Your website is the foundation of your digital footprint. Leave it up to the pros at design companies to set you up for success!
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store or not, you need a website. But your online presence is a delicate matter. A glance at the facts below will underline why.
The average visitor on your website is strict. A minor design slip-up or functionality issue, and they’ll be gone before you know it. Poor layout choices, slow loading pages, the list goes on and on. To say there is a lot of pressure on web design is an understatement.
Quality web design
The complex world of web design can quickly become overwhelming. We’ve composed a list of the 7 golden rules of web design to keep you on the right track. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or about to embark on your first web design venture, these are the rules you should stick to.
- Keep it simple – Instead of cramming every single detail about your company on hundreds of pages, keep it short and sweet.
- Apply visual hierarchy – This will guide your audience through your content, allowing them to scan information faster.
- Plan out navigation – Instead of adding elements and pages as you go, consciously make design decisions based on a navigation plan.
- Be consistent – Use similar design elements throughout your website, like the same style for all call-to-action buttons and the menu in the same spot on each page.
- Go for responsive design – Your visitors use all sorts of devices and browsers to visit your page; make sure your design is responsive and adapts to these differences.
- Put your user first – Instead of designing for yourself, make sure you design for your user. There’s only one way to find out what they want: by testing (and testing again!).
- Mind your content – Jam-packing your website with random content just for the sake of having content is a bad idea. Consider your content wisely and make sure it adds value.
The web design process
A visually stunning online presence is one thing, but getting everything to work properly is another. As you may have guessed by now, the web design process encompasses much more than making a page look pretty. Web designers have their work cut out for them and are usually responsible for an extensive scope of service.
Let’s review the web design process to see in-depth what designing a website means.
Identify the goal
First things first, a goal needs to be set. An aimless website can get confusing fast. Of course, a website can have multiple functions. You can add in an e-commerce shop, a contact form, etc. Still, the aim is the same; the growth of your business.
By identifying a clear and measurable goal, you can start planning your design and navigation around it.
Define the scope
Do you want a single static page or multiple pages, including a blog or an e-commerce shop? You should consider all of these things before you even start to think about the design of your website.
Pre-planning will avoid a lot of hiccups throughout the design process. It’s much easier to create a cohesive whole if you know what the entire scope of the website entails.
If you don’t have a solid brand identity established yet, this step also entails customer research. Make sure you know everything there is to know about your audience and your brand before thinking of designing your digital space.
See wireframing as the blueprint of your website. No actual visual design choices are made yet, but the structure of your pages are drawn out. This critical step ensures that anyone who lands on one of your pages will immediately know the goal of your website.
Although this step will be continuous, since you need to keep your website up-to-date, it’s wise to start thinking about how you want to fill your pages at this point in the process. This will help plan the information structure, ensuring everything is tied together internally.
All research and gathered information from the previous stages considered, now is the time to create. Each visual element is designed separately and, once done, delivered to a developer.
With your visuals in the pocket, it’s now time for development. A developer will use coding language to make sure the visuals of the website are shown in the intended manner.
Once the development has resulted in a tangible website, you’re not just there yet. It’s time to test everything to filter out any issues.
With a large project such as web design, it’s prevalent that minor slip-ups get overlooked during the initial designing and developing process. That’s why you always want to ensure your website has gone through an excessive test run.
Applied all the feedback that popped up during your testing phase? Got a shiny website that is functional, user-friendly, and above all, stunning? Then it’s finally time to pop the champagne and launch your digital presence with a bang!
Outsourcing vs. DIY
After reading what a lengthy process web design is, your bubble may burst. Although there are still options to DIY your web design, chances are it’s most likely not going to cut it.
Now what? You still need a website. If DIY isn’t going to cut it, should you just scrap having a website altogether?
You have to keep up with your competitors and run a business at the same time. Sure, you could hire an in-house designer, but a quick search will learn this costs you over $50,000 annually.
Save yourself the hassle and outsource web design. A web design company is worth the investment to take advantage of their expertise, professionalism, and skill set.
Handing over the massive task of designing your website to someone else may sound daunting, but in reality, it’s quite straightforward. And if you do your research, you’re bound to find a web design company that fits your needs and wishes. Let’s look at some steps to consider and design companies to choose from.
How to choose a web design company
There are many design companies, from top-notch design agencies with a jaw-dropping portfolio to single entrepreneurs running a side gig from their attic. And everything in between!
These three steps will help you outsource web design in the best way for you. Here’s how to choose a web design company:
1. Specify what you need
If you need a single landing page, the process will look vastly different than when you need a full-blown international e-commerce shop. This may go without saying, but it’s important to specify exactly what you want.
Not every design firm can whip up an e-commerce platform or complex motion graphics, for example. If you want a design with interactive elements, you’ll need a designer with the skills to create those.
