Website Design

10 Years ago, many companies still used website consultants to build their websites. Effective, but expensive- as soon as it became common knowledge that the consultants were getting paid and then just outsourcing the work to people in other countries for a lot less money, some companies started to gravitate more towards portals and other types of web application packages that were standardized and optimized for editing and production.

The problem then became that they still needed to pay a design specialist to coordinate the look of the site unless they felt comfortable relying upon the look and feel that custom templates could afford them.

Today, the market is even better for companies that are interested in building a presence online. Here are some of the dynamics that can help you choose the best online partner as you move forward:

Pay for services, not development: Some providers like networksolutions.com have decided that because a lively market has grown up around services that you can provide for existing website owners, they will create your professionally designed website for free. You merely pay for hosting and for their support services as you go along. Hosting and web design providers using this type of business model have managed to entice many businesses to upgrade their websites because there is really no downside to having a better looking site without having to pay up front. The services that you do pay for are typically website updates in the form of a campaign or communication. Those types of services are going to add value to your website anyway.

Look for bundles: Just like your cable company, some internet providers offer a great number of applications that are pre-configured and available for free when you purchase a hosting account. And while many providers will put a list of applications and images up there, one of the keys to being successful from a cost standpoint is to ensure that you have talented staff- or that the support information is at a level that you and your people can understand. With technology changing on a regular basis, a problem like figuring out how to host multiple domains with one IP address using different applications can take longer to resolve than it would if the company had developed responses to common problems.

All-inclusive is a good phrase to remember: When it comes to the scope of services that you will end up with at your new hosting provider, there can be some important differences that can save you a lot of time and money. If your provider is offering you development services for free, for example, it is a good idea to find out whether they incorporate responsive design, or mobile site compatibility with their services. Another important feature is the type of statistics that can be gathered. Of course there are free statistics programs that you can add to any website- but having access to a pre-packaged statistic application that installs with one click and is easy to maintain is much preferable.

Featured image credit: ShutterStock

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