The number of options available to business owners when looking for a website provider is huge. There are so many different options out there in your local area alone, with agencies, marketeers, freelance designers etc.
Leverage that fact to your advantage, by ensuring that you are getting something from the website provider that you can’t easily get elsewhere. They should have a differentiator that lends itself to your business specifically, and a significant benefit to choosing them as your long-term website partner.
Everyone’s an expert these days, but not everyone can prove it. Ask website providers to evidence their claims – whether its claims about their achievements on their website, or claims the salesperson is making relating to your spec and requirements in order to try and close the deal.
They should be able to show you pieces of work, referrals and/or case studies that display the competence required to provide you with the best solution for your business within your sector. If they can’t, then the decision you make boils down to the other factors, and how much of a gamble you can afford to take.
Let’s face it, some agencies take clients’ eyes out by charging upwards of £10k-£15k for a simple WordPress site that takes them 4-5 days max. But as a client, particularly one who doesn’t really understand what’s involved, how are you supposed to know if what you’re paying is good value or not?
Within the web design industry, there is no real correlation between quality and price, and that is the main issue. An expensive website provider doesn’t necessarily equate to a quality one, so there is no way of being able to look at a website and say, “yes that’s a £10k site”, or “yes that’s a £1k site”.
It’s a matter of business ethics a lot of the time, and brand companies in particular, are very good at bulking out projects with what is essentially, meaningless fluff.
However, by asking each website provider to give you their typical day-rate, you will be able to a) wheedle out ones which have hugely inflated rates, and b) get an understanding of the average time-estimate for the project as whole, allowing you to further identify which quotes may be bogus.
When choosing a new website provider, take your time. Get to know the people you will be working with, their skillsets and their price-point, and make sure you’re 100% comfortable and confident in them before making your final decision.