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Choosing the correct web design agency in South Africa

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Choosing-The-Right-Web-Design-Agency-To-Design-Your-Business-Website

Choosing the right Web Design Agency in South Africa can be tricky. No matter where you are there are so many to choose from and no one wants to waste their time or money on a company that doesn’t deliver results.

There’s a lot of important factors to consider when looking for a website design company. Here’s a few important considerations before you choose a web design agency for your business.

Save Money & Time - Choose the rigth Web design Agency

Consider the type of work you need to be done

A number of things need to be considered when you have a web design project. You will want someone who can take your vision and bring it to the screen as requested, but you also want someone that is going to give you great value for your money.

This means that they should be able to communicate with you in a way where both sides understand what the other one wants out of the deal. You’ll need to define exactly what you want the website to do for your business.

A general statement like; “I want to make more money with my business website” won’t cut it. You need to be very specific and try to align your needs with your brand strategy to ensure your new website design works towards your business goals.

Yes, the fact that you realize your business needs an online presence that represents your brand correctly is a step in the right direction. A step needed for any business to grow during a tough economic time like we are experiencing now.

It’s time to now define your website needs. In my experience as an entrepreneur and web designer in Mpumalanga, I have come to realize there are three different types of websites, and determining which one will work best for you can have a major impact on your designing costs.

Most web design companies will be happy to provide a free 30-min consultation to help you choose the perfect strategy and design type for your business website.

Here are the types of Designs you can consider;

Static website design

A static web design is based on website elements that do not need consistent changing. A good example of a static web page can be seen on any site that has an about page where the story stays the same without any images and written word changing.

The idea of a static page is to share information that does not often change. For small business websites, this means a fixed product or service page design will work perfectly. If you have a business that has fixed products and services that never change that much a static design could save you a lot of money without compromising effectiveness.

If you have a small to medium-sized business that wants to take advantage of the internet you need to consider hiring a trustworthy agency that can help you create conversion-focused static web pages. These pages are great for business owners looking for an online presence without all the frustration of maintenance and expensive costs.

In the Internet Marketing world, static website pages are often referred to as landing pages, where each product or service has its own landing page design. There are many benefits to using a static website and this type of website design in small business is still relevant today.

Some of the benefits of a static web design for small business

  • More affordable to design
  • Less maintenance because of fewer changes
  • Easy to Search Engine Optimize each individual static web page
  • Easier to Track & Monitor pages and buttons on static designs.
Dynamic website designs

A dynamic website is a user-rich website with elements that consistently updates. The idea of a dynamic website is to allow the business owner to be in full control of the website content. You as a business can update and change content on your website easily.

A great example of a dynamic website is an online shop, where the design of the website is published while the products (dynamic content) will be uploaded to the website by the administrator or business owner. A dynamic website design can be perfect for entrepreneurs that are independent and want to manage their own online shop or business.

The dynamic functionality is not limited only to an online shop but can be extended to create custom products. Here’s an example: Let’s say you are a medium business owner that has a whole range of products, each one of these products with a piece of unique information. You do not want to accept online sales and allow checkouts yet, instead, your high-value goods should be displayed, and whenever a customer land on that product page they should be able to request a quote instead of adding it to a cart and checking out.

Now for SEO purposes, I would suggest creating a custom post type (Custom post type = Dynamic database) this allows you as a business owner to update your product information and images as you need while creating a smart SEO structure to get Google to notice your products.

The benefits of using a dynamic website design in South Africa
  • SEO structured Content making it easy for search engines to find your product information and display it to your clients.
  • Easy to manage by yourself, update and edit each product individually.
  • Perfect to self-maintain and fairly simple to learn
  • Independent page per post (for each product) increases your SEO capacity
Combined Website Design Works best (Static & Dynamic web design)

My personal favorite method of building small to medium business websites is to combine both static and dynamic content.

I love to use all the benefits of both design types to allow my business to market more effectively. It’s a lot easier to manage (content-wise) and it allows me to build a platform where I can structure everything the way major search engines require.

There are many tools a business owner can use to create their own dynamic/static website. Your Marketing specialist should inform you of the tools they use as many of these tools require an annual fee.

The correct tools can make your web designers work smarter, faster, and more effectively so be sure to ask what tools they will use to build your business site.

