We got married in October 2008. It was a wonderful day but, as many of you would know, it took an awful lot of hard work to make sure that everything went smoothly and that all of our guests were looked after.
When it came to organising things, after we had set the date and booked the Church, the main item on our to-do list was booking the reception. Some friends of our called this the “fun bit”… We had to agree to disagree on that!
The first hotel we visited (and it turned out to be the one we chose for our reception) was the Glenview Hotel in Co. Wicklow. Everywhere else just paled in comparison. From our first visit with the lovely Jo, to our follow up emails with the equally lovely Gina, we fell in love with the place and knew it was “The One”.
One thing that impressed us a lot about that first visit was the approach that they took. Rather than an attitude of “the world owes us a living” and being shocked at the mere suggestion that we would shop around, the staff at the Glenview were well aware that we would be looking elsewhere and even gave us support and advice for doing so. One of the first conversations we had began with the words “When you are looking at other hotels, you’ll want to ask them…” This is what we call “The Glenview Approach”.
The Glenview Approach is one that we aim to follow here at ZuZu Web Solutions. We do not believe that the world owes us a living, and we are well aware that our potential clients will also be looking elsewhere to find a company that suits their budget and their needs.
So, when choosing a web designer, here are some of the things you should consider:
1 – If you have received a quotation from a designer, ask them what is and is not included for that price. You might wonder why one company is charging £80 – £100 less for what looks like the same thing, only to dig deeper and discover that they are offering a lot less in their package. They may well not cover everything that you need.
2 – Can they provide references? It might be worth checking out some of their previous clients to see how happy they were with the level of service they received. It is not uncommon for some web design companies to look after the bigger clients who pay them more money per job, at the expense of the smaller ones who are their bread and butter. In order to avoid being stuck with a designer who takes 4 months to make a simple update to your website because he/she is too busy with larger clients, it might be worth the price of that phone call to a previous client or the half hour spent checking them out on Google.
3 – Has your website been thoroughly tested? Having worked for many years in the field of Software QA Engineering, we have learned the importance of testing a website properly before it is launched. The last thing you want is to lose a potential customer because your website fails to load properly in their particular browser.
4 – Have they provided you with a contract and with terms and conditions? Read these carefully so that you know what you are agreeing to. If you don’t understand what they mean, ask for an explanation. These documents are there not only to protect the designer, but to protect you as well. In particular, you need to make sure that there are no hidden costs involved in the project.
5 – If you have a launch date in mind, it would be wise to find out the designer’s availability, to make sure that important deadlines will be met. If you are working with a freelancer, for example, it would be good to know if they are looking for full-time work. If they land a 50 hour a week job in the middle of the project, this could seriously restrict their availability. It is also a good idea to ensure there are provisions in the contract for clear deadlines.
6 – Personality is also very important. If you get on well with your web designer, this can make life easier in the long run. Your association with this person/company won’t necessarily end when your site is launched — it could last for many years, so make sure that you feel comfortable with the person you choose.