2. Set your budget
How much are you willing to spend on your website? Good design doesn’t come cheap, and should be seen as an investment. However, we’re fully aware that spending your entire budget on a website is not viable.
Outsourcing comes in many forms, from very affordable options to ones with a hefty price tag. Although you don’t want to skimp out on an important task such as web design, you also want to pick an option that’s viable long-term. After all, you need to keep your website tested and updated regularly.
3. Search and review
If you know what you want and how much you’re willing to pay for it, it’s time to go out there and look for the best option to outsource web design. If you prefer a personal approach, a simple Google search “web design company + your location” will most likely yield enough results to get you going.
It can be nice to go with a firm close by for personal contact. But they may not be specialized in the design you need. Additionally, because of efficiency, most communication will likely take place online anyway. Luckily, there are infinite options to outsource web design with plenty of experience, from famous big agencies to modern budget-friendly options.
We’ve broken the options down into big design firms and budget-friendly design companies. Hiring a freelancer is an outsourcing option that we’ve consciously left out. Considering the scope of a web design project, freelancers tend to be expensive.
Big web design companies
If you run a big brand with a sizable marketing budget, top design agencies can transform your website and get you even more hits. Remember that a premium price tag is involved with premium services like this. Most of these agencies charge between $100 to $150 an hour and have minimum project prices starting at $25,000.
These top dogs are still worth a glance, even if they’re beyond your budget. You may find inspiration for your website. We’ll go over the more affordable options in a bit.
EIGHT25MEDIA is an award-winning web design company based in San Jose, California. With over 750 clients, they sure know what they are doing when it comes to web design. This full-service bureau will deliver the entire digital experience and is trusted by numerous big brands.
If you can afford it, EIGHT25MEDIA is one of the best design firms to craft compelling websites that offer your audience an immersive experience.
Dotlogics is a web design company based in New York with over 20 years of experience. They partner with the best technology platforms to accelerate your digital commerce.
This top-notch design firm is a fantastic option if you require a successful e-commerce platform to sell your products or services.
3. 500 Designs
The slogan of 500 Designs is “Where data meets imagination.” They consider themselves partners in your digital presence rather than suppliers and have a tight-knit team of designers, developers, and collaborators to ensure strategy and creativity work together.
If you want to be sure of impeccable web design that is both aesthetically pleasing and works smooth like butter, 500 Designs is the firm to go with.
Budget-friendly web design companies
Working with top design firms may be far out of reach for startups and small businesses. But that’s no excuse to settle for poor design. There are lots of affordable options to choose from.
Wix is a straightforward platform filled with templates to choose from. If you want to give your website a personal touch, a simple drag-and-drop system is available to start from scratch.
This affordable option is great if you don’t want to spend a fortune but still want a professional look. Or if you quickly want to create a landing page with Wix. Most designers know their way around platforms like Wix, so you can still leave the design up to professionals.
A website with Wix (including hosting services) will set you back from $8,50 to $49 per month, depending on the plan you pick.
Squarespace may be slightly less intuitive than Wix, but it’s still an affordable option and has plenty of stylish templates to choose from. Additionally, they have a library full of resources to set you off on the right foot.
Squarespace’s pricing starts from $16 per month if you pay annually and $23 if you prefer to pay monthly.
Remember that this is a widely used platform, so you’ll risk having a web design that looks much like a competitor’s website.
You may think adding our name to the list is a bit of a boast, but hear us out. The truth is that many people do not consider an unlimited graphic design company like ManyPixels when it comes to web design, even though it’s one of the better options looking at price versus quality.
Although we don’t provide a web design from scratch, we can work with wireframes and existing web design. Additionally, we can create landing pages from scratch.
Affordable and hassle-free web design
With a subscription at ManyPixels, you have unlimited access to top-notch design. Our skilled designers work on your projects day-to-day, ensuring an infinite stream of stunning visuals.
A website needs a lot of upkeep. As you know, design is a crucial element in keeping your audience happy. With top design firms raising costs and platforms such as Wix and Squarespace not offering enough customizable options, ManyPixels is the happy medium.
Endless options with unlimited design
Let’s have a look at the options to get a stunning web design up and running:
- Hire only a developer – Cut back on costs by allowing the designers at ManyPixels to take care of all visual aspects of your web design. You’ll only have to hire a web developer to get everything up and running.
- Use a drag-and-drop builder – An even more affordable option is to get your visuals through our unlimited design subscription and put them into a drag-and-drop builder such as Wix. This will eliminate the risk of having a similar look as your competitors while remaining low-cost.
- Use a discounted rate at our development partner – To get your website developed and running, you can use discounted rates with our web development partners at PSD2HTML®.
The great thing about unlimited design is that it is truly unlimited. We’ve got you covered if you need social media graphics that are consistent with your web design. Have an upcoming event that needs banners? Send in a request. And when you have a new line of products, we’ll happily help you display them on your website.