We talk to a lot of people looking to get their first website up and running. Many of them don’t know much about websites except that they need one. This is completely understandable as there is a lot to creating a website. So what should a website virgin be on the look out for?
Type of Company
There are many different kind of web design companies ranging from 1 person doing everything to 150 employees. Having worked for a larger company, I know that things go much, much slower and often cost a lot more (they have to pay for all those employees and office space!). If a large company is offering something on the cheap, it is likely because they make money on quantity, not quality. They mass produce websites and thus likely mass produce terrible websites.
If you find a freelancer, be aware that one person is responsible for everything. This means should he/she get really busy, then your project timeline will start to stretch out. Should that person be away on vacation, you’re pretty much hung out to dry until they return. The other downside is that many freelancers have their main job and then do websites on the side.
AshWebStudio is a mix between a large company and a freelancer – although all the web stuff is handled by me and business stuff handled by Erika, we do have trusted people who are exceptional at design, development and copyrighting which we bring in on a regular basis whenever the project requires it. As a result, we have the advantage of being able to handle every aspect of a website from small content websites to large-scale development projects. We also take care the extra stuff beyond just making your website like web hosting, email setup, print design, etc.
In the web industry, location is not really a factor. We have had clients from everywhere in the US and even international. Phone, email, instant messaging, and video conferencing really makes location a non-factor when deciding which company to choose. Even when we have local clients, we typically don’t ever meet in person. Quite honestly it is typically a lot more time spent driving to meetings than what is actually accomplished at the meetings.
Has the company you are looking for developed a similar website that you are hoping to have created? If not, they may not know some of the intricacies of your specific situation. Now this shouldn’t be a deal breaker, especially if the company has a lot of experience in general – they’ll likely be able to plan for these unexpected things to come up and know exactly how to deal with them. We’ve worked on many, many types of projects. We understand what it’s going to take to put together what you are looking for. Because of that experience, we can provide you many different options to accomplish your ultimate goal.
Reputation & Customer Service
Speak with some past clients, see what they say about the company. Customer service is an important aspect of this industry – after all, we are creating websites for you not for us. At AshWebStudio, we are very happy to be able to say you could contact any client in our portfolio and we know they would say good things about us. Our #1 goal is to make sure every one of our clients is very happy with not only their website but their experience in working with us.
Everyone is worried about cost. However, in this industry our experience is that you get what you pay for. As mentioned, there are cheap companies that mass produce websites for $499 each with poor customer support and quality. There are companies that can create e-commerce solutions for $50,000 because they can custom create every aspect of the system to meet your exact needs. Talk to several companies and see what their price is and what they recommend is the best approach to accomplish what you are looking for. Take into consideration the type of company, experience, reputation and customer service.
We are not the cheapest company to work for, but we’re definitely not the most expensive. If you have a budget, we’ll work with you to find a solution that can work within it. We aren’t out to milk every dollar out of your pocket, we want to be able to provide you a quality solution that you can afford. If you’re interested, request a free quote from us and see how we stack up.