Benefits of combining static and dynamic design types for your business web design
  • Better content structures for SEO
  • Full control on Dynamic and static page designs & content
  • A faster website that is easier to use (your clients will love you for it)

    If you need help with creating your online business website strategy and choosing the design type book a 30-min free consultation with Wollie at Mana Marketing here.

Will the web design agency use a CMS?

There are many platforms that an agency can use to build a modern business website.

Now this is controversial and designers across South Africa will all disagree, but in my opinion, the best possible platform you can use is WordPress.

Don’t fall for the, “we’ll create a CMS from scratch for you”, it almost never works out the way you need it to.

Specifically, ask or WordPress. It’s reliable and works, plus you’ll get it for 100% free. That saves money and time while giving you peace of mind.

What is WordPress?

In short, it’s a content management system that allows you to create stunning business websites online fast.

Using a trustworthy CMS can help you save money and deploy a website much faster. The great thing is about WordPress is that 40% of all websites online are run on the WordPress CMS. It is constantly updated and improved upon by independent developers and managed by WordPress.org (open-source software).

A great WordPress website design agency will be able to do almost anything on the CMS. Customizing is easy and adding functionality is a few clicks away.

There is a lot of CMS platforms online, but nothing compares to WordPress and I highly suggest your web designer stick to using only WordPress CMS. The interface is easy to use, and you as the owner have full control over all aspects of your business website. (a small learning curve can be expected but nothing to worry about, you’ll master it within 60 min).

The alternative is a custom CMS platform. It can be developed, but that will cost a lot (upwards of R100k), especially if you want a solid trustworthy CMS that can compete with WordPress.

WordPress is free to use and highly customizable. Your design agency should be able to easily create any website functionality you might need using inexpensive plugins.

Plugins are tools that enhance WordPress making your business website do what you need it to do.

Your web design agency might have developed its own plugins to help speed up the process of development and enhance the functionality of a website. (this is a good sign and shows they are committed to solving issues.

I’ve come to trust premium plugins that are designed and maintained by professional web developers. It saves a lot of time money and headaches, plus these premium plugins come with exceptional support from dedicated developers.

Here’s why I love premium tools for designing websites in South Africa.     

There is a huge stigma around monthly fees for premium tools that help you design beautiful working business websites, especially in South Africa.

In a way, I can understand that as entrepreneurs we do not want to spend extra money unnecessarily, and that is 100% ok by me. This is not unnecessary, these plugins make your website reliable and stable.

The only reason I use these tools is that the development of custom functions can be expensive, full of bugs, and just time-consuming.

Imagine having to pay an R20k per month salary on a developer to help you develop new functionalities and fix stuff that breaks. No, I’ve been there before and lost thousands. I’d opt for a better more sustainable solution and that came in the form of premium plugins backed by developers.

Mana Marketing follows strict rules when designing a business website for entrepreneurs. We understand that your website needs to be an income generator that is why we only use these premium tools to create highly profitable SEO structured websites.

We use these tools to speed up the design process and make sure the website does exactly what we intend it to do (at the end of the day that is provide an ROI).

If your web design agency is not using these tools you might be in for a surprise down the line. A pretty expensive surprise.

The tools I use to design beautiful functioning business websites
Tool #1 Elementor Pro (Cost: $49 USD annually p/website)
Elementor Pro for Web Design Agencies

The best drag and drop designing software on the market comes at a small yearly fee ($49 USD annually p/website) but provides a lot of design functionality.

The awesome Facebook community helps with almost any issue while the dedicated support team at Elementor Pro keeps the plugin up to date.

Your design agency has no reason to design and develop your website exactly as you need it to be with the support available via Facebook and their internal support staff. (All of whom are developers).

You can have a look at what is possible with Elementor Pro here:

What can be done with Elementor Pro

No matter your design requirements you can be sure that your design agency can achieve it using Elementor Pro. If they know what they are doing

The benefits of using Elementor Pro
  • Faster Page Design with unmatched flexibility of design
  • Excellent Support & Development team
  • Facebook Community (your agency can use to solve minor issues fast)
  • By far the most affordable and trustworthy designing tool to use for any business website.
Tool 2# Crocoblock Plugins (Cost $130 USD annually p/ website)
Crocoblock plugins for dynamic website design

This means you cut website designing time and cost in half.  A smart trustworthy Agency will always recommend tools that save you money and help you reach your end goal faster more affordably.

