Establishing a web design business can be done for next to nothing in less than a few days. Gaining the knowledge and experience required to deliver professional services your business takes many years. It is this knowledge and experience that can mean your website will do what it is supposed to do, whatever that may be. So how do you know which quote to accept?
Firstly do not base your entire decision making process on how cheap you can get the work done for. Web design is a highly competitive industry and as a result the larger proportion of web designers will offer cheap quotes to build your website. It is this larger proportion of web designers that you want to stay away from. The bottom end of the market will constantly undercut each other in order to win your business, which is a very good indication that they don’t have much experience yet.
By constantly undercutting quotes to win business the web designer’s business will suffer over the longer term. How is this important for your business? If a business that provides service and support to your business is struggling, then how good a service do you think they can provide? Next thing you know they are no longer in business and you have to go through the whole process again.
When researching web designers look at their portfolio, how long they have been in business and what types of projects they work on or specialise in. How well they answer the phone or respond to your emails is very important, as communication skills are a critical part of the industry.
As a web developer I will often have quotes undercut by thousands of dollars. I will never attempt to undercut competition as I would not be able to provide the service required at the price level of my competitor, however neither will they. The end result can mean poor design, usability issues, missing functionalities, low search engine rankings, slow loading websites, and many other potential issues.
I would suggest that you set yourself a budget range for your project and find a web designer that can work towards the higher end of your budget range. For an average website I would recommend that you spend no less than $2000 and for an e-commerce website start at around $3000. Anything below that and you are entering into the highly competitive budget end of the market.
Web design is one of those industries where the more you pay, the more you get. If you only want to pay $290 for an e-commerce website, then ask those telemarketers from India next time they call.
– Andrew Drake is the business owner of WebSurferMedia (www.websurfermedia.com.au)
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