Archives for November 2014

3 Website Redesign Proposals… How do You Choose?

Setting the Scene

It’s time. Even though your business website was only built a few years ago, website technology has moved so quickly that your online presence is now dated, drab and even worse… a turn off to potential customers. Your small business desperately needs a website redesign.

So, you go online to browse a bunch of your competitors’ websites and notice that most of them have older websites too. All of them look terrible on your mobile phone and iPad.

One competitor, however, has a brand new website that functions well and looks great. It’s clean, bright, and well organized. At this point, you think you know what you need for your own website and it’s time to find the right web designer to do the job.

You might also like: The Web Designer Who Left You with an Unfinished Website?

You know that picking the right team to build your website is an important decision. So, even though you’re pretty busy with your own work, you decide to get three quotes and choose the best one.

Three Potential Candidates

Conversation #1

Let’s say that your first call is to your old web designer, a freelancer who was nice enough the first time around. You see that his website has not been updated in a few years but you shrug that off to “the cobbler’s kids don’t have any shoes” syndrome. He doesn’t answer his phone so you send him an email… which he responds to 48 hours later. You email him back and ask him to call you, which he does, the next day. You try to tell him why you want a new website (without offending him of course) and how many pages you think you need. A week later, an email arrives with a price that’s pretty close to what you expected. It has a few details about what’s not included and what that will cost if you want those features too.

Conversation #2

The next firm that interests you is one of the first results in Google. They have a nice looking website, so you give them a call. You are immediately switched to a very professional account representative who listens attentively and asks some good questions. She walks you through their website which has hundreds of pages explaining how they work and what they can do for you. When you get to their client list, you gulp, as it includes a bunch of huge, international companies… but not too many smaller businesses like yours. The account rep assures you that they often work with smaller companies of 500 or less… you gulp again. You’re intimidated but have come this far, so you ask for a proposal. It arrives in a few days, and you are impressed by how detailed it is. On the last page, you are smacked with sticker shock, but you know you should not choose who does your website redesign based on price alone.

Conversation #3

The third web design company, a local business, also answers their phone right away. You’re connected to a principal and she’s a good listener too. She asks a lot of the same good questions, including some things you never thought about before. When you start discussing  which pages your site will need, you realize that the sitemap you have on your old site is way too complicated—and really needs to be simplified. She asks questions about your target audience and what you want your site to accomplish. As a savvy business person, you know these are important questions, but never understood how essential this information is to planning your new website. Within just a few hours, you get your third proposal, which includes everything that you discussed and decided upon. It costs a bit more than you expected to pay, but it’s still way less than the last one you got.

Making the Right Decision…

So you’ve got three website redesign proposals to choose from. The first, from your old web designer, provides familiarity at a good price. You may not get the dramatic change you were hoping for, but you’ll probably feel okay about the end result. The second, from a highly respected (and expensive) web design agency, will almost certainly result in a professional website presence. Your big fear, however, is that you won’t receive the attention that their bigger clients demand. You may even get stuck with a brand new hire, cutting their teeth on your project. The third option is the local firm who, on the surface, seem to know what you are looking for. While the price is a bit more than you were hoping for, it seems like you will have their attention and hopefully that will translate into getting what you actually need.

So how do you choose? Unfortunately, it’s not a simple answer, and there really isn’t any one-size-fits-all formula. The fact is that every web designer has unique design styles and the websites they produce all have a variety of different features. It’s up to you to prioritize your needs and boil each potential candidate down to those specific factors.

One thing you can do to simplify your decision, is to eliminate the skimpy proposals. If a website redesign proposal doesn’t have everything you need, make sure your bidders actually add it in. If they don’t, move on to the next.

Below, we’ve provided a link to get one of our own website proposals. Know before you go!

Why You Really Need a Responsive Website Design Company

The idea of mobile responsive design is still relatively new, but to your customers, mobile websites are more important now than they’ve ever been. In fact, nearly one quarter of all U.S. mobile users ONLY browse the web from their phone or tablet (1).