Crocoblock also offers access to a lively friendly community on Facebook while providing super support.

Again, your agency will have quality Developers on standby whenever a huge issue should pop up. (to be honest, this almost always happens because of technology changes and updates. It’s inevitable)

Side note: I am an affiliate for these tools but only because I use them daily and they work. These tools save us a lot of time and our customers love us for it because that means we can reduce the designing cost significantly while still providing top-notch solutions that work. We’re in it to help entrepreneurs succeed.

Look for a website design company with your values

Here’s the truth, there is a lot of fluff when it comes to marketing most website agencies promise the world at very good prices, yet they almost never deliver on that promise.

They get a business owner’s attention then draw them in with a small designing fee. Once they start designing all sorts of hidden fees come to the surface. Often the website design process takes longer and becomes 4x as expensive.

This is a no-go. Stay away from those R1650 deals, they will almost certainly turn out to be more expensive and result in huge frustrations.

Here is the most important thing you need to consider.

The design agency you choose will be your “partner” for the next 5 to 10 years (maybe forever), you need to know that they are fully committed to helping you succeed.

If they are in it to only make money, you’ll be the one to lose. You need trust and mutual ambition.

Obviously, this is a business transaction, but the agency you choose needs to be honest and open about what they do.

The agency your choose need to stay in the loop on the latest technology, web design, and marketing trends to help create a business website that works.

You as a business owner need an end product that will do exactly what it is supposed to, that is BRING IN MORE LEADS AND MAKE MORE SALES WHILE CREATING MASSIVE BRAND AWARENESS.

The price of a good business website design should be seen as an investment into the company’s success. An investment to expose your brand to the outside world and get more leads. Your website should be designed to get make more sales and win trust in the process.

The price can affect your decision and often is the deciding factor. An expensive webbsite isn’t always the best fit, a website that does what it is supposed to is no matter the price.

What I suggest is, have a look at what values are displayed by the agency and their staff to identify if they are a company that you can trust and work with. Doing this will align your values with theirs and create a smooth business transaction.

If they are entrepreneurs with the desire to help you solve your issues and build a website that works for you, their price can be excused. (as long as the price is still reasonable).

We once designed a website for a client that went on to make R600k sales per month from their third month. Well worth the R30k investment. The moral of the story, the price should be negotiable, the results should not certain.

What is a reasonable price for website design in South Africa?

Normally a very basic business website design will start at around R12k and depending on the needs. Anything less than R12k for an entry-level business website is highly suspicious.

Don’t let them fool you. It takes time, knowledge, and tools to build an effective business website. The time knowledge and tools all come at a price, you pay for quality and the proof is in the pudding.

With that in mind, every business website needs are different. You need to get in touch with a respectable web design agency that offers free consultation on not only what this will cost you, but what the best possible strategy going forward will be for your business.

Remember you need a trustworthy agency that aligns with your values delivering great service and partnering with you to grow your business. Honesty is a must.

If you need an official custom web design quote click here.

Remember to look for these attributes when selecting a website design company or agency in South Africa
  • Self-made entrepreneur’s (they often understand the value of affordability and speed)
  • Trustworthiness (Look for reviews and how others see them, plus do they keep their promises)
  • Honesty (Do the agency provide honest opinions based on experience)
  • Mutual Ambition (If they are driven to succeed they will do everything in their power to help you succeed)

Conclusion

Choosing the correct web design agency in South Africa doesn’t need to be hard. A business owner needs to decide what website their business need. I personally suggest a combination of a static and dynamic website built on WordPress CMS and designed using premium plugins (Elementor Pro for the designs & Crocoblock for the dynamic functionality).

You should also consider the attitude and attributes of the web design agency and their staff to make sure their values line up with yours. Selecting a website design company in South Africa is easy when you know what to look for, instead of comparing prices an entrepreneur should consider long-term relationships technology choices, and experience. Honesty, integrity, and a desire to see your business succeed are the most important aspects. Remember to take a look at Agency reviews before deciding to going ahead and choosing the agency you’ll use to design your business website.

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