Tag : website design questions

Should My Business Use A Website Template Site Or Create A Custom Website?

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19Apr

We’ve all seen the commercials for those websites that allow a business owner to make a website with just a few clicks of the button. They’re tempting, I know. Some of them even offer the whole service for free. It seems almost too good to be true right? Well, no surprise, those websites may not have the ability to perform in the same way a custom site can.

At The Go! Agency, we work with plenty of business owners who also saw those commercials and wonder “Why would I bother getting a custom-built site when I can get a free one?” As experts in this field, we can’t emphasize enough  “You get what you pay for” enough. Here’s why:

1. “Free” isn’t free.

Many of these websites offer a free website. But the problem is that the “free version” is so extremely limited that you might as well not have any site at all. For example, if Ray’s AC Repair went with a free website and didn’t pay for a premium domain, it could be rayacrepair.freewebsiteco.com. Try fitting that on a business card! As you can see, that’s not only difficult for a customer to remember, it looks extremely unprofessional. Beyond domain names, these sites will continue to nickel and dime users by depriving them of necessary tools, features, and designs that are needed to have a decent site. By the end, users end up paying a ton of money for a subpar product.

2. Cookie Cutter Syndrome.

Free websites give companies what we call “Cookie Cutter Syndrome.” To be frank, it’s pretty obvious when a company uses one of these templates. There are common and boring designs you can find all over the internet. A customer may not notice, but the cookie cutter syndrome goes beyond a bland website. Many of these websites function the same and as a result, lack customization options. They lack features such as specialized e-commerce options, customer communications, and user interactions.

3. They work. Sort of.

When we create a website for a client, they get our full support. If something happens, we take care of it  — period. We have the ability to go into our websites and fix any problem that may come up. With a template-based company, you will have to contact a tech support agent and hope they can fix it when they get the chance. These websites have a tendency to break more often because of their poor coding and interface.

4. Sure, the website is cheap, but so is the security.

The biggest problem of all with these “template” sites is their shoddy security. As you might guess, this is a huge deal. If your website’s security is compromised, so is your company’s private information. Needless to say, website security is not something you should be cheap with.

Are you looking to create a real website for your business? Contact us! We would be glad to build you a secure, professional, and fully-customized website that your customers will flock to!

 

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Questions to Ask Your Next Website Designer or “How to Ensure Your Designer Won’t Go Rogue”

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25Jun

I can’t tell you the number of people that call The Go! Agency to enquire about our website design service who, after spending 5 minutes on the phone with them, tell us quite forthrightly that “I’m coming off of a very bad experience with my current website designer.”  At first this was a bit of a surprise, mostly because of the frequency at which it happened…but then I saw a trend.

These people were not asking the right questions to vet the website designer or firm that they had chosen in the past.  This could have happened for many reasons: they were desperate to get started quickly, motivated by price, or just not well versed (or interested enough) in what the process actually involved.

This happened again recently and it got me a little overheated.  So I thought – let’s give everyone some useful questions to ask a potential website designer in order to make a more informed decision.

The following questions are not suggestions, they are essential to ask when you are vetting a website design provider.

  1. What platform will you use to build the website? For example Dreamweaver, Joomla, WordPress, traditional HTML, etc.
  2. What will I need to supply to you in terms of content?
  3. What is your suggestion when it comes to hosting?
  4. Will you supply me with a sample before moving forward with the building of the site?
  5. How many times can I make changes after you deliver the final website for review?
  6. What is the timeline in best and worst case scenario?
  7. How many people will be working on my website?
  8. Are the team members at your office location, or are you outsourcing the work?
  9. What are the hours where your team will be available and responsive to questions?
  10. With your proposal, can you send samples of at least 5 websites you have designed and provide at least 2 testimonials or references that I can call on?
  11. Once you have completed the website and it is live, is it 100% property?  Will you turn over all passwords, login information and associated information that I need to properly manage my website?
  12. After you build the website and it is live, will I be able to easily go into the backend and make changes?
  13. Is there handover training and support provided?
  14. When the contract has been delivered, what happens if there are problems in two months time?
  15. What is the rate for any future changes not covered by the contract?

And then the best question of all:

Can you add the answers to these questions to the agreement/contract when and if we move forward?

These questions should create a win/win scenario if you are dealing with a reputable firm.  The answers should come fast and quick.  Why?  Because they are so well-versed with this type of questioning and are secure and informed about their service and process.  If the firm gets annoyed with you or gives you a bad vibe EVER – they are not the ones to work with.

When it comes to choosing a firm to provide your website design you need to trust them, like them and have an open and easy dialogue with them – both initially and throughout the entire process.  Without this, you are already headed towards disaster.  If the firm is mean, rude or have awful manners on the sales call – just think how they are going to be when you ask questions.  They will immediately push you to a beholden position, which is not a position of power.

Know what you want, know how to get it and always try to be an informed customer/client.  I’m not saying micro-manage the project, but feel confident, comfortable and informed before choosing your next website design provider.

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