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Thread: How To Choose A Web Design Firm.

  1. #1
    You do realize by 'gay' I mean a man who has sex with other men?
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    How To Choose A Web Design Firm.

    To Choose The Right Web Design Firm.

    Regardless whether you manage a small business, charitable organization, or Fortune 500 company, choosing the right web design firm can quickly become a full-time research project. With thousands of design firms to choose from, what factors truly determine which design firm is best for your business?

    The primary considerations for choosing a web design firm are:

    * Price
    * Customer service/access to support
    * Credibility indicators of the design firm
    * Portfolio and design experience
    * Other services offered (domain renewal, hosting, SEO)
    * Turnaround time

    Let’s take a closer look at each consideration in detail, and explore how to identify and qualify the right design firm.

    Price

    Like many products and services we purchase, both personally and professionally, deciding on a web design firm can often come down to price. But the value of the services rendered is really what’s important. A $200 web site usually turns out to look, feel and perform like a $200 web site.

    The price of your site’s development will depend on three factors: the features of the site, the amount of content, and the service options included with the design package, such as hosting.

    Because pricing varies by firm, here are several principles to use when determining the validity and value of a web design quote:

    * Does the quote state one all-inclusive price for the entire project?
    * Is there a reoccurring monthly fee for hosting?
    * Is the site custom-built, or is it customization of an existing template?
    * Is there a separate fee for content development, such as writing sales copy?
    * Is domain registration/management included in the package?
    * Will the firm provide multiple design concepts, prior to actual development?

    It’s important to compare quotes from at least three firms to, determine the value of the services offered. Looking for the best value is important in a competitive service market.

    Customer Service

    There’s nothing worse than signing with a firm that offers a great product, only to find out they are impossible to contact. Consistent, open contact with your web design firm is important for ensuring success before, during, and after your web site is developed.

    Throughout the design process, you may identify text, photos, or contact information you’d like to change before the site goes live. If you have immediate questions regarding your site’s development, you’ll be glad to have immediate contact with customer support staff by e-mail, telephone, or live chat.

    If you are limited to e-mail technical support, consider other firms that offer a wider range of customer service options such as telephone and live chat support. E-mail is great for convenience – when it’s convenient.

    Credibility Indicators

    Identifying “credibility indicators” can help ensure a firm is trustworthy, and will be around after your deposit or full payment is sent. Credibility indicators include, but are not limited to:

    * Toll free telephone support
    * 24 hour customer service
    * Better Business Bureau affiliation
    * Human e-mail address contacts
    * Google PageRank of 2 or above
    * Presentation of a hard-copy quote/design contract

    Design Experience/Portfolio

    Does the design firm have experience in working with similar types of businesses? Even if a designer doesn’t have a web site in their portfolio related to your industry, the firm you select should have a strong working knowledge of how to develop an effective site for your business type. Product and service web sites are not the same. Your designer should have a plan of action for developing a site that reaches the maximum number of prospective customers in your target market.

    A few good questions to ask about a firm’s design experience include:

    * Does the firm offer a number of diverse, finished web sites available for review?
    * Will the firm conduct research regarding my competition?
    * Will my web site highlight the features, benefits and value of my product or service?
    * Has the firm outlined a plan of action for creating an effective site, start to finish?

    Design experience need not always relate to the type of web sites the firm has previously developed. If you have a specific look in mind, ask the firm if achieving a similar design is possible. The ultimate goal is to know you’re going to get a tangible benefit out of your site through effective, affordable web design.

    Additional Services

    Many web design firms offer design, but do not provide other required services such as hosting and domain name registration. Ideally, your web design company should be a full-service firm, offering at least basic hosting, domain registration and search engine optimization services tailored to your needs. Research each firm to determine other key lines of business, so that any future expansion of your site will be seamless as your business grows.

    Turnaround Time

    An effective website should take 30-60 days to go live, from the start of production. Unless you’re offering hundreds of individual products or services on your web site, the entire development process, start to finish, should take no longer than 60 days. Turnaround time should include:

    * Upload of your web site to the hosting provider
    * Configuration of any scripts or forms on your site
    * Domain propagation (accessing your web site and e-mail via yoursite.com)

    Hiring the cheapest, fastest, or most elaborate web design firm does not always equate to hiring the right web design firm. A limited amount of front-end research can save time and money in the long term, and maximize the sales revenue from your web presence.

    Article written by Chris.

    http://www.webmasterconsultants.com


  2. #2
    On the other hand.... You have different fingers
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    I appreciate a lot of what Chris has written (as well as the effort he put into writing it), but it looks like it was generically written for business seeking websites, not to adult content or membership site builders. Therefore, I'd like to perhaps offer an alternative viewpoint on several key issues. My view comes from having been on both sides of the transaction, as a technical sales liason for a firm that offered design services (mainstream, not adult), and having been a buyer of graphic design services (web and print) for well over 20 years.

