Designing and developing your own website is possible, but may not be an easy undertaking. There are tutorials freely available online to show you how to do it, but that is going to take a time investment which you probably do not have.
At the same time, doing the website design and development in-house, is also a viable option, which if done properly, may actually prove to be cheaper for your business. It also means that you must have a dedicated designer and developer in-house, which most small businesses do not have.
Outsourcing the web design and development for your business will save you time in the long term, and you will avoid the need to fill the knowledge gap for the skills you do not possess to get the job done. It will also allow you to take advantage of the expertise and experience of someone whose occupation it is to build websites.
Before outsourcing the web design and development for your business, you should do your due diligence. Find out what you want, and figure out the means to get someone suitable to execute on your requirements proficiently.
It is very important to have a clear vision of what you want before you start looking for a designer and developer. Having a clear vision will present a clear direction to whoever will ultimately work on your website.
If you do not have an idea of what you want, spend some time online, visiting various websites, and see how creative they have been with their design and functionality. Use your exploration to gain inspiration about what you may need for your business’ website.
You also need to be clued up about what technologies and trends are out there, when it comes to modern website design and development. Spending time on Google and searching for relevant terms, in relation to technology and trends, in line with web design and development should get you off to a good start.
Another important source of inspiration is other people. Ask around to see what other people think might make for good web design and development ideas. You may ask family, friends, relatives or clients who may be glad to contribute ideas. If you have employees, ask for their input as well.
Building a website takes a great deal of planning. You have to bring together various resources, which you will hand over to the web developer who will in turn put them together to produce the website.
In my experience, this is the hardest part for people with a desire to build a website. They often express a desire to have a website built, but find it difficult to put together the content and resources that should go on that website.
These resources need to be compiled and gathered. Articles need to be written, and relevant images for those articles also made available. Audiovisual resources, if applicable, such as videos and audio clips also need to be produced.
Even if content and resources for use on the website are readily available, they need to be collected and compiled into a format that the designer and developer will easily understand and will be able to utilise.
When outsourcing the website project for your business, you need to carefully vet the person or company that is going to execute. Making a poor choice in this regard has dire consequences for your business, and may result in headaches along the way.
You should also understand the distinction between a web designer and a web developer. A web designer primarily works with the look and feel of a website, whilst a web developer works with the functional aspect that deals with programming. Ideally, you should get someone who performs both roles adequately well, or get someone for each role.
Ask for the portfolio of whoever you intend to hire to work on your website project, so that you may get an impression of the kind and quality of work that they do. By looking at their previous work, you can decide whether their level of quality and style meets your expectations.
Pricing is one of the deal makers and deal breakers in any web design and development deal, and I am willing to bet this applies to you as well. We look at price as a positive as well as negative indicator. If something is too pricey we can’t afford it, and if it’s too cheap we also stay away from it.
It is important that you do your research and “shop around”, before settling for any price. You want to make sure that you are getting a fair price for the level of work you are getting. It is a good idea to ask for several quotations from other designers and developers just to compare, even if you have found one you like.
You should at the same time be careful and avoid picking a designer and developer simply on the basis of the price, especially if it’s at the low end of the scale. “Cheap” can sometimes cost you more in the long run, as you discover that you are not getting what you need.
Communication is the most important element when you are outsourcing your web design and development project. Without proper communication the web design and development project may not turn out as expected.
In an outsourced project, what you need to understand is that you are passing off ideas which are crystal clear to you, but also bear in mind that something may be lost in the conveyance of those ideas. You need to make sure that what you have in mind, is what the web designer and developer actually implement.
There are many mediums available to you that facilitate effective communication. If you can have regular face to face meetings with your designer and developer, especially in the early phases of the project, that would be great. Alternatively, regular meetings should be held online, through tools like Google Meet or Microsoft Teams.
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