Few companies today can get by with only a presence on social media. Most businesses need to have a website to survive, let alone thrive in this digital age.
When looking for a company to build your first website, or to redesign your existing one, here are some items to keep in mind.
What is the Purpose
What are the goals of your website? It helps to be as specific as possible. Websites can do so many things (entertain, sell, inform, etc….) that it is easy to add features that ultimately do not accomplish your intended purposes.
Also, prioritizing your business goals and the goals of your site will help you communicate properly to the design team so that the user experience logically accomplishes what you desire.
For example, if getting people to come to a physical location is a high priority, that should be communicated early so that the developers know to do things like display your address above the fold (meaning seen without needing to scroll).
You need to have a site that not only looks great on a desktop computer, but is mobile friendly in look and functionality.
Most searches today are on mobile devices. If customers come to your site from a mobile device, it needs to be easy to use or they will leave.
Without planning, a desktop site will not transform well on a mobile screen causing features to hide or disappear. Also, users might have to pinch and zoom to read sections, or they might accidently click the wrong button because it was the wrong size.
As you communicate with a company that is building your website, make sure that you hear in their proposal a well thought out mobile strategy. In this day and age, you cannot afford to have mobile be an afterthought.
Find the Right Team
Communicating purpose and mobile priority succeeds best when you have the right web development team. As you interview companies, make sure that your needs are placed first, that you are heard, and that expectations are communicated clearly in advance.
It can seem overwhelming to select a good company, but it is certainly worth the work.