    From my perspective, the first and foremost factor in choosing a web design firm is not price, "customer service" and certainly not what other services are offered by the firm, but instead WHO IS GOING TO BE DOING YOUR DESIGN. In a lot of larger firms (particularly offshore ones), you'll see fabulous designs in the portfolio... but the designer who did them is either out of the price range for your job, doesn't work there, or is unavailable. For my money, I want to see the actual designs that the designer working on my site has done, and even more importantly, I want to speak with him/her on the phone, over IM, or (preferably) in person.

    We recently had an experience with a graphic design firm that has high visibility in the gay adult industry. While said firm supposedly had a good reputation, it's principal designer was absolutely the most arrogant, self-important, uncooperative designer I've ever worked with, and had I met him before the project started, we absolutely would not have used this firm. (As it was, after three rounds of comps that were completely nonresponsive to the notes we'd sent, we dropped the firm and a much less known designer did an incredible job for about 1/4 of the cost quoted by the larger firm.)

    Secondly, while price can have a strong correlation to what you get in many fields, in the field of web design, I've found that isn't always the case. Two of the most talented designers we've ever used are recently out of school and very inexpensive, yet they do far more creative/innovative/quality work than many of the established firms I've used. They're also very flexible about delivering what we want, and work hard to deliver on time. Likewise, there are several designers active on GWW, one of whom we've worked with, who do excellent work yet are not part of big firms and don't charge a bazillion dollars for their work.

    Third, I don't recommend bundling hosting with design. Web designers generally don't know how to maintain server networks well, and network techs generally suck at design. Although there are exceptions, firms that try to do both often aren't great at either. Let each group shine in its own area of specialty by choosing the best vendors in each field. You'll probably save money as well, as design firms are often just marking up a service they are buying from elsewhere. And if you're going to be in the adult biz, you really need to learn at least some *basic* site admin stuff yourself.

    Fourth, on the support issue... again, I VERY HIGHLY recommend working only with a firm where you can speak directly with the designer that's working on your job. Otherwise, you will often find it will take 3 or 4 tries to get something done because messages get screwed up as they are passed from one person to another. If you insist in working with an offshore designer to save money, you may be forced to go through a third party due to a language barrier... but with the many talented designers in the US, some of whom are 18 or 19 but have been designing for 10 years already, you can, with a little effort, find a firm that employs great people (or a talented individual) that won't charge you a fortune.

    Fifth, adult is an unusual business, so choosing a designer that has no experience in adult can be risky. Getting tours to convert, understanding the importance of specific design issues, creating sites with back-end technology (or, just image and code optimization) that can support thousands of simultaneous users -- if that's the growth path you're aiming for -- is crucial to your success. At the same time, if you're willing to work with a designer that hasn't done much adult work, you may find that your sites will have a fresher, less formulaic look that will appeal to your surfers *because* it's different. And there's no reason you can't hire one person or firm to do design, and somebody else to do search engine optimization, as long as the two parties talk... once again, leaving each person doing what they do best. Particularly with SEO, this is really important... someone who *thinks* they know what they're doing can cause you far more harm than good.

    I hope that the above suggestions are helpful to anyone new to the industry.


  3. #3
    MidwestMale
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    Yeah no Joke. We are on our 2nd Design team for my website the first one well was taking WAY to much time to complete the project the site was very unprofessional looking and well the database(s) would not link up correctly. There was many entry errors and well the temp site he made for us just was not the style or anything eles we wanted plus he just copied text and stuff from my temp / example pages i needed for the pages.

    Offshore DESIGN = Cheeper but well quality sucks Or is Great (hit or miss)
    USA BASED DESIGN = Expensive as hell but quality is excellent.

    OFFSHORE Database Configurations = Cheeper and they are good
    USA BASED Database Configurations = Expensive and good.

    The team i have now is very good at both things the frontend design person i have is located in Kentucky his website is

    http://www.niccodamani.com he is really good at design his backend team he uses his name is Ankit www.swiftthoughts.com they both can do great things for you.


  4. #4
    GWW Newbie..Be Nice..
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    You Website design plays the same role in the success of your website like the keywords and SEO. Always choose a website design firm that offers you best services and design strictly according to web2.0 properties.


  5. #5
    affordable web design india
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    People Web design performs identical part from the good results of your respective website such as the key phrases as well as SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING. Generally pick a website design firm that offers a person ideal solutions as well as style purely in line with web2. 0 properties.


  6. #6
    Moderator Bec's Avatar
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    Lalithya and foduu1 --Do not post to tutorials that are years and years old ... or I will ban the account as I will be assuming you are here for SEO PR positioning.
    Blogging Tips<<
    Email Me if you have a site and are willing to setup a discount with Porncastle.com for your 30-day membership fee


  7. #7
    GWW Newbie..Be Nice.. yuusito's Avatar
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    Take a look to the portfolio, if they have a nice portfolio they are the good ones to go no samples = no biz
    Killer Designs ... MechBunny Templates ... Adult Biz Chat ...
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  8. #8
    Moderator Bec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yuusito View Post
    Take a look to the portfolio, if they have a nice portfolio they are the good ones to go no samples = no biz
    Yuusito, please read the post before yours. Do NOT post to threads started years ago. Lee isn't even part of this forum anymore, not to mention that some tutorials dated as far back as 2005 (such as this one) are now 10 years old, and probably contains outdated info.
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