Choosing a website design agency for your business is hard isn’t it?
The term “Website Design Cardiff” brings up hundreds of search results alone.
How do you know what or who to choose?
In this blog post we will look at everything we think you should know about choosing a web designer in Cardiff for your business.
Responsive website design Cardiff
When looking for website design in Cardiff you are going to hear the term responsive web design thrown around a lot.
Responsive web design is an approach of designing and developing a website that works on all devices, such as:
- Mobile phones
- Tablets (iPads, Kindles)
- Desktop Computers
- And More
Your new website must be mobile responsive if you want any form of return on investment. If your website isn’t mobile responsive then the search engines will punish your business by showing you lower in the rankings.
A website that isn’t mobile responsive is like hiring a builder to build a home for you and them not putting a roof on it, wiring in the electricity or putting a front door on your new house because it was a little bit cheaper for them not to do so.
You have to make sure that your new website will be mobile responsive to give your business a chance to be found on the search engines.
In the past we have seen a massive jump in the search engine rankings just by making our clients websites mobile responsive, that could mean the difference from staying in business or shutting up shop.
Some of our competition build websites that are not mobile responsive or they give you an option whether to pay extra for your new website to be mobile responsive. Make sure that your site is mobile responsive before handing over any money or signing any contracts, if it is not, walk away.
Cheap website design vs. custom website design
Cheap website design maybe an option for you if you have no budget and want to get a website up and running. A cheap website wont get found online, the massive drawback of having a cheap website design is that you will have to tell potential customers your website address and tell them to visit it.
By doing the above however you are not using your website to its full potential, a good website should generate you leads on autopilot, you shouldn’t have to keep telling people to visit yourwebsite.com.
Think of it, how many people could you possible come into contact with everyday and how many of those people could you tell to visit your website without them getting angry and telling you to go else where.
If you have to tell people to visit your website, you are doing it wrong.
Take our website for example. Sure we have our web address on our business cards, but I cant remember the last time I handed a business card out to someone and told them to visit our website.
Make no mistake, business cards are useful, but for us as an web and digital marketing company it makes more sense for our website to bring customers to us, rather than getting out in peoples faces and selling our services.
There are a few problems with cheap websites, such as:
- Low quality code underneath
- Bad search engine optimisation
- Usually missing links, errors on website
- Not search friendly
- Not goal orientated
Low quality web design code can harm your business
Low quality code can’t be seen by every day folk. To you a bad website may not look great, but to us as a web and marketing agency a bad website starts with bad code. A website that contains bad code, can still look great.
We have seen websites that look beautiful, Only to look underneath to see some terrible code. Bad code under a website is the equivalent of buying two Porsches and replacing one of the engines with a Vespa engine. Just like a Vespa trying to pull a Porsche along it will really struggle. Websites with bad code will struggle with:
- Search engine ranking
- Website speed
- User experience
Bad code can effect all of the above. Bad code can confuse the search engines to what your site is actually about.
Bad code can take up more resources than it needs to therefor it takes longer for the website to load (bad user experience), causing your users to click the dreaded back button.
Bad search engine optimisation – Do you want your customers to find you?
We have been contacted in the past by people looking to go into business and only have a budget of £300. For this they want a website and all the marketing that they can get to reach the first page of Google.
Some business areas are so competitive that it could take years for your business to get to that first page.
What other industry do you know where someone is willing to work around the clock for a few years for £300?
Thankfully most industries especially in Wales are not that competitive for a new business to break into the search results. Our average time so far for our clients has been around 4-6 months.
If your paying a few hundred pound for a website, how much search engine optimisation do you think you are going to get?
No time = low quality control. Don’t skimp on testing.
No website agency will make a website that is 100% free from errors. Us included.
What we have noticed is the cheaper website design agencies tend to have terrible quality control.
We always keep an eye on our competitors, in fact we would guess that most of their website views are from us checking up on them, I joke. But you get the point.
When checking out some of the lower quality agencies we often see that their projects have missing links, broken images, pages that don’t exist and so on.
Obviously these agencies are not doing this on purpose but they are unable to spend the time necessary to make sure the quality of the website is up to scratch.
