How much does it cost?
As with any service, from a plumber to a financial adviser, costs vary depending on requirement. Web design and print is no different. We appreciate that this is often the first question people want answered and as such we offer an initial free consultation in which we ask a set of questions to start understanding the implications of our potential clients requirements. This allows us get an idea of the costings and gives them a clearer idea of what is possible. If you would like to discuss a future project you can either contact us through our online request a quote form or call us on (416) 487-9405 - we'd be delighted to talk through your ideas and help you to make decisions about what you want, how long it will take and how much it will cost.
Do I really need a website?
If the main reason behind wanting a web site is that your competitors all have them you're probably not going to make the most of your online potential. It is always more effective to view the internet as an opportunity for you or your company rather than as a threat. At the most basic level, a new web site is an opportunity to provide additional information on you or your company. This could start from the bare essentials such as a company profile, contact information or an online contact form. On a larger scale a website is a great way of strengthening a new brand, modernising an old brand and introducing existing customers or fans to new work or services. It can also aid with customer feedback - giving web site users a direct link to you to ask questions and let you know where you're going right or wrong.
To take it up another level, some companies and individuals use the internet to enhance their business operations by selling products or services online. This is still a relatively new area but has had some truly amazing results for companies operating in specific market areas. Amazon is perhaps the best known example of how eBusiness can be harnessed to outstrip competition. As eCommerce technology improves and consumers become more knowledgeable and trusting, more and more businesses will find an advantage in selling online, which is why an understanding of how the internet can aid you now will give you a head start for future developments. The sooner you get started the more capable you will be of harnessing the future possibilities.
How do I go about choosing a company to design my Web site?
The first thing to do when deciding who will develop your new web site is to find a range of companies either through word of mouth recommendation, by searching online or by looking in trade magazines and national press. Go to their sites and have a look around, then go to their client's sites and explore them. If you find them easy to navigate, clearly laid out, visually attractive and functional - make a note of who designed them. Now you have a shortlist of potential developers.
Before contacting these companies it is always a good idea to have as clearly defined a concept, of what you want on your site and how the site will operate, as possible. This will help when talking to companies, they will be able to give you a more accurate idea of what they can do and you will be more able to pin them down on pricing and timescale. Draw up a site map, collate the images and text, and start thinking about the sort of functions that you want the site to have such as mailing lists or message boards.
Now you're ready to start asking questions. Contact your shortlisted companies and supply them all with the same level of information. If they are proactive in finding out about you and your needs give them as much information as you feel comfortable with. A company who asks you to fill in the gaps and talks through the implications and possibilities of your future site will be more capable of fulfilling your requirements. They will be able to provide you with a higher level of customer service and usually be more cost effective than less communicative companies because they are more capable of tailoring their service to your needs.
This process should give you a clearer idea of what your site should and can do and help you to understand the pricing and timing structure of your web project. You should also end up with a refined shortlist of companies all capable of delivering the best site possible. From this point onwards its really down to personal preference and individual differences between the remaining companies, but you should be off to a good start with whoever you decide upon.
What should I include on my site and how should I present it?
The internet at its core is primarily a communication tool. Flashy animation effects, long introduction pages and slow downloading graphics are often counter productive, driving people away to competitor sites that are quicker and easier to access. The best sites look nice but don't rely on complicated effects to achieve it. They promote the information not the designer.
Information design is also a key issue, it is important to make a new site as easy to understand as possible. How quickly can a web site user find contact details? How will they be able to see what is on the site and find the information they are after quickly? This is a fundamental question, especially when translating traditional company literature into online content. Web site users will not be prepared to wade through pages of sales information to find out prices or contact the sales department. Services and products need to be clearly defined and easy to find as soon as people enter the site, and any additional functionality such as search boxes need to be clearly explained and deliver understandable results.
There are no hard and fast rules when deciding on content, but the most important consideration should be to communicate your message succinctly and clearly and always to focus your sites structure around your target audience's expectations.
For more information please contact us via our online request a quote / contact us forms or call us on (416) 487-9405.