There are so many professional web design companies in the market that sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish yours and deliver truly outstanding web development services to your clients. Much of great website design is adapting to a client’s needs, but there are a few common mistakes that can ruin almost any project — and most of them have to do with a shortcut-based, eye-on-the-clock business model. Here are the three biggest mistakes web design companies can make in an effort to churn out as many sites as possible:
- Starting With the Desired ‘Look’
While the graphic design element of a website is important, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in how a website looks without doing some basic marketing work first. The first phase of any web design project should include establishing the website’s target market (and no, “everyone on the Internet” does not count as an audience), setting goals and strategizing to achieve them. Only then should work on the website actually begin.
It’s also important that copy get as much (or more) attention as graphics. People online don’t want to read a novel on each page, so each word on a website should be carefully chosen and crafted for maximum impact. Any company that’s saving time by having clients drop in their own copy at the last minute is likely to see low conversions on their sites.
- Getting Plugin Happy
This isn’t the place to debate whether all web designers should be able to code, but the bottom line is that anyone building websites should be competent in achieving their client’s demands (within reason). Using a plugin for each function requested by a client leads to a sloppy backend and leaves a website vulnerable to attacks. It saves some time initially, but can backfire big time. So even if a company’s designers can’t sit down and code a site from scratch, it’s important that they be willing to learn small bits of coding as needed.
- Not Training Clients
Pretty much all professional web design companies struggle to balance good customer support against the possibility of an unreasonable revision process (this is one of the reasons it’s so important to specify the range of revisions that will be included in the same contract before additional payment is due). But some companies react to this dilemma by leaving their customers completely on their own after the website is delivered, and that’s not a good option either.
Especially since most websites use content management systems for updates — the idea being that the client will be able to maintain his or her own website after it’s set up — it’s vital that a good design company include training for the client on how to use and modify the website. This will cut down on the string of small requests (“Can we just change the wording on this one header?”) that bog down design companies and reduce overall productivity.
What do you think distinguishes average professional web design companies from top-notch web development firms? Share your thoughts in the comments.