How to choose the right web design company?

Finally, you’ve decided you need a new website. If you’re not already working with a web design agency, how do you choose the right firm to develop a website for your business?

You have to know the dealings of a good agency partner before choosing a web design company because, without that knowledge, you risk choosing the wrong agency and that could be a disastrous waste of time and money.

It’s important to know and understand these important basics in order to protect you and your business against that potential mistake. Without their support, you risk losing a lot of time and money in a mess of complicated contracts, red tape, and failed deadlines.

So before choosing a successful web design partner, you need to go through a basic list of 10 criteria mentioned below:

1.Your website budget

Setting a budget for your web design project is the first thing you should do before you start looking at web design agencies.

A budget can be a shoestring to unlimited funding, but you should have an amount on paper before you start pursuing agencies.

In addition to that, you should set the flexibility of your budget to make sure you can accommodate up-selling.

An agency will recommend that you buy other web design options to achieve more success even though you’ll always be willing to pay less than your budget to get what you need. While the agency has a financial incentive to do that, they’re also the experts in their field which means they know what will work for you.

Also, you should have an amount for your budget that you’ll tell your agency.

This number should be lower than your actual budget to give yourself some additional room when you’re chalking out what you want from an agency. When the percentage amount is slightly lower than average lying anywhere around 75% to 90% of your actual budget is when you can easily accommodate their suggestions without breaking the bank.

That will be a win-win situation for both which is a great way to start a successful relationship with an agency.

2.Web design agency’s pricing

After deciding your budget, you also need to research an agency’s pricing.

That can take a lot of time especially for agencies that offer different pricing plans for their services. Analyzing what you can afford and how it can improve your business is a critical portion of the partnership process, and if you don’t do your research, you could end up spending way more than you want for services that you don’t need.

However, most agencies out there don’t publish their pricing. That’s because the best agencies in the industry usually require you to contact them to get information on packages, and sometimes they won’t give you that information until you tell them you want to work out a web design strategy.

If you are someone who wants all of the information upfront, you will have a much smaller pool of potential partners than someone who can go with the flow.

Generally, agencies that publish their pricing are more dedicated to transparency and working within your set budget than agencies that keep it a secret. However, it’s still uncommon to find pricing listed online, even for the best agencies out there.

3. Hidden fees and charges

Even after you’ve asked an agency about pricing, you have one last piece of financial business on your hands.

Sometimes, an agency has a list of fees and charges that they issue, and they don’t always tell you about them.

They might be in the fine print of your contract, or they might not list fees anywhere at all. But if you partner with an agency without asking about surprise fees, you could quickly find yourself over-budget with a website that you don’t like.

With that in mind, it’s essential that you talk to your agency about their policy on fees. Do they charge for making unscheduled updates to the site? Do they bill you for extra hours that they spend working for your company every month? Can you end up spending more for an unscheduled checkup about your site?

All of those questions are good to ask, especially since there’s no “standard” stance on fees for web design agencies. It’s up to you to get the details you need for success, especially if they’re not presented upfront.

Once you have your finances in order, you can move onto the next important step of agency evaluation.

4. Check their website

The site a web design agency builds for its own company is a good indication of its design style, capabilities, and technological expertise. Do you like the site overall? Is the site responsive? Is that website is user-friendly?

If the design of their website doesn’t exactly reflect your own style then that’s not a big problem. A good web design company never copy-paste their own style. They create a new design for your brand guidelines and style aesthetic, not their own. The important thing is that the site looks up to date and is visually pleasing, highly functional, and user-friendly.

5. Check their portfolio

Every web design company will have their own portfolio section on their website. So you can easily see some examples of their previous work. Check some website they have developed. Is they are looking professional and easy to use? Do the sites seem similar in scope?

That will show you what you can expect from an agency, and it’ll also give you a list of clients to contact to find out more.

While it’s important to see examples of an agency’s work, this step also gives you the information you need to contact an agency’s clients directly and ask about their experience.

If they speak highly of the agency, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. If they say they can’t wait to get out of their contract, then it’s critical that you look somewhere else.

This is the basic idea is to learn from companies who came before you.

Was partnering with this web design agency the best choice they’ve ever made? Or are they struggling to keep up with payments? Anyway, you’ll have got a clear picture of that web design agency, whether or not you should contact that agency.

Along with looking at an agency’s previous clients, you can also ask them about their client retention rate.

