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Top 5 Considerations for Website Design

Commissioning a new website can be a pretty daunting experience. Any business that has already gone through the process will know that it can be a fairly time intensive task; from deciding on the site’s navigation to approving designs, creating copy and choosing imagery; all of it takes much longer than you would think.

To make the process that little bit easier, we have created a list of our top 5 questions to ask your digital agency when commissioning a new website.

Who will be my point of contact?

All agencies work differently. With some you might be assigned an account manager who will be your point of contact and liaise internally with all of the people working on your site build whilst with others, it may be that you deal directly with a designer or developer. It is important that you are happy with the setup before you engage an agency and that you are confident you will be able to work with them to get the best result. For example, you may find it hard to communicate with someone who uses technical terminology, industry jargon or doesn’t explain things fully and this may ultimately stall the project.

Will the website be amendable?

The majority of websites these days are built on a Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to amend images, copy and add new content. That doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t double check though! Some agencies deliberately don’t provide clients with a CMS so they can retain ongoing development work, or others will make existing sections amendable, but require their involvement in any new content. It is also worth requesting during the briefing stage that you want to be able to control your website’s ‘meta data’. This will allow you to tailor the details of your site’s webpages for SEO.

Who will own the domain name?

If you are setting up a new website, you may think it’s easier to just ask your digital agency to purchase the domain as part of the process. I would always advise that you purchase any domain names yourself or request that these are transferred over to you if they have already been purchased. It thankfully doesn’t happen often, but if you were to fall out with your digital agency, it is better know for your peace of mind that your site and domain are ultimately in your control.

Is image budget included in the quote?

One thing to be wary of when obtaining quotes for web builds is what is included in the price. The majority of websites do not account for any copywriting, so you need to be sure to set yourself enough time to do this. Image budget is something you also need to consider carefully – the digital agency may have included something for this but you way wish to double check. Alternatively, if you are going to be providing your own bespoke photography, you should let them know this so it can be omitted from the quotation.

Will the website be mobile friendly?

Last month Google announced that, as many in the industry had suspected for a long while, whether a website is mobile friendly or not will have a direct impact upon its search rankings. If you think about it, this makes a great deal of sense; Google want to serve its customers ie. searchers, with the best content out there. So if a website is mobile friendly, Google will rank it higher when searched for on a on mobile device than a site that isn’t mobile friendly. Furthermore, there have been indications that responsive websites, ie. those that adapt to fit the frame of the particular device they are being shown upon, will be favoured by Google above websites that have a separate mobile site. So when commissioning a new website, responsive is the way forward.

KO-Consulting have close relationships with digital agencies and can project manage the process of having a new website built. For more information, get in touch.

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Kathleen O'Connor

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