Think about it… this means if your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re basically putting up a “Closed for Renovations” sign to all those people.

“Come on, it’s not that bad… is it?”

Oh but it is… your visitors need a website that they can browse and read easily on their phone. Consider, for example, that 57% of smartphone users WILL NOT recommend companies with bad mobile websites (2).

The status quo for mobile websites is evolving at an incredible pace. Companies like Facebook and Google have shown us how much easier it is to navigate mobile version websites on mobile phones. What’s more, they’ve conditioned us to expect all websites to be just as speedy and work just as well.

Why Responsive?

Ok, mobile layouts are important (you probably get that by now), but why do you need a RESPONSIVE mobile layout?

The answer to that can be summed up with another stat: Your website will be viewed on dozens of different size screens, and no single screen size accounts for more than 20% of all web browsing. A responsive website design company will be able to transform your website and tailor it to fit a variety of different devices. The result is an easy to maintain website, that looks great and adapts effortlessly with every new page you create and every blog post you publish.

So when it’s time to build your next company website, make sure you focus your search to responsive website design companies.

Here are a few more mobile fun facts for your enjoyment:

  • According to the data compiled by the Mobile Marketing Association of Asia, over 5 billion people own a cell phone, whereas only 4 billion own a toothbrush (4).
  • 91% of those people keep their mobile devices in close proximity, 24 x 7 x 365 (4).
  • 75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom (5).
  • About 50% of mobile shoppers believe they are better informed than store associates (5).

Do You Need a Mobile Responsive Website?

It just so happens that’s exactly what we do!
You can get a quote online in just a few minutes… See if our websites fit your budget by filling out the form below to build your own, no-obligation website estimate.

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Sources:
1. MobiForge
2. Search Engine Journal
3. Mobify
4. LinkedIn
5. Digby

Why Did Your Web Designer Leave You with an Unfinished Website?

Choosing the right website design firm for the long term is important. Make sure your designer knows how to accomplish the tough, follow-up work your business wants and needs. It’s your business. Don’t be a victim of disappearing, website designer syndrome.

We hear about it often. Our office phone rings and there’s a pensive sounding person on the other end who wants to learn about our website services. The caller often says something like this…

“Yes, I have a website. But, it’s kind of old and ugly. No, it’s not WordPress but that’s definitely what we want. And oh, by the way, I’m calling you because my old website designer has disappeared.”

“Where did your website developer go?” we ask.

  • “Well, he said he couldn’t work with me anymore because he had an ill relative and had to leave the website design profession to nurse the person back to health.”
  • “My web designer told me he took a ‘real’ job but said he would freelance for me. I’ve tried to call him, but he never calls me back.”
  • “My web guy just disappeared after we made the final payment and now we need changes made.”

So many of our clients come to us stranded without a website designer that it’s no longer surprising to hear. Unfortunately, even though most web designers are really nice people and just want to be helpful, the amount of skills and talent required is growing exponentially by the day.

The Customer Wants What the Customer Wants

Our typical website customer is a very savvy businessperson. They know what they want because they’ve spent months browsing through their competitors’ websites.

Honestly, these demands alone can be a HUGE learning curve for a web designer who has a good eye, but can’t really keep up with the rest.

Can Your Designer Do It All?

One of the key problems for a visual designer is that he must also be a technical developer, in order to offer power packed websites. One skill is right brained, one is left, and although I can never remember which is which, I do know that few professionals have both.

At a minimum, today’s web designer must:

  • must be able to grasp the customer’s business model and target customer
  • know how to prepare a good web design proposal
  • have a working knowledge of the most popular external tools (like LinkedIn, Mail Chimp, Hubspot, and so many others)
  • make sure the new website will seamlessly integrate the client’s marketing strategies
At Chroma Sites, we’ve spent years tuning the finer points of our websites. We’ve worked with hundreds of small businesses and understand what they’re looking for. Along the way, we’ve built unique features into our websites… tools specifically designed for business. If you’re interested in a REAL business website, click the button below for a FREE, instant price.