A lot of companies will hover around 60% or so, and anything below that indicates that there’s something sketchy going on with the agency itself.

The agencies that have the best client retention will typically be your best bets for partnerships. After all, a website isn’t just something that you throw together — it takes time, strategizing, and execution to make everything come together.

If that web design agency doesn’t have a good client retention rate, then they’re missing some important things, and that means they won’t give you the results that you expect.

But when you find an agency with a high client retention rate — and when they publish it online for everyone to see — you can be sure you’ve found a quality agency.

6. Accountability

Pay attention to how they handle the call—are they accessible and friendly? Do they ask questions about your company and the details of the project, or do they immediately launch into a hard sell? This is a company you will be working with for months, so chemistry is important. answers the phone might not be the one you end up dealing with the most (or at all) once you have signed on as a client, that person still reflects the overall personality of the company, so be sure it feels like a good fit.

When you work with an agency, you don’t want them to say that they’re responsible as a whole for your success. That mentality reflects an undefined, loose, and undisciplined culture that can let you downtime and time again.

Instead, you want to get the name and contact information of a representative who is personally responsible for seeing that your site gets the attention it needs to succeed. You should have one point of contact that can answer your questions, update you regularly on your progress, and discuss alterations to your current strategy whenever required.

Without that contact, the agency can pass blame among its employees and make excuse after excuse for why you’re not achieving your goals.

But when you have a single person who’s accountable for your satisfaction, there’s no doubt about the responsible person whose name is right there on your phone.

7. Other customer support

Even for agencies that give you a dedicated point of contact, that person may not always be available 100% of the time.

After all, they’re human, and sometimes they get sick, take vacations, or have to take care of their personal lives.

So if your point of contact isn’t available, you need a person or a team who can give you the support you need, especially if your representative is gone for an extended amount of time.

Whether that’s the department head, your contact’s coworker, or someone who looks after clients for people out of the office, you need to know so you can continually keep the agency accountable for your progress.

In addition, you also need information on an agency’s customer support policy.

If something goes wrong with your site, you need to be able to contact them to fix the error. Can you call whenever you want? Or do you have to wait for certain hours? Either way, you need to know.

8. Updating the website

Sometimes, a web design agency will set you up with the tools you need to make direct changes to your website with a content management system (or CMS).

However, sometimes they keep everything in-house so they can better keep an eye on your updates.

Regardless of which policy your agency has, it’s important that you know about it so you can understand how you’ll work together.

If you can make changes to your site directly, that’s great! And if you don’t want to deal with the site at all, you can entrust the agency to do it all for you.

Ultimately, this depends on the kind of project manager you like to be. If you’re hands-on, ask for a way to make changes to the site yourself.

And if you have other things to do, ask the agency to take care of it for you. You win either way!

A full-service web design agency should include a basic training session for your team to explain how things work and show how to make changes and updates. Have a list of things you think you’ll need to update fairly frequently (events, forms, page content, etc.) and ask which of these things will be editable in the content management system. For changes that require programming or design help, the company should provide a quote for the amount of time the change will take, and a rate for the work

9. Relocating your site

In some cases, a web design agency may not work with your existing hosting service.

Instead, they may host it themselves or switch services to another company that they’ve contracted as an exclusive provider.

In the event that they’re going to move your site to another host, you need to know.

You don’t want to try and check out your website one day only to find out that it’s hosted somewhere else under a different username and password. When you’re that out of the loop, an agency can do anything they want to your site without your supervision — and that can be a recipe for disaster.

On top of having free reign over your site, moving your hosting service can also affect your website’s loading speed and accessibility. If you operate in Maine and your web design agency relocates your servers to Guam, that’s almost an 8000-mile difference.

While this is an extreme example, it’s critical that you know where an agency will host your website.

If the servers are on the other side of the world from your primary demographic, then your demographic won’t be able to access your website as quickly as your competitors’ websites.

If your website moves, make sure you know where it’s going.

10. Meeting the deadlines

Last, after you’ve gone through all of the previous steps, you need to set concrete, achievable criteria with deadlines.

This kind of scheduling and outlining gives you a way to track the progress of your web design agency.

If your partner is ahead of schedule, then you know you chose a good partner. And if they’re lagging behind, you might want to consider talking to another agency.

Steps like defining whether or not your website will be accessible on mobile platforms, how many visitors you want to support at any time when your site will launch, a regular maintenance schedule, and more.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll be more successful when you’re more specific about what you want to achieve. Setting general goals gives your agency a wiggle room, which gives them the opportunity to miss the mark.

