the golden question that we are all looking for. With do it yourself platforms like Wix or Squarespace, people that have no coding experience can make a website that looks good. However, if your goal is lead generation, e commerce or maintaining existing SEO from an old website, it’s probably worth your time to recruit a professional web developer.
The total costs of websites can vary a lot depending on what you want under the hood. According to Digital.com, they offer the following guidelines in their article How much does it cost to build a website?
Small Business websites
- generally anywhere between $2,000 and $8,000
- expect to pay anywhere from $10,000-$25,000
- can cost anywhere from $5,000-$40,000
These are strictly rough estimates. There can be additional fees if it is necessary to do things like
- Migrating over thousands of pages with lossless SEO
- Updating numerous header tags
- Updating meta tags and meta descriptions
- Synchronization with third party systems
Finding the best Website Designer for your business
Take that initial list that you made of websites and features that you like. Try contacting these businesses and find out who they worked with. Were they happy with the end product?
When you find a web developer that you would like to use ask them this series of questions
1. Is the company available to do the work
2. Is their price in line with a budget that works for you?
3. Do they have links of clients they work with, or can they provide you some references of clients they worked with?
4. What is the process for get starting?
5. What do you do when you need minor updates, website backups or new pages added?
6. What are the payment options for Web Design Services?
Expect to pay about a half the bill up front, another 25% when the site is 75% completed and the last remaining fees when the site is ready to go live.
After going through these steps, you will probably find a great web developer to work with.
SEO Design Chicago and Website Design:
When you are ready to update an existing website, or build a new one, let SEO Design Chicago help! Contact us today