A typical website design project for us lasts 6 to 8 weeks. That’s design, development and quality control. If you are only paying a few hundred quid for a website then there is no way that the agency can spend the amount of time needed to make sure your new website will work as it should.
How can you compete online if your website is not search friendly?
If you’re a business in Cardiff and you need website design then there is a good chance that your industry is going to be competitive.
We know all about working in competitive industries. Web design in terms of competition is up there with services such as finance and insurance. Take the keywords web design Cardiff which is one of the main keywords that we are raking for with this article. The keyword web design Cardiff has over 1.3 million competing websites (a lot of competition).
The keyword web design Cardiff in the Google advertising tool has a recommended bid of £5 to £10. This means that for every time someone searches for web design Cardiff and clicks on your add you would pay that amount of money per click.
At this time of writing, the keyword web design Cardiff gets around 1000 searches a month. If you were to target each of these searches and pay the minimum amount of £5 then the keyword web design Cardiff would cost you £5000 every month.
SEO on the other hand will take longer to get results but when you are finally on that first page of the search results each click sent to your website is then technically free. That is the power of SEO, and unless you are willing to pay £5000 a month for clicks i would highly suggest investing in SEO for your business.
If you hire a cheap web designer in Cardiff you are not getting any SEO at all, your website will also lack the various on page SEO which will further negatively impact your search engine rankings. If you want to compete you will need to spend the required money to do so, if you don’t your competitors will.
If you want your customers to do something your website design needs to reflect that
One of our questions we first ask our clients is “what do you want your website to do?” Some of the time our clients have replied that they don’t know, they just know that they need a website because someone they trust has told them they need one.
When a client knows that they need a website but they don’t know why we take them through various different options so they can best decide what they want their website to do for their business. Once the client knows what they want the website to achieve we can then begin designing a website for them.
A cheap web design agency isn’t going to discuss a strategy with you and they’re not going to build a website around your business goals.
A cheap web design agency is going to use a template that they have used for all of their past clients, edit your information into it and then change the colours of the website to match yours and put it live.
When choosing website design for your business make sure you discuss what you want the website to achieve before hand.
Are free website building tools any good?
Services such as Wix, Weebly, Sitey and many other free website tools are getting better.
Infact some of them produce websites that look great.
As mentioned above they still contain bad code. Another massive problem that all of these website building tools have is that you are the person building them. Now you may have a great eye for detail, and you may have even read up on SEO best practices, but you would still be at a disadvantage over your competitors who have paid to have their websites professionally made and marketed.
Think of it this way, would I be able to read a few books or articles on your industry and then be better at it than someone who has been in the industry for 10 years? Of course not, especially if the industry was to do with anything manual. I can only imagine the horror of it, but lets not think about that, i think i just slipped a disk thinking about it. Right, back to the blog at hand.
In my personal experience I have never witnessed a website that was built by one of these free website creating tools rank on the first page of the search engine results. Do a random search right now, click on some websites and scroll to the bottom, see how many of them are made by websites like wix. I bet you won’t find many, or any at all.
If you would rather concentrate on what you do well and leave building a website to someone else I would highly recommend it, it will cost more, but at least it would be done right.
As Bobby Boucher’s mama says “Pre built website themes are the devil”
A lot of agencies use pre built website themes these days. The reason being they are cheap to buy and it takes 90% of the development time away meaning more profit for the agency.
Website themes are a quick and easy way for an agency to get money out of you while not carrying out any work that will help your business.
Themes are cheap (< £50), take much longer to rank (more money needed to be spent rank them) and agencies that use themes generally aren’t very good at what they do.
Personally I would not use a theme to represent my business. You shouldn’t either.
Why your new website should be based on a content management system.
A content management system is the back end of the site, which only you and your staff will see and get to use.
Some agencies develop their customers websites to be single page files, they do this so any updates that you need, will be done through the website code. This means you will have to pay them to make any small changes, unless you want to learn to program that is.
A content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, when developed correctly allows you to be able to edit all of the content on your website with ease.
Some of our past customers have told us they didn’t think they would be able to edit their website because it would be too complicated. Usually around an hour later we have shown them exactly how to do it they can’t believe how simple it all is.
