How choosing a Designer can save you money!

In times like these, where money has become tight for many businesses, choosing the cheaper alternative can seem like the right choice. In this article, I’m going to offer some reasons why this can quickly become a false economy.

I’m sure if you look around the town or city that you live or work in, you can quickly see the tell tale signs of the recession in empty shops and business units. Sadly, this is fast becoming a sign of the times and a very frightening prospect for any business owner. So, surely it makes sense to cut back on designers fees and opt for a cheaper option: the friend of a friend who does a bit of web design in their spare time, the cheaper hosting based in the USA, etc…..

While at first it can seem like you are making significant savings, it’s only when you come across some of the typical issues that can affect any project that you soon start to see the savings dwindle!

A Typical Scenario

Let me give you an example, and something that I have come across on many occasions during my career.

While it is a tempting path to take, employing a student or someone who dabbles in web design in their spare time, whether it is out of working hours or while at college or university, it can quickly turn into a real nightmare.

The project is finished, your new web site is up online and looking sweet, but you want to make some changes to the wording and add a few new pictures of your latest widget. You contact the designer only to find that you don’t get an answer for a few days. When you do, it’s an apology saying that they have moved on and suddenly find that they don’t have the spare time to make changes to your web site. Or, worse still, they don’t reply, you get a bounced email saying the account is closed and you can’t find the designers new details to get in contact…. what can you do now?

Let’s take it one step further. Not only do you find out that you can’t contact them anymore, but the hosting and domain for your site is in their name and you have no legal right to have access to this information. Suddenly, your fantastic new web site is out of date, can’t be changed and you have a long road ahead of you either trying to track down the individual that designed it or try to prove that you have a legal right to the web site and domain. Good luck with that one!

By using a design company you can be certain that they are going to be available, at least during office hours, offer you ongoing support as well as manage your hosting, domain renewals and registrations as well as offer you advice and guidance on your web site, search engine optimisation and a whole host of facilities you probably don’t even realise you need. One other distinct advantage is that they have comprehensive terms and conditions that outline your rights and obligations, as well as what they will and won’t do for you, along with any applicable fees.

Additionally, any design company worth its salt are going to be very aware that their reputation is their most important asset and will ensure that clients are happy with their work and ongoing services so that they spread the word about this amazing company.

Speaking of hosting, you could certainly save a few pounds by using one of the cheap US based companies (this also includes UK resellers who simply purchase reseller accounts from US based hosting companies and brand them as their own product). Why is it a bad idea?

Let’s say you have a problem with your site and need to contact the hosting company; do they offer manned 24/7 support? What if you need to ask a few questions and each time your reply takes a few hours. It could suddenly be a few days before your problem is rectified. Imagine if you run an eCommerce web site and you can’t make sales when your site is experiencing problems. A simple problem could end up costing you a packet!

How about you need a quicker answer and the telephone line is actually in the US? A costly phone call, and to add another problem, what if the telephone service is only manned during office hours? The time difference adds another problem into the equation….

These are just a few of the issues you could run into by not using a professional web design company to work with you to maintain a professional and consistent online presence that is online when your clients need it!