What should be expected from your web-development firm?

Our goal is to help you figure out what you need based on your ending expectations. Choosing the right web designer for your specific needs is not as straight forward as you think, it’s more of a partnership than merely business. A good web designer needs to be trustworthy and honest, and most importantly, easy to get along with, as throughout the process they are transforming your ideas into physical form.

Your designer should be attentive to your needs and respond in the same way whether you are a small start-up or a large established business, as both are as important as one another. When you are choosing your designer, make sure that he is willing to follow your guidelines, but that he is open minded in his professional guidance. Remember you’re both experts in your respective fields so should trust each others judgement. You know your brand and customers better, he knows design and implementation better. If you are confused and don’t know how you want your website to look, then a professional person should be able to help you and work it out.

Responsiveness and Deadlines

Building the perfect website doesn’t happen overnight. It can vary depending on the size, content and purpose of your website. A good designer should be able to work within your timeline, yet still be honest and realistic, without feeling the need to rush. It can be a tough process of crafting a good website, and there is likely to be countless changes going back and forth, therefore it is important to be able to reach your designer. A responsible designer should be able to answer your questions and queries within 24 hours and solve any issues you have as quickly as possible. This will ensure your process runs smoothly.

The process of the work should be clearly defined by the designer and approved beforehand by you. If you have a current logo there is a chance it might need re-designing to fit within the current look of your new site. You should ask your designer whether logo redesign is included within your package.

It is important to discuss the amount of revisions that is covered by your contract to ensure that there is not a cap. As a customer your designer should keep you informed of the progress of your project at all stages of the work. Although web-design is very technical, it is your designer’s job, and their responsibility, to both simplify and clarify the whole process into easily understandable terms.

(Our process in detail – ‘5 Phases of the Web Design and Development’)


Professionalism and Tools

A professional designer is not only a good communicator but has the highest standards of work. Knowledge of and skills in HTML, CSS and Javascript are one aspect of deciding to hire a designer, alongside the tools they use, for example Adobe Creative Suite. Having a range of skills and web design tools are a must have for photos, layouts, coding, animations, graphics and videos. As a client you don’t need to understand these tools but it is good to ask which tools, scripts, languages and programming are implemented in your project.

As a client when you review the various designs remember the key elements which are: color, layout, typography, balance and grid. A good website requires all of these elements and putting them all together is another skill your web-designer should have. As a client you should trust your designer, but if the design is not appealing to you then it might not be a good fit.

Color, Layout, Typography, Balance and Grid

Pricing and Contracts

A good designer or web design company often offer different packages, so take to them directly to find out which package suits your specific needs best. You need to ensure that you are clear with pricing before you sign a contract and it is best to double check if there are any hidden costs.

When signing a contract, it is important to find out if a support package is included and for how long. You should inquire about various details such as:

-Where your website will be hosted
-How much is hosting per year
-How often will security updates take place
-How often the site will be tested for browser compellability

Optimally the support, hosting and updates should be provided as a separate package. So once the website is created, this can be continued if you wish. If your designer does not offer a package like this, then ask for a recommendation for a reliable company that they use.

As a client you should always be aware of rights of ownership and who will have rights to the material. Web based advertising moves very fast and a few months after launch various elements of your website might become outdated which is why updates are hugely important.

Hosting, Support and Updates - Maintenance Package

Final Deliverables

It will be an exciting moment when you are done and ready to publish your website, but don’t get too excited. Check if the materials you received are in editable formats such as PSD’s and AI’s as in the future you may wish to alter something in your website and without these you may need to start from scratch. If you only have an image, and not an editable file then you lose the flexibility to work with another designer in the future.

You should receive an archive which will be sent online, or a disk which will include all the editable graphic files and all of the code files that are related to your site. If you are hosting the site with the same company you should demand the deliverable files and not just be satisfied with the fact that the site is live.

You’ll need to check that your deliverables are browser compellability and that your website works with all current versions of major desktop browsers, and mobile browsers as well.

The site is always under your responsibility.  When you are writing and creating content it should always be original otherwise you will be penalized by Google plus you might have infringed copyright laws.

Some designers will provide you with keywords and phrases which are relevant to your industry and it is a good idea to keep these keywords in mind while you are drafting your texts. But remember to always writenaturally in order to target customers and not search engines.

The license of any graphics used should be included in the contract but you’ll need to confirm which elements you own the rights of, and for what use.

Trademarks and Copyrights

Your Responsibility as a Client

You are the employer but also should be a responsible and reliable partner. You should be actively providing text (Copywriting checklist) and providing feedback on the mock-up designs you are given. Working together is important to ensure the best outcome for your investment.

After choosing a perfect designer for your needs, you need to think about SEO.  A good web design company offers not only web design, but also the full service.  There are thousands of well-made websites, but only few made to the first page of Google, Bing or Yahoo.  SEO, which is Search Engine Optimization, determines your placement in the search engines.  A professional web design company should be able to clearly define its SEO tactics and provide a separate estimate for ‘SEO Campaigns’.

Please make sure to read our articles: ‘SEO Demystified’ which defines the 2 principal elements of SEO, and ‘SEO Process’ which describes the core elements of a quality SEO package.

Just as it was mentioned before technical complicated jargon could be easily translated to simple easy to understand terms.  SEO is probably one of the most intentionally complicated aspect of the web.  It is very technical and includes multiple variables, however it the SEO Agent’s job to simplify it for the customer.  Your initial web-design proposal should include basic ‘SEO Optimization’ meaning your site should be written in way where it could be further developed in the future (SEO Wise).

SEO Campaigns should always be given custom quotes.  Any SEO agency that will promise to put you on the first page of Google fast (in less than 6 months) should light all your red bulbs.  You can probably optimize your site yourself for a phrase that nobody every searched for (and never will).  A successful SEO campaign is developed gradually and requires constant devotion.  There are no magic tricks in real organic SEO (only temporary ‘black-hat’ tactics that will hurt your website offer: tricks, shortcuts, secret information etc.)

If you are not sure about a full scale SEO campaign you can launch a small ‘PPC Campaign’ in order to experiment about how targeted and convertible the new traffic is.  Then if you are satisfied with the results you can launch a broader ‘organic traffic’ campaign.