Final Selection

A lot of effort goes into building a website, but just as much effort goes into optimizing it, promoting it, measuring its performance, and making improvements. Unless you have an in-house digital marketing team ready to take over every aspect of digital marketing once your new website is complete, look for a web design firm that also specializes in digital marketing, so you can be sure that the new website is delivering the results you want. Ideally, the selected agency’s team would be available to you should you wish to deepen your engagement with ongoing digital marketing or periodic enhancements or refreshes.

And if you think of other questions you want to ask, always ask them — a good web design agency will never turn away your questions or give you vague answers.

To find the best fit for your needs, and make sure they’ll work with you through all of the questions and concerns you have.

With all of this information at your disposal, you can now make a good choice for a web design partner for your business.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Website Builder

Your website is an important part of your work and business journey, in fact, it’s one of the most important just like any other part of your business. Whether you have a mom and pop shop or are thinking about opening one or want to stay completely online, creating a memorable online shopping experience for your customers is crucial.

In the fast-changing and innovating world of today, It’s not enough to have a nice-to-look-at website. If you want your customers to trust your site for shopping, it must have the functionality, design, and capability to create that noteworthy experience that customers expect from brands.

The difference between customers making a purchase or moving on to another brand depends on how well your eCommerce site is built.

Your e-commerce store should not only be cost-effective but also easy for your customers to navigate and above all, it should be capable of leaving a great and long-lasting impression on them. Now the question arises that with so many eCommerce website builders out there how are we supposed to know which one is right for our business. Investing in the right builder is the first step to doing what’s right for your business and help it grow. Selecting a platform that can scale with you will help reduce friction between your customers and your products, and bulk up your bottom line.

Benefits of having an e-commerce website

An e-commerce store is a must-have to increase sales, improve your customer journey, and to grow your online presence. That’s where online store builders become useful as they make it simple to create the perfect shopping experience for your customers. However, that doesn’t imply that all online store builders are created equally. The options may vary for your business depending on where you’re at and what you need.

 

Here are some of the businesses that would largely benefit from using an e-commerce website builder.

1. New businesses.

If you’re just starting out and are looking for ways to cut costs without compromising on function, quality, and performance, using an online store builder to help shape your website is a great option.

2. Growing startups.

Startups can’t afford to waste any time or valuable resources on things that aren’t going to help them grow. Ecommerce store builders provide both a platform to grow along with the features startups need to showcase their product. Additionally, the countless app integrations that are instantly compatible with your store make it work smarter for you. It helps your online store builder become a part of the team and will help propel the company forward if given the opportunity to do so.

3. Part-time work sites.

Even if you’re running an eCommerce business as a hobby or part-time, it doesn’t mean it’s unworthy of sleek, simplified shopping experience.
These builders offer convenience without skimping on quality. You can make adjustments whenever and however you see fit so your shop works best for you and your customers. Using an online store builder gives you the flexibility to create the shop you want even if you don’t necessarily have an eye for design or know how to code.

4. Dropshipping sites.

To successfully build and run drop-shipping business, you’ll need to build a store that is compatible with that business model.
Because you’re not managing your inventory and working with a wholesaler to purchase products, you need a unique solution that can help you do just that.

How to choose the Best Ecommerce Site Builder

The market is full of choices for e-commerce website builders, but not all of them will have exactly what you need. When choosing a platform, you have to think about your business goals, your product, and what is practical for you to manage.

Before choosing any option, consider the following points.

      • Pricing can be a major factor when it comes to e-commerce site builders, so you’ll need to consider how the platform’s monthly or annual pricing structure works with your budget. It’s a good idea to look for a platform with different packages so you can scale up your business and add more functionality as your needs evolve over time.

     

      • The time frame of your site depends on whether you require custom build-outs or developer work because in that case, you’ll need to consider the timeline for every work, as sometimes developer work can require several weeks or even months for proper execution. Make sure that your back-end work and site build-out will be wrapped up well before your launch date so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.

     

      • Explore the templates available on the eCommerce site builder you’re considering to be sure there are options there that you could see your brand using. If you don’t like the options the site currently has available, you may need to have a custom theme developed for your online store, which can be more expensive and time-intensive.

