You probably take communication for granted. For most small businesses, communication is the underlying generator which powers our businesses. To be able to share your business plans, ambitions and personality with a web development agency and have these interpreted and transitioned into a beautiful website is unfortunately a rarity in our industry. Communication is the beginning and end of website development - without constant communication, it’s inevitable you’re going to be disappointed with the end results.
Unequivocally, the most important part of combining forces with a website development agency is the communication part of the process. There are plenty of folks who can use technologies to create a website, heck - there are even software solutions which help entrepreneurs ‘DIY’ their own but these agencies and solutions are missing one valuable piece of the puzzle; support and guidance.
We see plenty of small businesses who have parted ways from their existing web design agency. Typically it’s down to three reasons.
Lack of transparency
Lack lustre content
1. Surprise Costs
The typical cost structure for website designers is to charge the client an upfront fee. This enables the website developer to work on the website for a specified amount of time and deliver a website to an agreed specification.
Unfortunately, this model introduces a few issues for both the developer and small businesses. First, the small business is obligated to pay for a website before they see the results - if they’re paying £2,000 for a new website, how do they know if they’re going to receive what they expect. Furthermore, how do they know the website is worth the money they’re paying for - trust, has a lot to do with this aspect and it’s heavily weighted towards the website developer (rather than the client).
Furthermore, specifications change. What a small business needs today, may not be what they need when the website has been finished. This is where the surprise costs come into play. Let’s say the website is finished and delivered but the web form excludes a question which is important to ask. What if the website mis-represents the business by stating old contact information. Small businesses may need to pay additional charges to have their website developer revisit the website - these revisits are not cheap and can cost upwards of £45 per hour. If updating a web form takes 2 hours, then a surprise cost of £90 would be delivered.
2. Lack of transparency
Website development has moved on. No longer is it just about laying out a framework for the site using HTML/CSS, it’s much more about how the website performs. How many visitors does it convert into sales enquiries? How much traction does it get in the social media forum? Are your customer using it correctly?
Due to the way a large proportion of conventional website design agencies work (typically copying/modifying a template) it can’t offer insights like number of visitors, which pages are the most popular, how many times your URL appears on Twitter, how many web forms have been completed or how many visitors are return guests. For these measurable results, you need to ensure that the website is fully integrated with Google Analytics, Mailchimp or Hubspot. Technologies designed to operate only with the latest of websites.
3. Lack Lustre Content
Now, in defence of the conventional website design agencies, this may not be all their fault. Ever heard the saying ‘a workman is only as good as his tools’? If the agency is relying on the customers input for content, then this may explain why the content doesn’t drive the characteristic you’re looking for. If the agency is working with you to write your content, you would expect them to be accountable. You would also expect them to modify the content on an ongoing basis to improve the results of the content - after all, we’ve seen cases where changing the title on a site has improved the conversion of visitors to sales enquiries by 60%.
Then again, this does also highlight one of the original flaws - web design agencies who deliver websites to a deadline and then only offer chargeable updates. What do you do when your website stops performing?
With the Growth Architects services, we provide our services for an affordable monthly recurring payment starting at only £95/mo. This means that
- Your website is continuously improved (for no additional costs)
- All results are measured and made available (for no additional costs)
- Our team of writers can create persuasive content which is consistently reviewed and improved.
In a previous article we discussed how long a website takes to complete. In actuality, it’s never truly finished. A modern website design agency like the Growth Architects should always be available to help improve the website they’ve delivered. They should provide these services because it’s the right thing to do and these services should be readily available to all customers, not just the ones willing to pay more.
Welcome to the Growth Architects, where website development is designed to help small businesses grow and where we don’t introduce surprise costs for things you take for granted. We’re not just powered by technology. We’re not just powered by great expertise. We’re truly powered by great communication.