Here at Weeare we develop custom websites on the CMS WordPress and we use custom fields through the site. These custom fields allow you to type text in on the back end and they automatically fill in on the front end, easy pips!
Using custom fields means that we could save your business thousands in update costs alone.
Free website hosting to all of our customers
All websites need hosting, website hosting is where your website files live.
Some agencies charge you extra and extortionate amounts per month for hosting, we don’t.
At Weeare we offer all of our new customers 1 year of free website hosting just to say thanks for choosing us.
You can however keep your existing hosting if you would like, that is no problem at all.
What we can offer to you.
If you have read through all of the above you now have a better idea of what to look out for when making the choice to hire a web designer in Cardiff.
We understand that choosing a web designer for your project can be difficult, but hopefully you can see that we do some great work for our existing clients and we would love to work with you too.
Our website design & development packages start of at £2500 and include:
- A custom mobile responsive website
- On page SEO
- 1 year free hosting
- 1 professional email address
- Logo design
- Email marketing campaign set up
We also offer packages that include 4 & 12 months of SEO and social media marketing.
For more information on our web design packages check out the link below
Take a look at some of our web design work
If you would like to work with one of the best small web design agencies in Wales then we would love to talk to you, you can see some of the great work that we have carried out for our clients below.
Medical website design
OIC are a medical company in the USA who produce orthopaedic implants. We worked with them creating a mobile responsive website which was much easier to use than their previous website. We also made sure that their brand new website was more search engine friendly than the previous website.
Restaurant website design
La Bodega, a small family run restaurant in Merthyr Tydfil hired us to re-design their existing website which wasn’t search engine friendly or mobile responsive. Because of this their existing website was sitting on the 5th page of Google.
We helped La bodega be the first independent restaurant that shows up in the search engine rankings.
La bodega’s new website also beats the major chain restaurants such as Frankies and Bennys, Nandos, Table Table, Pizza Time and more. Our work has increased online bookings by 30%. One of our social media marketing campaigns raised awareness for the restaurant when 30,000 people saw one of our posts which went viral in our small town of Merthyr Tydfil.
Recruitment website design
Raw recruitment hired us to design and develop a brand new website for their recruitment agency. The website was built with custom functionality which would allow CV uploading, email address capturing, job posting and the ability to blog.
Ecommerce website design
One of our first ecommerce website design projects that we ever made. Merthyr chainsaw hired us to create a website for their garden equipment business.
With over 600+ products and hundreds of variations Merthyr Chainsaw was a pretty big website, by creating a new website rather than using Ebay we were able to make a website that helped cut the costs of transaction down by 5%.
Photography website design
Reel photography came to us because their existing website looked bad and was so frustrating to use. We helped them create a new easy to use website that was mobile responsive and search friendly as standard.
Medical website design
Skinhance aesthetic training sell botox training and other aesthetic courses within the UK. The market that they are in is very competitive. Their competition had been around for years, so we knew it would be tough to outrank them on the search engines.
After a bit of work we were able to do so. We outranked their competitors and put Skinhance as the number 1 spot for many of their keywords. Many of these keywords were targeted to Cardiff, Bristol and Oxfordshire.
Personal training website design
TK-Fitness, a personal training company in Cardiff approached us to redo their existing website which once again wasn’t user or search engine friendly. TK-Fitness before hiring us couldn’t be found anywhere near the first page of the search engines.
2 Weeks after going live TK-Fitness’ new website hit the first page of Google for search terms that get over 700+ people searching for it each month. Because of this, TK-Fitness is getting more personal training sessions booked than ever before.
Wew, that was a long one. Hopefully we have covered enough for you to understand what to look out for when choosing a website design for your business.
Some key takeaways should be:
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly
- Make sure your website is search engine friendly
- Make sure you have clear goals when designing your website
- Make sure your new website is built on a CMS and will be easy to edit & update
- Do not use a free website builder
- Cheap web design companies should be avoided at all costs
- Do not use website themes, custom is better 100% of the time
We have done our very best to include as much information into one post before sending you to sleep, we have more tips that we would love to share with you, if you would like to learn more sign up for our newsletter below.
If you have any questions about our web design services please contact us.