With a myriad of offers and web professionals competing for the market, choosing the best Web Development agency for the design and implementation of your website is not really an easy thing. Do-it-yourself website or rely on web professionals?
Today many solutions are available on the market to create a site in complete autonomy, even without having a technical preparation or knowledge of programming languages. Many of these solutions are quick and offer good results. However, before addressing you towards this choice, you need to consider some aspects, or rather some features of these DIY web services:
- most do-it-yourself web services offer standard solutions, both graphically and functionally . The pre-established graphic formats often leave little room for creativity and often have a taste of ‘already seen’. The result of choosing a ‘pre-packaged’ site is often to create a communication with ‘little character’, which communicates little to users and rarely centers your goals;
- these solutions often offer low costs , which, however, repeated over time can reach considerable amounts. When creating a website you need to think about a two / three year return investment. A small fee for such a long time can lead to considerable figures that could perhaps be invested in more ‘tailor-made’ projects;
- do-it-yourself solutions are often very inflexible. This means that they are easy and quick to create when the needs are simple and poorly structured, but at the first need for customization, you encounter strong limitations and run into unexpected ‘costs’ of personalization;
- do-it-yourself solutions are often very lacking in terms of SEO , ie they are poorly optimized for search engines. Therefore the risk that we run is to create sites heavily penalized on search engines and low visibility.
Certainly there are other considerations, more or less technical, but the above should make you think before choosing this type of solutions.
Because it is advisable to choose professionals
Today the website has become a strategic tool for every type of reality. Both the small shop and the large company can get great benefits from a website. Increase your visibility, acquire new customers, increase the services offered, open new markets, communicate better with customers, make yourself known outside national borders, etc.
A website can open a window on the world, allowing the Company to increase visibility and availability, extend the potential market, communicate and involve new and old customers and acquire prospects.
It is essential to consider the website as a true strategic corporate asset . So if you are thinking of making your site with an automatic system, try to answer the following questions first: would you entrust the preparation of your showcase or your showroom to a software that creates ready-made solutions? Would you make your brochures to an automatic service on the web? Would you assume software that responds automatically as an agent? Would you open a shop on a side street where nobody passes?
How much does it cost to make a website
The costs for the creation of a professional website can vary, and are generally evaluated on days of work, proportionate to the complexity of the project and to the graphic-functional aspects involved.
Like all professionals, web agencies (those series, I mean) evaluate the project not on the basis of standard solutions but starting from an analysis of the real needs and objectives of the Customer .
A web agency or a professional generally costs from 200 to 400 euros a day , depending on the experience, the business organization and the location (in Milan they cost more than in Agrigento, even if this has nothing to do with professionalism …). In general, therefore, a professional website can cost from 800/1000 euros for a 3/4 page web brochure, up to a few thousand euros, based on the features requested.
The features that can affect the costs of a website are, for example, multiple languages, catalogs, e-commerce and payment systems, integrated newsletter systems, photo galleries.
What are the recurring fixed costs of a website
In general, a professional website should
not have recurring costs less than hosting and maintaining domain
names. These costs vary
depending on the hosting feature and related services ,
such as, for example, number of email accounts and dedicated space, pec,
database, periodic backup, disk space, bandwidth.
In general, for a medium-sized site with 5/10 100MB email accounts the costs can be around 100/200 euros a year , up to a few thousand euros for large sites.
What factors to evaluate in choosing the web agency
The choice of the right web agency should go through a selection of many factors. Today, however, customers often limit themselves to considering only the price based on a request for a quote, which is often very generic.
Here are some factors that can help you select the right partner for the creation of your website .
- In the quote phase, did the agency ask you specific questions about your business and the goals you set for it? Web project evaluation must start from a careful assessment of the client’s strategic factors, such as targets, objectives, reference market, competitors, customer profile. Beware of agencies that offer “ready to use” solutions without a cognitive analysis of the reference sector in which the customer operates.
