Website design highway code

Article by Sam Beavan

aside-icon Sam Beavan

Low cost website design?

Some people don’t know the difference between a cheap website and a high quality site from just looking at it. Often, you have to dig deeper into the website code. We’re talking coding mistakes, images that load slowly on the Internet, poor flexibility, navigation that doesn’t work on mobile and non existent SEO preparation. Spending too little on a website is very often a false economy as you will soon find many elements are not up to scratch and have to be redone which will cost you more additional resources and a lot of extra time.

It’s Called Web Development For A Reason

If you run a business your website is the window through which people assess your profile and market position. In many cases it is also the means of attracting new business and as such it requires regular attention. This means the site needs to be flexible so it can be changed and updated on a regular basis. This may include adding additional options on the navigation and menus, adding a latest news section or video section, category changes or changes for mobile compatability. Having an agency that has experience in knowing how to develop your site moving forward is essential and it is rare you will find this with low cost web design services as they do not have the resources or expertise in place to deliver a high quality long term solution.

Support, Maintenance, Advice

Another common problem with low cost website design is the poor service that comes along with it. If you are dealing with a large agency you will often not be dealt with straight away and if you are dealing with a sole trader you will find you are a low priority as soon as they get busy again with other projects. On the face of it sole traders or freelancers can offer great short term value but as soon as you require some small modifications or advice on developing the site further you will find you are left waiting. It is also highly unlikely that a sole trader will be an expert in design, development and search engine optimisation. These areas are very specialised and take many years to learn and an agency worth their salt will have specialists in each of these core specialties. Remember working with a “jack of all trades” will only get you so far. Most companies offering cheap website design will give you a limited number of options and limited advice on aspects such as content and layout, browser compatibility, search engine optimisation setup and online content. They will also have limited time in really getting to know your business.

To help you in sourcing a medical website design specialist we have developed a list of danger signals that business owners should be aware of. Bear these in mind when you start talking to potential suppliers:

  • Does not ask you about your business and the goal of your website
  • Does not ask you any questions about your Search Engine Optimisation
  • Puts visual impact ahead of the usability of the web site
  • Starts development without discussing with you who your patients are and how they will interact with the website
  • Does not send you a detailed questionnaire before development takes place
  • Doesn’t ensure that the website is designed to ensure that disabled users can both understand and use the site
  • No consideration for mobile / tablet users.
  • No consideration for browsers more than 3 years old. (i:e Internet explorer 7 is still used by the majority of hospitals and healthcare professionals!)


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