I've met with 2 prospects in the last week. With both of them, we talked to them about a website project and they went to other website design firms in the Madison, WI area. Guess what? They're now back in our office asking us to fix their websites and set them up right.
I feel bad. I'm showing them all the things that weren't done right and explaining how all these things will have to be fixed. I really feel bad for them - they spent all that money and they could have had us do it right in the first place and they would have saved a lot of money.
They're both asking why things weren't done right and I don't really have a great answer for them. We're just better experts than our competition. I really wouldn't say that without proof and these 2 prospects are not the only cases we've seen. I really don't mean to brag but it's just the truth.
One explanation I came up with was this... we have been in business since 2001. Whenever, during that time, we found we missed something, we've done 2 things. First, we fixed it - for no charge. Second, we've integrated that item into our policies, procedures and checklists so that we don't ever miss that thing again. It's then integrated into our system. We have a consistent team that just works for us (no freelancers) and this helps us keep control over consistency and quality. We have testers that check everything over before we present the final website for launch.
Here's the reason we do this... it's simple, yet brilliant. Yes, there was a time when we had problems following procedures. It wasn't a fun time. A project would launch and then our clients would find a bunch of things that were wrong. We'd be starting a new project and then we'd have to stop and fix things on the previous project. Nobody was happy - not our clients, not our managers, not our programmers or designers and nor was I. To fix that, we set better policies and procedures. We set up a Testing Department. Since then, things have completely turned around - projects go out and there's little to no re-work we have to do. Everyone is MUCH happier!
There are LOTS of little details now with website. You've got different devices (responsive design), hundreds of web browsers, different ways to send data (structured data), site maps (HTML and XML), different sets of site icons, proper HTML and CSS and the list goes on. There's even basic stuff like making sure the website only shows up under one domain instead of two (the "www" version versus "non-www" version issue where if one isn't forwarded, you could get dinged for duplicate content).
With all those things, if a few or a bunch are missed, your website won't rank well. The website design company you choose is completely to blame!
Either you choose a company that has experts on staff with years and years of experience and attention to detail with a system to deliver a consistent product that search engines like or your website will suffer.
It's really tough to know when choosing a website designer, which ones are good and which are bad. You really don't know until your website is done and even then you might not know. You might find out months or years later that there are problems.
Yeah... guess what? We've tested the websites that other companies in the area are producing. Virtually NONE of them have passing Google PageSpeed scores. It's actually kind of shocking.
We have it down. We can deliver WordPress websites with guaranteed passing (85 or higher) Google PageSpeed scores. We've cracked the code and doing this is a part of our system - part of our DNA.
I felt really bad delivering that bad news to those prospects who passed on Webstix, went to someone else and got horrible results. They don't understand why that happened. I try to use an analogy of a car mechanic - there are good ones and bad ones. You often don't know until it's too late.
We honestly don't do a very good job of explaining our process and benefits to our clients. We could explain our value better. Maybe this blog post will help. I'd hate for others not to understand all the knowledge and expertise we have in our process and decide to go somewhere else. And with one of those instances, the other company was much more expensive and charged a lot more than we would have.
Try not to make a bad decision choosing a website design company. Maybe you'll choose someone else and they'll do a fine job (there are definitely other good web design firms out there and there's plenty of business for all of us, so we're not trying to badmouth here). Hopefully you make the best decision.
If you would like to find out how your website scores, try our free 32-point website analysis.