Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com, Weekend Edition — Let’s face it: to get ahead in business, you must have a strong web site. Gone are the days of customers thumbing through a phone book to find a qualified web designer. In today’s modern society, the way to get noticed, be contacted and make money is to have a website as good as your company. For that reason, it is imperative to find a web design company that is educated and experienced enough to take your ideas and creatively materialize them into a compelling website that lures readers into learning more about YOU.
More often than not, people who have entrusted their web design to a company that charges a cheap fee are left feeling frustrated and cheated. Complaints involve shoddy work that has not been completed by deadline, bugs in the system and a total lack of customer service when you call to complain. Below are the top 10 reasons why you should be extremely wary of those “bargain basement” web design companies that charge you a little and give you even less than that:
1. Not Deadline Driven – The process of developing web sites is deadline oriented. Many businesses need a website up and running by high sales seasons such Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Delivery is KEY. Unfortunately, most bargain basement designers have minimal knowledge and expertise. It is essential for a web designer to have at least basic knowledge of flash, contact forms, search functions and log in codes. Any e-commerce site will need a strong e-commerce module and a contact form that is infallible. Make sure to ask as many questions as possible to find out if the company you are using has skilled designers who can deliver what they promise on time.
2. You Get What You Pay For – The equation is simple. A bargain basement web designer who charges $300 per site only pays his staff $50 per day. A qualified, reputable web designer who charges $1,000 per site pays his staff $150 per day. Which web design employee will be more willing to go the extra mile and be detail oriented versus waiting for the bell to ring? Dedication can be linked to salary and if a company charges more to give quality work using dedicated designers, that’s the best bet.
3. Talent and Skill – Creativity is endless and a web design requires someone who can think outside of the box and a talent that proves itself on the screen. Bargain basement companies hire someone who simply applies for the job. Artistic, worthwhile web design companies hire someone who DESERVES the job.
4. Bait-and-Switch – This happens across the board in all industries. The advertisement says it all with bright colors and catchy phrases with empty promises. The commercial says $500 and you jump on it. But when the invoice comes, you are stuck with three times that amount and a website with only bits and pieces of what you had originally asked for. Make sure to read your contract completely and run over it with a fine-tooth comb. Also make sure to ask questions regarding hosting to ensure that your site is on a reliable server.
5. Lackluster Templates and Cookie-Cutter Work – Who wants to pay top dollar, or ANY dollar for that matter, for a cookie-cutter website? Even with the use of templates, a site must look original and contemporary. To have complete control over the final look of your site, avoid a company that uses boring templates. Still not convinced? Ask the bargain basement staff to realign text or change a color, and we are willing to bet the template they used will not allow your customization.
6. Crossed Wires – The key to any business arrangement is communication. This has never been more prevalent than in web design because a vision begins in a concept, and is then interpreted into a blend of colors, words and graphics. 9 times out of 10, bargain basement designers have no formal education in the industry and will not know how to answer your questions or address your concerns effectively. Prepare yourself to be involved in every single detail down to the bare bones since you will not be able to trust an expert to take the ball and run with it.
7. Satisfaction NOT Guaranteed – A bargain basement company will not make any guarantees except for one: to give you a bargain basement site at a garage sale price. The saying “you get what you pay for” rings true and that is true for guarantees. A questionable web designer will have a creatively written contract that covers them–not you. Make sure the contract states that the website is not complete and will not be launched until your final approval has been given. The customer should always be satisfied with a final product or the web design company doesn’t deserve the business.
8. Quality Resources – Ever wonder why it is that some websites take days to load and some are loaded the minute you click the mouse? The answer should be clear by now. Worthy website designers have the tools and resources, expensive as they may be, to provide stellar service and optimal performance. A bargain basement designer will have no excuse for down time and slow speed except for their cheap resources.
9. Terrible Content – What is it, other than a visually captivating look, that keeps people on your page? Sure the site looks good, but does it SOUND good? For an extra fee, web design companies will write the content that goes on each page (also called copywriting.) This comes in handy for those of us that are not vocabulary-inclined. It is imperative to find out whether or not the copywriters who are populating your site are trained to write and are good at it! Half of a well-designed site is the graphic element; the other half is the content! In order to grab your audience, make sure whoever is writing your content knows how to put a sentence together–and with marketing appeal.
10. Keep It Local – This reason is the most critically important reason to steer clear of bargain basement web design companies. Outsourcing is the death of your site and money! The reason you are being charged $400 for the website on which your hopes are riding, is because salaries are less in third-world countries. You want a website that reads, looks and performs like a qualified, experienced team put together skill and effort to make your vision a reality. Bargain basement companies almost always outsource coding, copywriting and design to third world countries where language, style and skill are very different than what you may desire. By keeping local, you don’t risk a language barrier that can keep you from the professional website you desire. Think global, act local.
Sure, everyone likes to save money–business owners especially! But before you cut corners, take into consideration all that is involved in a web site from conception to design, from testing to launch. Many man hours and a ton of creativity is expected and required to make a website look, function and perform like a well-oiled machine. Research at least 5 web design companies, their credentials, portfolios and referrals before signing a contract. And by all means, make the best decision for you and your vision by choosing a company not by price, but by performance.
By: Staff Writer