So you’ve finally decided to design a website… high five! 🙏 We promise this is a choice you won’t regret, but the web design process does take some time and effort. To ease the process and sort through all of the website jargon, a lot of firms opt to get a web designer involved.
Today, there are plenty of web designers and platforms to choose from. Since the web design process can be a tedious one, it’s important to have a designer that fits your firm’s needs and vision. To make sure you’re find the right one for you, ask these questions before you commit.
1. Does Their Portfolio Fit Your Firm’s Ideal Site?
Just like advisory firms, different web design firms have different styles and experience. Having different ideas can lead to conflict and ultimately take away from building the best site for your firm.
Hopefully, you’ve already created a strong brand identity for your firm. Whether it’s a tone of voice you take with clients, the vibe you want to give off to prospects, or the sense professionalism you strive towards, you want your brand to match the designer’s style. You should be confident that the designer will be able to communicate your story online just as effectively as you’re able to in person.
Take a look at the designer’s portfolio or their past website designs to get an idea of what industries and companies they’ve worked with. If you consistently see hot pink sites with bold, wild typography, they might not be the best designer for a financial advisory firm.
At Twenty Over Ten, financial advisors are our bread and butter. We get that a firm’s story is the most important part of their website and we’ve worked with a wide variety of financial advisors. To see some of our most recent projects, check out our client showcase series here.
2. What Is Their Pricing Structure?
Depending on the firm, pricing can be structured a few different ways. Most often, web designers will either
- Request a fixed fee for the whole site, or
- Charge an hourly fee
Some designers will even request a deposit or partial payments during key stages of the development process. Whatever the pricing structure, you’ll want to clear this up before you get charged more than you’re wanting to pay. While web design fees can add up, remember you’re not just investing in a website – you’re investing in your firm’s digital presence and overall brand. We promise it’s well worth the investment.
3. Can You Speak With Past Clients?
Testimonials and customer reviews give great insight during any purchase process, and web design is no exception. If you really want to know what it’s like to work with a designer, don’t be afraid to ask to speak with one of their past clients. Past clients can speak well to the reliability of the designer, how smooth the web design process was, and how the website has performed since its launch.
Any good firm will stay in touch with past clients to make sure everything is working correctly, so they should have plenty of options for you to get in contact with. At Twenty Over Ten, we make an effort to follow up with our clients to see what they liked about the web design process and what they would want to see changed, which we share publicly. You can read all about other advisors experiences in our client showcase series!
4. What’s Maintenance Like After The Website Is Complete?
If you’re someone who wants to be able to make frequent changes and updates to your site, you’ll need to look for a web design platform that’s easy to maintain yourself. You should also look for a platform that has an educational component to help guide you through the editing process, like our webinar series at Twenty Over Ten.
On the opposite side, if you’d rather shoot off an email with some requests for changes and wait a few days for someone else to bring them to life, you should look for a platform that provides a long-term maintenance package. This will be the pricier route, but if your firm has no time to spare, this could help keep your website up-to-date with little time investment.
5. Are Their Sites Mobile Friendly?
This question might not be at the top of your checklist, but ensuring your site is mobile-friendly is absolutely crucial in today’s digital age. Today, over 84% of Americans own a smartphone, which many use to conduct searches on a daily basis. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, smartphone users will immediately click away.
All in all, mobile optimization should be non-negotiable for your firm. At Twenty Over Ten, we make mobile responsiveness a priority. Whether you’re doing it DIY or working with our designers, your firm’s site will transfer seamlessly across all screens, including mobile phones. Below is an example of a mobile-friendly advisor website Twenty Over Ten built for Mountain Pass Planning.
6. What Input Is Expected From Your Firm?
Platforms can offer a range of services within the web design process itself. Some designers will ask that your firm provides all assets, and some will have optional add-ons like logo design, search engine optimization starters, and copywriting packages. For example, will you be expected to write the copy, or does the platform have a copywriter on their team? Are you supposed to have a logo ready, or will they help you design a new one from scratch? Depending on how established your firm is already, you might need more assistance than some designers offer.
At Twenty Over Ten, our web design process is tailored to your firm’s individual needs. If you have assets you’re proud of, like a logo or copy you’ve already written, we’re more than happy to use them. If you’re needing a little more direction, we’re there to lend a helping hand. Check out our premium packages and add-on options here.
7. How Many Revisions Are Included?
Your website will be the first impression many potential clients get of your firm online. Since websites are a very personal part of your business, you’re bound to have at least a few things you want changed. This makes the revision policy a super important part of the process. Normally, a designer will include 1-3 revisions in your package and then you’ll have to pay hourly for any additional changes. So, be sure to ask for the hourly rate for designers, too!
All advisors working with Twenty Over Ten have the opportunity to review their website and submit revisions to update the layout, organization, colors, and fonts. Our Basic design package includes one round of revisions and our Tailored design package includes two rounds of revisions.
8. Are Other Services Available?
A website is just the start of your firm’s digital journey. Once your dream site is complete, your firm will have access to endless digital opportunities, such as blogging, analytics, social media, email marketing, search engine optimization, and more. Juggling the launch of a brand new website and these new opportunities can be overwhelming, so having some help from a professional can take away from some of the stress.
At Twenty Over Ten, all of our users get to enjoy Content Assist, a tool that will help you break into the world of blogging. We believe a strong inbound marketing strategy is an important part of spreading the word about your firm, which starts with strong content. Content Assist will help you write blogs tailored to your individual niche in a fraction of the time. Learn more about this complimentary feature here.
Twenty Over Ten also offers additional add-on services such as social media set up, SEO and Google Analytics assistance, as well as copywriting packages. These packages will beef up your site after the web design process is finished and help you break into digital marketing. To learn more about all of our add-ons, check out pricing and features here.