- Look and study the agency’s portfolio . Do you like their style? Do they use pleasant and effective graphic solutions? Are the sites created easy to navigate and use? Is it possible to recognize a style in all their work, and if so, would this style fit your needs?
- Are they prepared and attentive to SEO aspects , ie on search engine optimization and positioning ? Do they have specific experience with search engines? Can they help you be more visible and have a strong experience in this regard? Ask the agency to show you the results obtained regarding the positioning of its customers and ask them what kind of work they intend to do on your positioning.
- Is the agency prepared for web marketing and online promotion tools such as AdWords ? Even if you are not interested in these aspects early on, a good web designer should know about web marketing and know how to use it. An optimized site can be a great tool even when you decide to invest in web marketing campaigns (just think about the quality score and the impact this has on your online campaigns. If you don’t know what I’m talking about … ask the your webmaster.
- Ask to know how site and content management will be done. Will the agency provide you with a control panel for autonomous content management ? What level of autonomy will you get? Are there any costs included? How will you operate on the site and what kind of difficulties will there be?
- Can the agency deal with all the technical aspects related to domain management, hosting purchase, management over time, setting up email accounts, etc.? Very often these services are strategic for the company (like email) and these are associated with the domain. Ask the agency if it can assist you in choosing the right solution according to your needs (email, pec, backup, database, reserved areas, traffic, bandwidth, etc.) and ask the agency to know all the fixed and variable costs connected to hosting management services.
- Make sure that during registration, the domain will be registered to you even if the agency registers it on your behalf.
- Preferably choose agencies that offer Open Source solutions . Unlike proprietary solutions, open source solutions will guarantee access to the source code and the possibility of acting independently in the future, even if the relationship with the Agency is interrupted. Platforms such as Joomla, WordPress, Drupal offer greater functionality, security guarantees and flexibility than any proprietary solutionalso developed by the best local agency. These projects are stable, used by millions of users and active for many years. They therefore offer the security of having a large number of users and developers to contact in the future in case of need. Make sure, when entering into the contract, you have full access and availability of the source code of your site.
- Clarify aspects relating to site maintenance during the contract phase . In general, the provision of a website does not mean that the web agency should guarantee you a help desk and a free and perennial assistance service. Ask first how to behave and what are the costs in case of technical necessities, upgrades, security problems, etc.
- Ask and get advice on the use of social networks and how these can help you and integrate with your website and how they can be functional to your business. This aspect is very important and should be considered from the beginning of the project.
- Does the site supply include training on the use and updating of the site ? This aspect is very important as it demonstrates the agency’s willingness to make you truly independent and to help you act and understand yourself. Be wary of agencies that want to limit your freedom.
- Ask for the site to be compliant with privacy regulations and have it explained to you.
- Be sure to have, at the end of the supply, the copyright of all the material used on the site.
- Be sure to agree on deadlines and publication dates , before the start of the work (indeed, the signing of the contract).
- Pay close attention to the texts ! Who will write them? Are you sure that the writer of the texts is prepared to write effective and communicative texts? It is often the same client who writes the texts, without evaluating that the texts affect aspects such as effectiveness of the message, positioning of the website on search engines, usability of the site, conversions and effectiveness of the site. Ask the child to help you in writing texts and what kind of cost you would have to rely on a professional copywriter .
- Is the supply estimate clear and exactly specifies all the costs that affect the project? A good quote should be easy to understand and evaluate, formulating clear and transparent costs, from the analysis to the online launch of the site. A serious agency should make the right estimate for you, without adding or revealing unexpected costs during the project.
- Pay attention to the usability of the site on different devices . The site should be navigable and usable by all modern mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. These devices now represent a good portion of internet traffic, so try to select agencies that have specific experience in the mobile sector and can help you integrate the services offered through the site, on the mobile world.
- Traffic analysis tools. Every good website should have advanced tools for analyzing traffic. Ask your agency to explain what kind of monitoring you will have on the site.
We hope that the above can help you select the right professional or agency for your website !