Hi, I'm Teresa, owner and Chief Designer here at TotaleSolutions. I have been a web design professional for over 20 years. With a passion for web design and marketing, I have helped hundreds of small and medium businesses establish their online presence. Need help with your online business? Call me on 0408 721 441.

Once you have decided you need a website or need to re-design your existing website, the logical next step is to find a web designer to do the work. There are many talented freelance web designers and web design agencies in Australia, so how do you know which one is right for you?

Before you begin the search for a suitable designer and start the quoting process, you need to understand exactly what it is that you need/want in your new website. That is where the process of writing a brief becomes invaluable – a brief is a great tool for web designers to understand your requirements, but it also helps you cement your ideas and goals for your website.

Your brief should include:

  • What functionality will the website need – this could include an online shop, forms, photo galleries, blog, slider etc.
  • Do you want to be able to easily manage the website yourself, ie make updates to images and text, add new products and blogs?
  • What do you want the site to look like – do you have any ideas in regards to layout and style (include examples of websites you like).
  • If you have an existing website – what don’t you like about it?
  • How many pages do you anticipate the website will have?
  • Do you need web hosting and domain name registration included in the quote?
  • What is your budget? Note: some people do not like to include this in their brief – if you choose not to that is fine, however make sure you have a clear idea in your mind how much you would like to invest in your website.

The final brief doesn’t have to be a fancy document – just a Word document on your company letterhead is fine. Trust me – any web designer will appreciate a written brief as it makes their job easier. Having a written brief also helps with the quoting process, especially if you are intending to source multiple quotes.

Now that you have your brief ready, you can start looking for a web designer. There are numerous ways of finding a web designer, such as a Google search, referrals (eg ask friends or business colleagues for recommendations), or ask your local Chamber of Commerce for recommendations.

Here are my tips for choosing a web designer:

Portfolio
Check out their website for their portfolio of work. Take the time to look through their portfolio and visit some of the websites they have built. Get a feel for their style of work to determine if they would be a good fit.

Testimonials
A good web designer will have testimonials – check out their website and social media pages for feedback from genuine customers.

Services
What services does the web designer offer? Can they meet the needs of your brief? For example, if you want to be able to update the site yourself, what content management systems do they use, can they manage the hosting on your behalf, do they provide maintenance plans.

Longevity
A good test of a web designers ability is how long they have been in business. Your website is an investment so it is important to choose a business that has a proven track record and an ability to support your business into the future.

Customer Service
You can often get a feel for their level of customer service from testimonials. Other ways of getting a feel for how they communicate with their customers include how quickly they respond to your original enquiry, how quickly they follow-up with quotes and other information, if they are willing to chat with you on the phone or a face-to-face meeting to go through your requirements and offer their own ideas as well.

In-house design rather than outsource
Some web designers and agencies outsource their web design work overseas. Make sure you are able to talk directly to the person who will be creating your website. This can ensure more personalised service and can mitigate issues around time delays and understanding of your requirements.

Price
Cheapest is not always best, however price is an important consideration when choosing a web designer. Web design pricing can vary considerably between designers, and if you have sourced multiple quotes you probably have a different price from each. My advise is to first consider your budget. If you have a quote that is considerably above what you are willing to pay, you may need to rule that one out. If you have a quote that is lower than your budget but the designer does not meet the points above –  don’t be tempted by the price alone.

When comparing web design prices make sure you are comparing “apples to apples”. Some web designers may include optional extras or have other costs built into the quote that another may not include. If you are uncertain about any item of the quote you should ask for clarification.

If the web designer meets all the above criteria, you feel comfortable with the prospect of working with them and their price is in the ball park of what you are willing to pay, then they may be the right choice for you.

If you are in the market for new website or a website redesign, I would love to help. Call me on 0408 721 441 or visit my contact us page.

 

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is an address that is used on the Internet to locate a website, for example totalesolutions.com.au. You need a domain name to be able to access your website on the internet.

What is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting is essentially data storage space, accessed via the Internet, used to host web sites and data files. Every website requires a Web Host to store their website on.

What is “responsive” design?

A responsive website changes its appearance and layout based on the size of the screen the website is displayed on. This can include larger text to accommodate smaller screens, and mobile friendly navigation for easier browsing on smaller screens such as smartphones and tablets. All new websites built by TotaleSolutions are designed to be mobile friendly – this is standard and included in the quoted price.

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A CMS is a computer program that allows publishing and modifying content of your website from a central interface. No special software is required, all that is needed to access a CMS is an internet connection and a username and password. The CMS is integrated with the website at the time of building by your web designer.

How Much Will a Website Cost?

There are quite a few factors that are going to affect the ultimate cost of your website. These factors include how many pages you are going to have, if you will sell products on your website, the graphic work involved, and how interactive your website will be. Each website is unique which is why we do not offer set price “packages”. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and we will be happy to provide an obligation free quote based on your individual needs.

Are there any ongoing costs associated with the website?

Domain name registration and hosting are ongoing costs. Generally hosting is paid annually and domain name registration is paid bi-annually. Depending on your requirements, there can also be costs involved in maintaining the site information and keeping the software up-to-date. Content Management Systems are available if you would like to manage the content yourself. We are happy to discuss your requirements.

Are there any hidden costs?

No. We provide a fixed price quote based on your individual requirements. If additional pages or content are requested to be added, or additional functionality is required by you, these will be charged at the hourly rate that is detailed in the quote.

How long will it take for my website to be designed?

The timescale of a website design project is often dictated by the client. If you have a deadline we will endeavour to meet it for you. The most common delay in the creation and completion of a new website is waiting for content (text/images). If you are thinking about getting a website it is a good idea to have all your text and images ready to go – this will speed up the process significantly.

Who creates the content?

No one knows the business better than the person running it, so we leave all text and photos to the client to provide. However, we have made over 100 websites so can offer some handy tips on content creation, which will save you time and make things much easier. We can also recommend professional photographers and copy-writers if required.

Can you re-design an existing website?

Absolutely! If you have an existing website that looks a bit tired or needs a complete overhaul we can help.

How do I update my website?

There are many different methods which can be used to update websites. The method you choose and the functionality we build into your website design is solely up to yourself although of course we will be glad to advise you which method will suit your needs and budget. If you have a small website consisting of just a few pages and will only wish to make changes very infrequently, then it may be more cost effective to have TotaleSolutions to carry out these changes for you. Alternatively, we can provide an online Content Management System (CMS) where you can either update individual products/pages/services or particular sections of your website. e.g. company news. We use the popular content management system WordPress.

Do you offer Maintenance Plans?

Yes! We have WordPress Maintenance Packages available which include regular backups, plugin, theme and core WordPress updates as well as support and content changes if required. Not sure if you need a maintenance plan? Read more about it here.

Why can’t I find my new website in the search engines?

Once your site has been submitted to the top Search Engines they may require several weeks, or even months to actually spider and list your website in their directory. How fast your site is listed depends on each individual Search Engines database update schedule. TotaleSolutions submits each website they create to all the major search engines, which significantly reduces the time it takes before your website starts to appear in search queries.

Who has ownership of the Intellectual Property of my website?

The content of the website is your intellectual property. We will include a disclaimer on each page of your website stating this. Any code, images or graphics created by TotaleSolutions remain the intellectual property of TotaleSolutions. We include at the base of each page the comment that the website was designed by TotaleSolutions with a link to our website. We request that this comment remain unless the site is changed considerably from our initial design by another web designer outside the employment of TotaleSolutions. No code or images created by Total e Solutions can be sold or passed onto others without our express written consent.