The whole web design industry has undergone major changes over the past 5 years and there is now a variety of options and ideas available to you. You can pay anything from £100 to over £10,000 but what is the difference and what do you need?
Firstly, the differences are the programming languages and the popular choices are usually HTML, PHP, ASP,.NET,C++, C# and Coldfusion. There are others but these are the most popular ones.
With each of these there can be advantages and disadvantages and there is not a right or wrong solution, unless you require specific functionality that can be handled better by a particular programming language. The simplest language is HTML and this is for basic websites that do not require dynamic functionality or do not require the use of a database to collect user or customer data for sales and marketing purposes.
In terms of what you need, this will greatly depend on your target market, your product or service and what you want to achieve from your site. With so many web designers and design companies about, it can be a daunting task for any company to choose their preferred developer. It will not matter if you pay ten times more to one company as this will not guarantee your desired results better than the cheapest quote you receive.
What is greatly important is that you think hard about what you want to achieve and then ask each company if they can a) produce these results b) tell you how they intend to achieve these results.
Without this, you do not stand much chance of beating your competitors.
With so many websites on the internet it is no longer good enough to just have a great-looking site. Having an attractive, user-friendly and accessible website will give your customers confidence but it will ultimately not bring you any new business if your website is poorly coded and not designed for Search Engine Optimisation and does not take into account the importance of SEO.
Likewise, you could have a well-optimised website for Search Engines but your poor design and accessibility could affect your sales. What you need to do is to get the right balance of design, functionality and search engine optimisation in order to have a successful website. Only then can you start marketing your website effectively for the top 3 search engines Google, Yahoo and MSN as these search engines constantly change their algorithms
You have to ensure your choice of web designer or company is the right one as you will only end up wasting time and money in the long term.