It's that time. You know you need a new website but how do you go about it?
You may have a website but are finding that it's out of date and slow to load or you could be a business start-up who doesn't have a site at all yet.
There are a few options you can consider but which one is going to work best for you?
Where do you start? Budget is of course a huge consideration. There is a misconception that a great website needs to cost a lot of money but that's not the case. You'll have a budget in mind and that's going to determine your best foot forward and a plan of what you want from your website. Otherwise what's the point right?
There are a lot of websites currently online. Around 1.7 billion of them in fact. You can easily add your new website to that number by creating a nice site using one of the many DIY site builders available or turn to someone who designs and builds websites for a living.
You'll want your website design to be not only in-line with your businesses' brand and look great but you are going to want to communicate what your business does clearly to your audience and how you can benefit them with your amazing product or service.
The DIY route "How hard can it be? I can do this. Drag and drop is simple right?" You are just a Google search away from finding a whole range of build it yourself website packages. You'll find the big players on page 1 of Google as they're the ones with the most users - products such as Wix.com, Squarespace.com and Websitebuilder.com.
These online services offer you the ability to build your new website using a series of pre-designed templates which you use to just fill in your text and add your images. Voila. Quick and simple and all for a monthly payment.
The downside to this is that there's good chance you'll create a website that looks like a lot of other people's designs and it doesn't function exactly how you wanted. It's not a bespoke design of course so there's a certain amount of 'that'll do' in the mix. You will also be at the mercy of the provider's help desk should you have any problems or questions during the making of your masterpiece.
And let's not get started on search engine optimisation. That's a topic for another day.
Find a designer to help "I don't know the first thing creating a website. I'm going to need help."
Your search for a Website Design Agency begins. If you search in Google for 'Essex Web Design' then you'll be presented with about 21,600,000 results. That's a lot of choice. Of course not all of those will be the website of a great website designer or service provider but you'll know they'll be located in Essex and they won't charge London prices so it's a start right?
So it seems finding a list of potential suppliers is easy but which one? Your first thought would be to go for someone from page 1. They must be the best because Google has put them first. Well that's not always the case. Yellow Pages used to put businesses in alphabetical order so if you chose your name well you'd be amongst the first.
You are going to want a web designer who is not only great at design but someone who you feel comfortable chatting with about your needs. Often smaller agencies don't employ Account Handlers so you can speak directly to an agency owner or designer. This cuts down on both time and cost.
Set a clear brief of what you want to achieve and a budget if you have that pinned down. If you don't have a budget then ask the agency to provide you with a quote that covers the design, build and hosting of your site so you know the entire cost up-front. You may be surprised how cost effective a bespoke website can be.
What you will find different from the DIY route is that an experienced designer can help create you a website that not only functions well and loads quickly but also reflects your brand with strong visual elements and text that 'sounds like your business'.
Find some website examples you like the look of for reference
Search for an online DIY solution, sign-up and dive in
Google for a Web Design Agency to help you, send a brief and get some costings
Contact us and we'll help create a website that works for you
Still not sure? We appreciate that searching for the best website design agency in Essex (or anywhere else for that matter) might still seem daunting but we can help.
Our small but rather wonderful Design Agency not only creates Award Winning websites for businesses of all kinds and sizes and would be able to help you but we would also be happy to recommend a list of website designers that can help you too. We've been creating brilliant web design in Essex for over 15 years and you can check out some of our recent designs here.