Ready Made Websites: 4 Rules to Outsource Web Design the Right Way
There is simply no other way to put it.
If you are a small business owner, you need a website to remain competitive in the digital landscape. As more people use search engines and other channels, a website often serves as the first point of contact that prospects have with your business. Not having one only makes it harder for your audience to find your products or services.
The last thing you want to do though is to haphazardly put together a site. Because a poorly designed site reflects poorly on your business which is likely to have a negative impact on sales.
But what if you lack the technical experience or the time to build a site?
Outsourcing your web design is a great option in these cases. Working with a developer allows you to hand off a potentially resource extensive project so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
While there are certainly some challenges involved, outsourcing can deliver great results within your budget. Follow these four rules to outsource your web design the right way.
Determine the Project Scope
The first step is to define the scope of the project. The kind of work you need done will largely determine the agency you work with.
For example, if you are looking to create a mobile app for your site you would want to work with an agency that has experience with iOS and Android development. Likewise, if you are aiming for a complete design overhaul of your site or want e-commerce capabilities then you would want to look for an agency with the appropriate experience.
So start by identifying your exact needs as it will make it easier to relay the project requirements and estimate costs when choosing a developer. Here are some things to consider:
How much customisation do you need? (e.g. standard vs custom theme)
What functionality do you want? (e.g. payment options, contact forms, etc.)
Will you be needing any other services? (e.g. copywriting)
Will you provide images?
Take the time to put together as much information as you can.
Establish a Budget
Not budgeting properly could lead to a number of disastrous scenarios which include:
Development costs exceeding the initial budget
Project taking longer than anticipate to complete
New functions not working properly
Compromises in design
Some of which can leave a negative impression on potential prospects.
Determining the project scope is an important first step as it allows you to better estimate the costs. While there are developers that offer affordable web design at low hourly rates, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If you have a limited budget to work with, you can discuss your options with the developer.
Not sure how much to budget?
There are a number of online job boards available where you can view recent posts. Browse these resources to get a better idea of how much a potential project will cost you. Then budget accordingly.
Express Your Ideas in Visuals
Trying to convey ideas for your website in text can be incredibly difficult.
Designers often work best when given visual references of your ideas. If possible, prepare some examples of the customisation or functionality that you are looking for. This will help designers have a better idea of the features you want to implement with your site.
Like how a site has implemented their shopping cart or mobile design? Then take down some notes and put any other visual references together.
Another approach is to use Photoshop or other software to quickly sketch mock up designs. But if you don't have experience with these applications, then simply sketch out your ideas on paper. The important part of this process is to make it easier to convey your ideas to potential developers.
Taking the time to do this step will save a great deal of headache and frustration during the development process.
Stay in Contact Throughout the Process
Don't expect to simply hand off a web design project without any further input.
One common mistake that many business owners make is not being more involved in the development process. Poor communication is often what leads to missteps which can lead to delays or cause the project to go over budget. This is why it is important to set up clear communication channels and to be involved in the process from start to finish.
How often you want to discuss the project is ultimately up to you. But aim to establish contact at least once a week. That way you can check in on the progress of your website and clear up any questions the development team might have.
Email is perhaps the most common form of communication but the agency you work with may have their own systems set up where clients can view how their site is progressing. Regardless, stay in contact throughout the process to prevent any missteps and to ensure that things are on the right track.
Outsourcing web design in Perth is a great option if you lack the time or expertise to work on your site. It can save a great deal of effort while you focus on more important matters for your business. But there are also important considerations to take into account. Follow each of these rules to outsource web design projects the right way.