The title of this post was written on a sign in the window of a New York tattoo parlour. It jumped out at me because there is so much truth in it. Not just about tattoos but about many things that we pay for. We ate burgers at The Corner Bistro in the West Village - said to be some of the best burgers in New York. Now, they certainly weren't expensive but they weren't cheap either. But they were brilliant. Absolutely delicious. Compared to a McDonalds burger? Don't even go there!
What about "Good shaves aren't cheap and cheap shaves aren't good"? Are you going to let someone who charges very little go to your face with a cut throat razor?
Often potential clients contact us without a clear idea of what a suitable budget for a website is. And more often than not, when I let them know that our sites start at £2500, they realise that a website can be a lot more than they thought.
Good websites aren't cheap and cheap websites aren't good.
Of course, you're going to be able to find me the exceptions to the rule if you go looking. But the web design industry is hugely saturated by companies all offering the same product. Or are they?
1. Are they offering you bespoke design or a template that you may be sharing with other companies?
All the websites we create are designed for one specific brand, product or service. The essence of your brand is unique and we work with our clients to ensure that we communicate this unique essence within the design. By doing this your web users start to have an emotional experience of you from the minute they visit your website. Much like you decide to go into a shop based on their window display or initial customer service.
2. Are you limited to a certain number of design revisions?
We don't limit our clients at all. We ensure that when we deliver an estimate to a client we have allowed enough time to ensure they sign off on a design that they absolutely love. We hope they have a little bit of the feeling a new parent has - the feeling of awe that causes them to show 50 almost identical photos to anyone who'll sit still long enough! If you have niggles about your design then what confidence will you have to show it off to everyone you meet?
We have a client who asked, "What happens if I see the first deisgn and I hate it?" I said, "We listen carefully to why you hate it and then we start again". This inspires confidence and also means that you, as the client, feel included and valued on the journey.
3. Are you guided through a creative briefing process?
As a business owner you may have a great sense of exactly what you need in a website. Or you may not have a clue. Either way, at the end of a well-crafted and delivered creative briefing process you'll find yourself equipped with far more understanding of your brand, marketing and web design needs than you ever were before. And this means that the end result is going to be even better than you first imagined.
4. Is your web designer constantly checking and testing to ensure that what they are creating is meeting your goals?
If your website doesn't meet the goals you set for it then it won't deliver a good ROI (return on investment). A design can look brilliant but when someone starts using it all the visual loveliness can descend into a pit of frustration and ineffectivity. This is why we run UX testing at different stages of design and development to ensure we are giving you a product and service that will work for you.
5. Does your web designer talk to you about ongoing strategy for your website and how best to drive traffic to it?
Your website is part of your overall marketing activity. We all approach this differently and I'm not suggesting you have your Marketing Plan written out before you because, like me, that's the last thing you'd think to do! But sometimes writing things down gives them weight and meaning and it's easier to aim for something if it's got substance.
Your website is a little bit like a shop on a street. If you never tell anyone about it, don't have an A-board outside on the pavement, don't use creativity to draw customers in then you'll find that you do't get many customers at first. If the insides of your shop are absolutely fantastic and the service is stunning then word will start to spread and visitors will increase. But we're talking fantastic content and fantastic service.
You can drive traffic to your site in any number of ways and you need to do this. But you also need to ensure that you are bringing people to a place that's worth visiting. So we ensure that our clients incorporate their website into their marketing strategy. And if they don't have a marketing strategy then we help them out with that.
There are many more ways that we work with our clients to make the price of our work worth every penny. If you want to talk to me further about this then chat to me on twitter @beamoogaloo.