     

      • Integrations help you save time and simplify the complexities around running your online business, so be sure the eCommerce site builder you’re considering ties in with the software and tools you depend on. That means you’ll want to double-check that your tools around logistics, customer data, payments gateway, email marketing, etc. will integrate seamlessly with the eCommerce platform you choose.

     

      • As you build your store, you’ll want to be sure there are strong support options like customer care, chatbots or mails available to you that will make the process as easy as possible. There’s nothing worse than needing help and not being able to get any answers. Explore the site builder’s support settings and see what general resources are available.

     

      • If you’re not looking to hire a developer to help you build out custom elements of your online store, you’ll need to be sure the eCommerce site builder you select lets you do everything you need it to all on your own.

     

    Top E-commerce Website Builders

    Before considering a website builder it is important to know about researching the solution that best fits your needs and how it can make a big difference in the way you run your business. Once you have an idea of what makes an eCommerce store builder great, you need to take a look at the pros and cons of the top builders and put together a shortlist of the options that make the most sense for you.

    BigCommerce

    website builder bigcommerce

    BigCommerce is one of the largest eCommerce platforms on the market. BigCommerce provides business owners with the tools needed to run a successful business.

    WooCommerce

  • WooCommerce is an eCommerce store builder designed to work seamlessly with WordPress. This platform provides business owners with what they need to grow their business and strengthen their bottom line.

    Shopify

    website builder shopify

  • Despite it working outside the WordPress realm, it’s worth including Shopify on this list.

    Squarespace

    square space website builder

  • Squarespace is an integrated platform that’s widely used by businesses of all kinds, but mainly by creatives and artists. This builder is great for portfolio building and blogging, but it also offers notable eCommerce tools that can help businesses grow.

    Kibo

    Kibo Website builder

  • Kibo provides advanced eCommerce tools perfect for teams who choose to spearhead the design and building of the store themselves rather than starting with a template.

    Wix

    Wix Website Builder

  • Wix is a great option for those who are looking for an entirely customizable eCommerce store solution. This platform blends the ease of a drag-and-drop builder with powerful eCommerce features.

    Volusion

    Website Builder Volusion

  • Volusion is a comprehensive eCommerce store builder. New business owners can customize their storefront to fit their brand and start selling in minutes.

    BigCartel

    Big Cartel Website Builder

  • BigCartel is a unique eCommerce platform designed for smaller merchants or artists who do not need a sophisticated platform. But don’t mistake simplicity for a lack of features.

    Magento

    Magento Website Builder

  • Has your company already invested heavily in IT or development? If so, Magento might be the platform for you.

    3dcart

    Top website builder for e commerce Website

  • 3dcart‘s all-inclusive eCommerce store software can help business owners elevate their presence. This platform is excellent for businesses that use several tools to power their eCommerce store.

    PrestaShop

    Best Website Builder

  • PrestaShop is an eCommerce store builder that caters to business owners who are interested in implementing a cloud-based solution. It gives you the option to customize your shop in the exact way you’d like—whether that’s with an editable theme or with the help of a specialist to build your store for you.

    Weebly

  • With more than 50 million websites built, Weebly is a drag-and-drop website builder with 40+ mobile-friendly themes. In 2018, Weebly was acquired by Square.

    Advantages of Best Web Site Builder

    There are quite a few reputable eCommerce store builders to choose from.
    Some require no knowledge of website development or coding and others require a broad understanding of the technical elements that make up a website—not to mention a functioning eCommerce store.

    1. Easy to use.

  • You should be able to make changes to your store on your own time and as you require. Development teams are a major expense that not all businesses can afford to have, which is why selecting a store builder that you can use is equally important as it is necessary.

    2. A variety of useful features.

  • You want a platform that will help you achieve your goals. Picking a builder that has the right tools you need to grow your business will make a significant impact.

    3. Beautiful templates.

  • Just because you aren’t familiar with HTML and CSS or don’t have a development team at the ready to create a brilliant website doesn’t mean you don’t deserve one. Most eCommerce store builders have a variety of stunning themes to choose from and are categorized by function or industry.

    4. A reasonable price point.

  • You want to make an investment but you also want to be mindful of your budget and the additional monthly costs an eCommerce store incurs.
    Choosing a builder that has everything you need without hitting the budget is the goal.

    5. Secure systems for payments.

  • Your customers want to feel like their information—whether it be their credit card number or their mailing address—is secure while making a purchase. Be sure to select a builder that not only offers safe payment systems but offers customers multiple ways to pay.

