How do I buy a new website?

Published: July 2014

How do I buy a new website?

Web - Wrong way - Right way

Changing your website, whether it’s a refresh or commissioning a completely new site, has the potential to become an expensive, time consuming and frustrating experience. So how should you buy a new website?

With a little planning, you can ensure the process will be simple, enjoyable and a valuable investment of your time and money.

It’s worth remembering that a website should improve, not hinder your business. It should be something which plays a vital role in the business, not something which is just there for the sake of it.

Your website needs to work hard for you and be an intrinsic part of your business and overall marketing strategy.

So What’s the Wrong Way to buy a New Website?

  • Ring an agency without thinking about what you want to achieve
  • Request a quote without meeting the agency
  • Keeping the budget a big secret
  • Picking the cheapest proposal
  • Little or no thought about your website content
  • Avoiding getting involved in the whole process
  • Expecting miracles and overnight transformations

Sadly though, many people adopt some or all of these approaches when buying a website.

The whole idea is to define how the site can improve your business. Your chosen agency should insist on discussing this with you before they provide any proposals. This approach allows the agency to contribute ideas and concepts which you may not have previously thought of and may result in a better solution to solving your problems and achieving your goals. Whilst you are the expert on your business, your design agency knows the capabilities of web design, so don’t miss out on benefitting from this knowledge and experience.

Now, What’s the Right Way to buy a New Website?

  • Engage with an agency at an early stage in the project.
    This approach may mean that fewer suppliers will be involved (maybe even just one), but those that are will be able to help on a deeper level. 
  • Ensure that the agency thoroughly understands your business and the customers you serve.
    From this they will be able to develop a concept and provide a great user experience. 
  • Work with the agency to plan how the website can improve your business and make it more efficient.

For example, your goal may be to provide a simple and obvious way of contacting your company or to use your site as an administration time-saver e.g. handling payments or automating processes online.
Regardless of the type and size of website, it will still have a key purpose and a web design agency will develop an interactive approach to help your business to fulfil its web potential.

More time spent working closely with the agency on the initial brief will result in a more accurate cost and a greater understanding of what is required. More importantly, it will give you an insight into how the agency operates and don’t forget that you’ve got to work with them so it’s important to enjoy the time spent and to develop complete trust in their abilities.

Be sure that before the project starts, you feel the selected design agency understands your business, is clear what is required and that they will add real value.

Urban River have created hundreds of websites for a wide range of clients. See some examples of our work here. We also provide brand identities and design for print.

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