A website makeover may not be something you may want to discuss considering the heavy lifting it took get your current site up and running. However, websites are living and breathing assets to your company. More than billboards on the Internet road, they are critical sales and marketing tools. In fact, your website could be your number one salesperson. It becomes part of the strategy that is called inbound marketing.
A website redesign may just be what is needed to spark more traffic and enhance the sales process. If you're going to work with an outside agency of developers and designers, here are some things to consider In order to make the process as pain-free as possible:
1. Start with the Web Requirements
A good redesign proposal starts with a plan and that plan outlines the requirements you want the site to be able to do. Will it have e-commerce? Will it need to collect information? Will it have videos? There are numerous items that can be part of this but it should relate to your overall business function and strategy.
Other items to consider in the requirements include: Content Management System (CMS) specifications, SEO strategy, mobile responsiveness, time frame of deliverables, team member backgrounds working on the project, user training, on-going maintenance, migration/hosting, image usage, and payment terms
2. Visual Selections for the Web
Your website is visual, and no website redesign proposal is complete without a selection of ideas for the visual design. There should be at least three. The designs should show that the firm understands what you want to achieve with the redesign. And, of course, make sure these designs work on desktops, tablets and mobile phones.
3. Web Redesign Looks vs. Coding
4. Post Deployment Web Support
A good website redesign proposal will include provisions for support during and after deployment, particularly if there is extensive custom coding. The support section should indicate what problems the firm will be responsible for and how quickly they will do it. In addition, get an idea of costs for ongoing routine maintenance.
Another thing you should consider related to support: What maintenance will you be able to do yourself, and what do you need to call the agencyr for? If you expect to frequently change or add photos or videos to your site, for example, there should be some way of doing this yourself, rather than depending on a developer.
5. Web References
In addition to examples of sites that are similar to yours, the proposal should provide contact information for other clients that you can call to ask questions about the agency's performance and quality.
6. How much will it really cost?
The cost estimate in a good proposal should be broken down as granularly as possible, so you know what really goes into the final cost. This also gives you a better basis from which to negotiate.
And one more thought ...
Your website is a marketing tool, and the cost of building it should be measured not just against the budget you have in mind, but also against the return you expect to get from it. Do the math and see what proposal will get you the biggest (and best) bang for the buck.