    Summary

  • There are countless eCommerce tools available today and building a successful online business has never been more easily accessible.

Whether you’re selling services or products, your venture needs a website. But with so many options to choose from, it can be confusing to settle on the platform that works best for your business. Overall, website builders are great for beginners or small businesses.

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Step by step guide: Redesign website without harming SEO

So, it’s been a couple of years since you last redesigned your website. Is your website marketing strategy has changed? Whatever the reason, redesigning a website takes a lot of planning and hard work.

One of the biggest questions that come with it is how to redesign websites without hurting the current SEO ranking that we have worked so hard on.

Do you want to learn how to redesign your website without affecting SEO??

There is a wrong notion among website owners that SEO only needs to be done once. Well, to be precise, this doesn’t hold true. During the redesign process, a number of elements are altered which also includes codes and pages. They need to be properly handled failing which they can have a negative impact on the website’s SEO and can hamper the long-term growth of the website. Similarly, if redesigning is done correctly, they can also increase the SEO performance of the website.

Let us take you through a detailed guide on how to redesign your website without adversely impacting the SEO.

Check this out:

Step 1: Make a list of all pages from the old version

You need to download the URL structure of your website. A lot of changes take place during redesigning which can affect your basic URL-structure. A backup needs to be prepared to save your website from the risk of losing or downgrading its search and content ranking.
Plugins can be used to get the URL structure. Also if you are using Yoast SEO plugin, you can crawl the website and download the updated sitemap.

Step 2: Start redesign on a temporary URL

The redesign should not be done on your existing website as it can block visitors and might create problems in the future. The correct way is to copy the site and set it up through a temporary URL. Once you finish, you can alternatively switch the domain after making the required redesigning changes.

You can always take the guidance of your developer in case any challenges pop up. Next option could be of taking the assistance of a site hosting company. Always contact your web hosting provider to help with the setup to prevent any unwanted problems in the long run.

Step 3: Check the new website

Although it looks great once you copied your existing website into a new website, it is imperative that you do a full checkup of your website. Check for broken links, features, CSS, etc and track any loopholes in the web design.

Step 4: Look for 301 redirects

The next major factor is to manage 301 redirects between old and new URLs. Let us suppose if you have an “About us” page on the old website, and its URL was “www.website.com/aboutus.html.” but mistakenly your designer changed the URL to “www.website.com/about-us.html.” , it is important to implement correct 301 redirects to ensure that both URLs work properly and your SEO settings and benefits derived from your old website URL are also not adversely affected.

If it is not done correctly then the search engine will get 404 web pages not found. By doing 301 redirects, the previous URL will be redirected to the new one. This is the technical way to inform the search engine that the URL has been changed. Google will not downgrade your earlier SEO efforts.

If you don’t know how to do it manually on WordPress, you can also try out redirect plugins that let you do it by filling in a form.

Step 5: Jump to your new website

Once everything is done, both web designing and redirection, it is time for you to switch to the new website. You can also make a gradual change in stages if your website is big.

Step 6: Run Google Webmaster tools

The next step is to ensure whether everything has been successful so far. For this, you can utilize tools such as Google Webmaster. This tool will enable you to check if there are no broken links. If any broken links are found, it is advised to get them fixed quickly in order to avoid penalty.

Step 7: Check verification status and re-submit

It is common for web developers or web designers to stop the search engine to crawl the website. If that’s the case, then you will need to resume the crawler on your website.

Also, it is advised to check if the redesigned website is verified. You can do so by logging into the respective webmaster’s tool provided by Bing and Google. If it lacks verification, then redo it and claim your website.

Step 8: Robot.txt

During the redesign, there is a chance that your robot.txt file can get corrupted. To check if it has, you can use “robot.txt” option under crawl.

Step 9: Sitemap submission

As your website now has a new and modified structure, submit the website XML to Bing and Google. Once submitted, your new website will be crawled in the coming hours.

Step 10: Observe the changes

Finally, it is important to observe the changes and look for any potential growth. Keep a close tab on the rankings of your top keywords. There are many SEO tools available that enable you to keep track of these keywords. If there is a considerable change in your SEO, then make an effort to understand why this is happening and look to find a solution if your website traffic slows down quickly. You should monitor your website for at least two to three months.

Once you are confident there are no issues, loosen up a bit. You don’t need to keep such a close eye on these things. You can concentrate on promoting your website and carrying on with your growth and maintenance of SEO work.

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