The process of buying a new website can often be overwhelming, especially if it’s not something you’ve done very often. One of the biggest concerns can be not knowing your way around the process.
To help mitigate some of your worries, we’ve put together the most significant, and how you can tackle them early on in the purchasing process.
We recommend collecting 3-5 different quotations as this will usually be enough for you to see a trend. There’s usually one low quote, one very high one, and then three that are around the same price. These costs will give you a good indication of how much you should be paying.
There are few things to keep in mind during this process: the choice of CMS (content management system); how established the agencies are; what industry experience they have; and where they’re based. All of these factors can impact the price dramatically.
Depending on which content management system (CMS) your agency is using to build your site, it should be relatively easy for them to give you admin access. This means they’ll give you a login link and details so you can go in, upload images and make extensive content changes. For platforms such as WordPress, this is relatively simple. Still, you should ask your agency ahead of time if they’ll give you admin access, and if they’ll provide CMS training for you and your team.
Some agencies also offer maintenance packages which means they’ll take care of ongoing updates to your website for a fixed fee. That said, you should still get your access if possible – you want to know you have ownership over your website.
Building a beautiful looking website isn’t the end to your business’ journey to online success. You still need to be found on Google, and for this, you’ll need to consider Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Be sure to ask your agency if you’ll have access to an ‘SEO feature’ in your CMS, as you’ll need this to assign each page a meta title and description. You’ll also need to consider content from day one, and you might even want to work with an SEO agency or specialist to support you.
Our blog ‘How can I rank on Google‘ explores this topic in-depth and will help you get started with SEO.
Before you commission your new website, you should find out what the security best practice is for the platform the agency is using. This might mean regular updates, how they manage backups, and whether or not they use third-party plugins or themes. Your site should also have an SSL certificate and secure hosting. Be sure to find out ahead of time whether these are with your website or if you’ll need to source this elsewhere.
Choosing the right agency for you can be challenging. We’ve put together several resources which should help you with this search, including ‘finding the right web agency for your business‘ and ’15 questions to ask your website agency’.
Before even approaching an agency, you should check out their blog, about us page, socials, reviews and case studies. This will give you a good idea of whether or not they’re credible. Have they got good reviews? What experience do they have? Do they work with any clients in your industry? What are their values? Do they have a meet the team page? What message are they sending? Are they educating their visitors with how-to-guides or informative blogs?
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